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Shopify steps up China's expansion through a tie-up with e-commerce giant JD.com

Shopify and JD.com expand e-commerce in China

January 19, 2022: -Shopify has partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to help U.S. merchants sell their goods in the world’s second-largest economy.

The deal marks a significant step up in Shopify’s China expansion and is another step in J.D.’s internationalization efforts.

J.D. said it would open an “accelerated channel” for brands on Shopify to begin selling via its cross-border e-commerce site in China. Merchants can set up shop in three to four weeks rather than the typical 12 months that it takes foreign brands to begin selling in China, J.D. said.

J.D. will handle the price conversion and logistics from the U.S. to China. J.D. has its own logistics arm with a vast network of delivery workers and warehouses, which it sees as a competitive advantage over its rival Alibaba.

Shopify and J.D. will also “collaborate to simplify access and compliance for Chinese brands and merchants looking to reach consumers in Western markets,” they said.

Shopify has dipped its toe into the China market before. In 2020, the company began allowing merchants to accept payment via Alipay, one of China’s two popular digital wallets. Alibaba affiliate Ant Group runs Alipay.

But the tie-up with J.D. is its most significant push yet, as the Chinese e-commerce giant has more than 550 million annual active customers.

For J.D., bringing more foreign brands and products onto its platform can help it differentiate itself from its rival Alibaba.

But it also furthers J.D.’s international push, a key focus for the company. Last week, J.D. opened its first physical retail stores in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has targeted increasing national online retail sales by around 44% between 2021 and 2025. J.D. and Alibaba will be a vital part of that push.

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