JD.com, China’s second-largest online retailer, has expanded in Europe with the opening of an office in Paris, as well as gaining another foothold in Southeast Asia with its strategic investment in Tiki.vn , Vietnam’s leading B2C e-commerce platform.
The opening of an office in France is an important milestone for JD.com, as the e-commerce platform seeks to develop its French brand portfolio and is ramping up its European presence. JD.com said its new Paris office will help it strengthen its relations with existing and future brand partners, particularly in the fast-growing sectors of luxury, fashion, cosmetics, food, wine and spirits.
A French presence will give the company an in-depth understanding of the development ambitions of its French partners, who are looking to access the 266.3 million active Chinese customers on JD.com.
And in Vietnam JD has signed the share subscription agreement as co-lead investor in Tiki’s recent Series C round of financing. Subject to approval of the investment, JD.com will become one of Tiki’s largest shareholders.
JD will partner with Tiki in a range of areas including merchandising, cross-border trade, logistics and fulfillment, technology, financing, and operational capabilities. JD already has an established e-commerce platform in Indonesia, and recently partnered with Thai conglomerate Central Group to enter Thailand.
“We are very excited to continue our Southeast Asia expansion with Tiki, a company that has a deep understanding of Vietnam and a reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Winston Cheng, president of international at JD.com.
“With JD’s expertise in leveraging social media for e-commerce, Tiki’s partnership with VNG in social network and mobile payments is a natural fit as we aim to provide differentiated services to suppliers and consumers in Vietnam. We look forward to working with Tiki to deliver a truly world class e-commerce experience to Vietnamese consumers.”
“We are delighted to partner with JD.com, China’s most trusted online retailer, as we enter a new phase of growth,” said Son Tran Ngoc Thai, Tiki’s Founder and CEO. “JD and Tiki share the same business philosophy: To win market share by winning consumers’ hearts.”
Tiki was founded by Son in 2010 to sell e-books, toys, digital devices, lifestyle and beauty products with a total of over 300,000 product types. Last year, Tiki and FWD Life Insurance collaborated to sell accident insurance on the e-commerce platform. Alibaba in Southeast Asia which has made some significant investments in the past two years. Alibaba’s Lazada.vn has an e-commerce market share of 36 percent in Vietrnam and Tiki must also compete with Shopee and Zendo.vn.
Tiki and JD will cooperate to deliver a wider authentic selection from global brands to consumers, while helping Vietnamese local brands in expanding internationally via JD’s global platform. Over the past seven years, Tiki has consistently grown triple-digits annually, triple the industry average. Tiki’s vision is to become Vietnam’s largest and most trusted full category e-commerce platform. JD launched its Indonesia business in 2015 and formed its joint venture with Central Group in Thailand in 2017.
Ex-LVMH exec to head JD.com’s Paris ops
JD’s launch of its first European presence comes shortly after JD announced an ambitious agreement with Business France, the country’s official trade promotion agency, to sell €2.0 billion of French goods to Chinese consumers over the next two years. The company also recently announced a partnership with French industrial engineering giant FIVES, to purchase another €100 million in French industrial products.
The partnership with Business France includes the implementation of a ‘one-stop shop’ solution for French brands and retailers to get their products to Chinese consumers quickly and conveniently. Florent Courau will oversee the project, which includes a training program about the Chinese e-commerce market, targeting senior executives across France, as well as the establishment of a logistics center in France to facilitate the transport of French products to China and JD’s customers.
Florent Courau, fluent in both French and Mandarin, has been appointed as managing director for JD.com in Paris and comes with substantial experience from positions at Deloitte Consulting, the LVMH Group where he held various management positions in France and China for 12 years, as well as Sephora in Shanghai.
Courau said: “JD.com is the preferred destination for upwardly mobile Chinese consumers looking for authentic, quality products. Our customers value the quality of French products, making this a critical market for us to further expand our brand relationships. Our Paris office will be committed to providing tailor-made support to our French partners who want to seize the immense opportunity that JD offers.”