JD.com Silently Exits Aussie Waters

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 09 May 2019

Commerce platform, JD.com, has left Australia after only 15 months due to losses, while strengthening relationships with NZ fresh produce distributors.

JD.com, also known as Jindong, is one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms. The Fortune 500 company has recently wrapped up shop in Australia, after a short 15 months in the country. The Beijing-based retailer sells Australian dairy products, food, cosmetics and vitamins to residents in China.

JD.com closed its Melbourne office this week, where a small handful of staff is employed. A spokesperson for JD.com explained that the retailer is “integrating the Australia office into the business in China. Australia’s importance doesn’t change, and the business is going well.”JD has ties with Australia Post, a2 Milk, Treasury Wine Estates and Austrade.

JD.com said that despite the closure of its Australian office, there would be no changes to its services or partnerships across the country and New Zealand. Patrick Nestrel, the head of Australian operations has left the role. A JD.com spokesperson explained: “We continue to build strong partnerships with brands in a range of categories – including wine, health supplements, baby and maternal, food and beverage, cosmetics and others.”

The company set its sights on Australia as part of its global expansion plans. In a 2018 interview, Nestrel noted that JD was “optimistic [they] can make that a new revenue stream [in Australia] in the next 12 months.”

JD.com’s history goes back to 2004 when a retail business was founded by Richard Qiangdong Liu. In 2007, Liu’s wholly owned subsidiary, Beijing Jingdong Century Trade Co., Ltd, was established and acquired previously owned retailers to create the e-commerce platform in 2011.

JD.com offers same-day fresh fruit delivery

The Chinese e-commerce giant announced its latest venture by distributing kiwifruit and ‘snack-sized’ apple harvests from New Zealand to consumers. New Zealand distributors, Rockit Global Limited and Zespri, partnered with JD.com in April 2019. The NZ fruit exports to China have reached NZ$606 million in the past couple of years. In 2018, NZ fresh-fruit sales grew 80 per cent with its partnership with JD.

The platform currently imports fresh produce from over 50 countries and regions to China and offers same-day and next-day delivery services to consumers. “With over 300 million customers and same- and next-day delivery ability, JD is undoubtedly the best partner for us bring our premium quality, New Zealand-grown apples to Chinese dining tables,” explained Austin Mortimer, CEO of Rockit Global Limited.

JD’s Q1 report will release on Friday, recording average positive earnings of 60 per cent. The company is estimated to surpass AUD$249 billion, which indicates 18-22 per cent growth year over year.

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