LONDON — Chinese Internet behemoth JD.com is throwing its weight behind Britain as the country heads out of the European Union, with a deal to sell two billion pounds of Made in the U.K. goods to Chinese consumers over the next two to three years.
In a deal with the U.K. Department of International Trade during Theresa May’s first official visit to China as prime minister, JD said it will work with the DIT to make it easier for British companies to sell to Chinese consumers online via JD.com. JD chairman and chief executive officer Richard Liu met with May to discuss plans to help more U.K. brands reach JD’s more than 266 million customers.
The number of U.K. brands on JD has doubled over the last two years, with sales in 2017 growing 100 percent year-on-year, according to the company, which added that Dyson, Clarks, Johnnie Walker and Lipton are among the most popular with JD consumers. Over the past three years, Dyson sales on JD have increased by more than 60-fold.
JD also said it’s planning special campaigns for seasonal products and undertaking other activities to give British brands more opportunities to reach Chinese consumers. It’s preparing 24-hour “Celebrate Britain” sales promotion for U.K. products this April to introduce the “Best of Britain” to Chinese customers.
JD.com had revenues of $37 billion in fiscal 2016. It offers same- or next-day delivery to almost every city and town in China.
“We’re pleased to be working with DIT to make it easier and more convenient for British brands to enter the Chinese market,” said Winston Cheng, president of international at JD.com. “We’ve seen rapid growth in demand for British products from our consumers in recent years, and will look to showcase the ‘Best of Britain’ on our platform even more through this agreement.”
As reported, JD has already made a big push into Britain’s fashion industry.
In June, it took a $397 million stake in Farfetch with the aim of giving smaller brands access to Chinese consumers and growing Farfetch’s worldwide reach.
In September, JD sponsored shows at London Fashion Week and partnered with the British Fashion Council and the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. As reported earlier this month, Alexander McQueen has joined JD’s high-end platform Toplife, which will allow the house to engage with a larger local clientele.