China’s giant JD.com to challenge Amazon’s hegemony in France, Germany and the UK

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JD.com is set to take on Amazon across Europe with plans to launch in France, the UK and Germany, as it aims to become a household name in Europe and challenge Amazon’s hegemony in these prime ecommerce markets as a platform for brands and retailers.

Founder and CEO of JD.com, Richard Liu also told the FT that the marketplace plans to launch in the US towards the end of 2018.

JD.com is set to spend €1 billion over the next two years in France to set up its own logistics network. It is likely to follow suit in the UK and Germany. This would take it in to direct competition with Amazon in these markets.

The move will see JD.com open up these prime European markets to both Chinese sellers and European brands that want to target cross-border European sales. It also takes on Amazon directly: always something of a gamble, given Amazon’s entrenchment in many markets.

For brands and retailers, however, it offers yet another channel to market and introduces some real cross-border competition into the marketplace arena in Europe.

The move comes as the Chinese giant committed to selling £2 billion of UK goods into the Chinese market, a much-needed potential boon post-Brexit. The company has also announced plans to build facilities in China to help French retailers sell there too.

The Chinese giant is also planning to open a research centre in Cambridge in the UK in 2019, its first such research venture outside of its homeland. Not only does this cement its commitment to Europe, but also reinforces Europe and the UK’s central role in AI development.

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