JD.com Inc. has created a cross-border platform called JD Worldwide.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The new e-commerce platform connects international brands with Chinese consumers. International brands can sell directly to consumers in China without them having an established presence in that country, and the platform leverages JD’s logistics and marketing capabilities.
Richard Liu, JD’s founder and chief executive officer, said, “The new cross-border platform marks a major step forward in connecting Chinese consumers with international brands.”
The addition of the cross-border platform increases the competition between JD.com and its larger competitor, Alibaba. Prior to JD’s new platform, Chinese consumers wanting to buy brands sold in the U.S. had the option of using Borderfree Inc.’s platform, a U.S. firm that partners with U.S. stores to deliver purchases overseas. Borderfree in November also did a pilot program with Alipay, China’s leading e-payment service provider that is part of the Alibaba Group, for the past holiday season.
One problem that has been a concern among Chinese consumers, and why many go overseas for their purchases, is the matter of counterfeit goods. JD maintains that it’s got that base covered. The company said that in making purchases through JD Worldwide, consumers will enjoy “guaranteed product authenticity.” Further, favorable trade policies in China’s e-commerce free-trade zones and JD’s employment of bonded warehouses ensure the fastest times for customs clearance and delivery to consumers.”
As for authenticity, the company has a process to ensure that only authentic products are permitted on the platform. A spokesman said, “In order to guarantee traceability for the entire supply chain, all products sold on JD Worldwide must be from a merchant with a valid overseas enterprise entity and must be delivered from the overseas country of origin. Also, all products entering the bonded zones will go through China’s commodity inspection and quarantine departments.”
With full integration on the JD.com platform, JD Worldwide hosts 450 online shops offering more than 150,000 stockkeeping units from more than 1,200 brands. Represented brands and sellers are from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. The company sources directly from the brands, as well as from authorized distributors. Some of the brands on the site for both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories include DKNY, Gucci, Tumi, Burberry, Michael Kors, Max Mara, Jack Wolfskin and Hush Puppies.
Merchandise in high demand includes baby products, apparel, personal care and cosmetics items, as well as food, which are among the categories that JD Worldwide is focusing on for the platform.
Chinese consumers can order directly from JD’s Web site, and have purchases delivered to their homes or offices without having to deal with international shipping, customs and language issues.
In addition, JD.com has a pilot program in partnership with eBay called “Best of eBay Deals.” The program will feature products from top eBay categories from select trusted eBay sellers in the U.S.
JD has seven fulfillment centers and 123 warehouses in 40 cities, along with 3,210 delivery stations and pick-up stations in 1,862 counties and districts across China. As of Dec. 31, the firm provided same-day delivery in 134 counties and districts, and next-day delivery in another 866 counties and districts across China.
A spokesman said that in 2014, JD’s user base “doubled to nearly 100 million active users.”