Bloomberg, citing an interview with Richard Liu, the head of JD.com, reported Liu is in the initial stages of planning with Google to lure customers outside the country. Walmart, meanwhile, is working with JD.com to expand operations in China, the U.S. and Southeast Asia. The moves come a few months after Google paid $550 million for a stake in JD.com.
“Our ambition is to expand our supply chain ability to the whole world — to connect any brand, any goods and any consumer globally,” Liu said in an interview. He noted that JD.com is setting its sights on affluent consumers residing in Europe and the U.S. and that the company plans to make investments in the infrastructure necessary to supply items to millions of customers located around the globe. The CEO told Bloomberg that the company’s partnership with Walmart is global but that its work with Google will be focused mainly outside China, as Google’s services are currently banned in the country.
Currently, JD’s business operates similarly to Amazon and Alibaba in that it holds and sells its own inventory and lets third parties hawk their goods on its platform. But Liu said that could change as the business expands beyond China’s borders. Replicating its model isn’t going to work everywhere.
“If we want to convince American consumers to download JD’s app and buy, I think it will be hard. But the good thing is U.S. has Twitter, Instagram and Facebook — a lot of social media,” said Liu, adding that he wants to partner with social networks. The executive noted the company is in the process of opening offices and warehouses in Western Europe and is gearing up to sell products there later this year. Within two years, the company hopes to reach all of Southeast Asia.