JD.com Positions to Take on Amazon in the US

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Watch out Amazon. JD.com is coming to America.

China’s second largest online retailer has set its sights on the rest of the world—and the U.S. is a big part of its audacious plan.

Until now, the company, which is valued at $67 billion, has been mostly China-centric but it is now focused on Southeast Asia and late last year it announced intentions to start selling in the U.S. and Europe by the middle of 2018.

“Southeast Asia is our international focus for now, with the U.S. being a longer-term aspiration,” a spokesman for JD.com told Reuters. “We are considering different options, but any near-term efforts in the U.S. would likely look at partnership models.”

The company is likely to pursue a tie up with Walmart, with which it’s had a strategic alliance since 2016.

Within the next decade, founder and CEO Richard Liu wants JD to derive half of its revenue from overseas, according to Bloomberg. Though scaling up will prove cash intensive, Liu isn’t concerned. “JD’s rule is that once we decide to do something we never limit the money,” he is quoted as saying.

To help finance the endeavor, the company is planning to sell 15 percent of its logistics arm to Tencent Holdings, according to Bloomberg. Within the next three years Liu said the company will pursue an initial public offering for the business unit in China or Hong Kong.

And it looks like Los Angeles will be its new home here because the West Coast has a high concentration of Chinese and Chinese Americans. The company has reportedly been studying the market for two years.

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JD is making the push into the U.S. despite what Liu sees as “serious” protectionism from the current administration. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said “One day it will hurt the U.S. economy too.”

For its part, Alibaba, JD.com’s biggest rival, has been in talks with Kroger Co on a potential partnership in the U.S. market.

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