The news (extracted from Reuters):
- China’s JD is in advanced talks with Thailand’s Central Group to launch an ecommerce joint venture in Thailand with a planned total investment of US$500 million, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
- JD CEO Richard Liu earlier told Reuters that the company plans to enter Thailand later this year and use the kingdom as a hub to service other countries in the region such as Vietnam and Malaysia.
- Almost all of JD’s current investments outside China are in Indonesia, where it is a part-owner of Traveloka, the country’s largest online travel site.
Why it matters:
- The joint venture will help JD, China’s second largest e-commerce retailer, expand its overseas business beyond Indonesia and boost its presence in Southeast Asia where rivals Alibaba and Amazon are ramping up competition with new services, such as the latter’s Prime Now in Singapore.
- JD’s proposed deal with Central Group follows its reported shelved talks with Indonesian etailer Tokopedia, in which it was rumored to have discussed a takeover bid. Tokopedia revealed last week that it had instead raised US$1.1 billion from a group of investors, including Alibaba.
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