JD.com, China’s largest retailer and second largest e-commerce player, has launched an office in South Korea as it continues its global expansion.
JD will open an office in Seoul’s central business district in a bid to connect local brands with JD’s more than 300 million customers and increase the company’s procurement power in the region.
South Korea’s skincare and cosmetics products are extremely popular with Chinese consumers, as are Korean baby and maternity, food and beverage and health supplement products. Orders for brands such as Ryo, Orion and Cheong Kwan Jang doubled in the first half of 2018, according to JD data.
Xiaosong Wang, president of JD.com’s fast-moving consumer goods and foods division, said, “More and more Chinese consumers are demanding high-quality products from Korea. Establishing an office in South Korea is a strategic step toward meeting the demand.
“The office will be an easier point of contact for Korean brands and retailers and will help local companies leverage the trust JD has built in China to tap this massive market.”
The South Korean office is the latest step in JD.com’s international expansion, which has seen the company launch offices in New York, Silicon Valley, Paris, Melbourne, and Tokyo.
It is the latest in a string of growth strategies by the e-commerce giant as it steps up its competition with rival Alibaba. This year JD.com has expanded its partnership deals with Tencent and also joined forces with Google, which invested $550m into the company, as it bolsters its business in China and globally.
The launch comes in a flurry of activity from the company, which has also announced the expansion of its boundaryless retail stores 7Fresh across China, following news its CEO was arrested in the US on rape allegations.