JD Central, an e-commerce joint venture between China’s largest retailer JD.com and Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate Central Group, officially announced the launch of its operations in Thailand on Thursday.
The venture will help JD expand its footprint in Southeast Asia, following its establishment of an e-commerce platform in Indonesia and its strategic investment in Vietnam’s B2C e-commerce company Tiki, it said in a statement.
In September last year, Central Group and JD.com had announced two joint ventures for e-commerce and fintech with Provident Capital with an aggregate investment of up to $500 million. Under the agreement, half of the investment would come from Central Group and the remainder from JD.com, its finance arm JD Finance and Provident Capital.
“This move will transform the local market and unlock the boundless consumer potential of the nation’s large population, with the ultimate goal of becoming the most trusted brand in Thailand,” JD Central CEO Vincent Yang said.
JD Central opened its platform to the public on June 18 and offers both direct sales and marketplace models. It claims that it has received online orders 15 times higher than its initial target.
According to Thai media reports, it plans to have five warehouses within this year and launch an automated retail store in Bangkok next year.
Through its partnership with local delivery service providers, it will also offer same-day delivery in Bangkok and surrounding areas to serve 25 million prospective customers by 2019.
Yang said e-commerce in Thailand will represent 10 per cent of the total retail market in three years, increasing from 3-5 per cent currently.