Thai retailer Central Group has entered into a US$500m joint venture (JV) with Chinese e-tailer JD.com.
The JV will allow JD.com to expand its presence in Southeast Asia to counter competitors Amazon and Alibaba, while Central Group will gain access to JD.com’s technology and logistics services, moving a step closer to being Thailand’s leading e-tailer.
“Thailand’s large population and developed infrastructure, including strong national logistics networks, give it tremendous potential for both e-commerce and fintech services,” said Richard Liu, JD.com’s chairman and CEO. “Working with Thailand’s strongest retail conglomerate, with a massive shopping mall and department store network, gives us a huge competitive advantage as we expand further into Southeast Asia.”
Central Group will contribute US$250m to the JV, with the remaining US$250m coming from JD.com, its fintech subsidiary JD Finance and its strategic partner for its Indonesia e-commerce business Provident Capital.
The leading Thai retailer will continue to expand its omni-channel presence, opening several flagship stores on the JD.com platform.
“JD’s proven track record of successfully building out national online retail businesses made it the obvious choice to be our e-commerce partner,” said Tos Chirathivat CEO of Central Group. “Thailand’s mobile-driven population, with its increasing consumer spending power, means that e-commerce is ready to explode, and this partnership is poised to capture the country’s consumers as they migrate online. This move marks a key step in Central Group’s goal to become Thailand’s online retail leader.”