JD.com, the second-largest e-commerce company in China after Alibaba, is taking on its bigger rival with the launch of JD Worldwide. The new sales platform, which enables overseas vendors to sell directly to Chinese consumers without having to set up a business there, will compete with Alibaba’s Tmall International.
JD Worldwide will be integrated with JD.com and launch with 450 online shops carrying 150,000 products. Customers who orders goods through JD Worldwide will have their items delivered to them from overseas inventory through JD.com’s in-house logistics infrastructure.
JD.com’s focus on logistics, which includes automated warehouse, seven fulfillment centers, and last-mile delivery networks throughout China, differentiates it from Alibaba, which relies heavily on third-party providers.
(Alibaba, however, has been busy ramping up its logistics investments in China as well as Southeast Asia).
JD Worldwide also includes a partnership with eBay that will allow selected vendors on the auction/e-commerce site to sell directly to Chinese consumers.
In China, demand for products manufactured overseas hinges on concerns about the safety of locally produced items, with infant products and groceries performing especially well. For example, both Alibaba and JD.com have focused on increasing the amount of imported food and beverages they sell.