JD.com, the Chinese eCommerce company, has set its sights on Europe for its expansion and is putting the finishing touches on its strategy to enter the market by the end of 2018.
Reuters, citing comments the company’s finance chief Richard Liu made to German newspaper Handelsblatt, said the company wants to have a presence all over Europe. “For me it’s no longer just about selling products from Germany in China. I would also like to sell products in Europe,” Liu told the paper. “We have just got to clarify the details.” According to Reuters, JD.com is investing in logistics and physical stores to expand beyond China and Southeast Asia. It is eyeing the U.S. and European markets as its next areas of growth. Liu told the paper he would consider deals to help with the push into Europe. “If we see a good opportunity then we will seize it,” he said, according to Reuters.
The plans to expand into Europe come just days after JD.com’s finance unit raised $1.96 billion in a new round of funding. Reuters, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported earlier in July that with the new round, the unit’s valuation has doubled ahead of an expected initial public offering (IPO) — and that the funding underscores how willing investors are to pour money into a Chinese technology company. Reuters noted that more investors could join the round of investing in JD Finance, which could push its valuation even higher. The investors to take part in the latest fundraising include CICC Capital (a unit of investment bank China International Capital Corp.), brokerage China Securities, private equity firm Citic Capital and BOCGI (Bank of China’s investment arm). JD Finance said the fundraising round hasn’t closed, but wouldn’t provide more commentary. The report noted that JD Finance is seeking a domestic IPO, but that there is no timetable as to when that may happen. Proceeds from the fundraising will go to invest in local financial institutions and to purchase securities and banking licenses.