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Why JD.com Has a Strong Appetite for Thai Products

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Demand for Thai products exceeding expectations

JD.com (JD) is showing a strong appetite for Thai products. According to the Bangkok Post, citing JD.com International executive Chenkai Ling, the company is seeking as many Thai products as possible to sell to consumers through its online platform. About 313.8 million consumers shopped actively on JD.com’s online retail site in the second quarter, yielding $18.5 billion in revenue for the company.

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JD.com is looking to increase its listings of Thai products due to their popularity with customers. In June, it launched an online store dedicated to selling Thai products and has seen demand for Thai items exceed its expectations. Ling said sales on the JD Thai platform increased five times faster than JD.com had expected. The platform launched with 400 Thai items.

$88.1 billion retail opportunity in Southeast Asia

JD.com has teamed up with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google to help it expand overseas. It sees its global sales of Thai products hitting ~$3 billion in three to five years.

Thailand is in the Southeast Asia region, where retail online sales are projected to grow to $88.1 billion by 2025 from $5.5 billion in 2015, according to a Google-Temasek study.

In September 2017, JD.com teamed up with Central Group to form a $500 million joint venture focused on e-commerce in Thailand. Central Group is a leading Thai retail conglomerate boasting a vast network of shopping malls and department stores.

Scouting for opportunities in Southeast Asia

Alibaba (BABA) and Amazon (AMZN) are some of the other major e-commerce companies scouting for retail opportunities in Southeast Asia. Alibaba’s international retail increased 64% YoY (year-over-year) to $652 million in the second quarter, while Amazon’s international retail revenue rose 27% YoY to $14.6 billion in that quarter. Groupon’s (GRPN) international revenue increased 12.5% YoY to $237.1 million in the second quarter.

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