China’s biggest online retailer, JD.com, has established a Melbourne office to gain closer access to brands and retailers across Australia and New Zealand.
JD.com’s Australian headquarters, located on Melbourne’s Collins Street, will allow retailers and brands access to the platform’s 266.3 million active users, in addition to more than 900 million consumers through an exclusive partnership with Tencent’s WeChat.
Chief executive Richard Liu said JD.com had received considerable support from the Victorian state government, while Australia’s only 24-hour shipping port was another important factor in the company decision to establish itself in Melbourne.
“Brands and retailers looking for a trusted partner who will both build their brand and protect their IP in China now have an easy point of contact in the region,” Mr Liu said.
The e-commerce portal, which has been a pioneer in drone delivery, same-day delivery and automation across its supply chains, is China’s biggest retailer by revenue, and achieved ¥658.2 billion ($133.54 billion) in gross merchandise sales in 2016.
In comparison, US-based online retailer Amazon.com achieved $US178 billion ($227.9 billion) in net sales in 2017 and has more than 330 million registered users.
JD.com’s president of international Winston Cheng said Australian and New Zealand brands were in strong demand on the platform, particularly food, agriculture, dairy and cosmetics.
The Melbourne headquarters follows JD.com establishing its ‘Australian Mall’ channel in 2015, a cross-border platform offering a wide range of Australian products, including fresh milk, seafood, fresh fruit, as well as healthcare, baby products, personal care and cosmetics.
“This office will help local products access that demand,” Mr Cheng said.
“We look forward to strengthening and promoting the trading relationship between these two great countries and China.”
JD.com’s arrival follows that of US-based e-commerce giant Amazon in December, and fellow Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group around 12 months ago.