PARIS — Balenciaga is joining JD.com’s Toplife platform in China, adding to the list of Kering-owned brands that have jumped on to the Tencent-owned high-end channel geared to wealthy Chinese.
Luxury labels are jockeying for positions to tap into the Chinese luxury market in a battle that only shows signs of intensifying, given the weight of the country’s market.
Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent earlier this year joined Toplife, which was launched last October to compete with larger rival Alibaba’s Luxury Pavilion. The latter features brands including Burberry, Hugo Boss and Maserati.
In a statement, Balenciaga chief executive officer Cédric Charbit characterized the move as an important step for Balenciaga’s strategy in China.
Xia Ding, who heads JD.com’s international fashion activities including Toplife, said adding Balenciaga to the channel serves to “further cement our position as the go-to platform for luxury shopping in China.”
JD.com in China also has a credit business as well as a logistics network offering one-day shipping.
The company’s largest shareholder is Tencent, which owns social media giant WeChat.