(Yicai Global) Sept. 28 -- JD.Com has launched a new online retail platform in Thailand as part of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth's plans to gain a foothold in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy.
JD Central, a joint project with local conglomerate Central Group, came online today following a successful trial, the Beijing-based JD said in a statement.
Similar to the Chinese equivalent platform, JD Central adopts a model combining self-run and third-party businesses and all consumer goods are 100 percent certified as authentic. The platform offers JD's typical wide range of products including electronics, clothes, home appliances, books and music, as well as fast-moving consumer goods.
JD aims to capitalize on the high potential of Thailand's e-commerce market. Despite an internet penetration rate of 82 percent of the population, online sales account for a mere one percent of total retail transactions in the country at present, a report from CBRE Research shows. Sales within the sector in Thailand are expected to expand 8.5 percent this year to reach THB3 trillion (USD92.3 billion), a report from the country's Electronic Transaction Development Agency shows.
JD Central has set up a logistics distribution network covering the whole country and featuring advanced intelligence solutions that integrate storage, sorting, transport and delivery.
Around 80 percent of JD Central's users so far have accessed the platform through their mobiles thanks to the launch of apps on Android and iOS operating systems.
The Thai government has exerted efforts to attract foreign investments in emerging industries through the rollout of preferential policies. JD will help build an efficient logistics network and provide training on e-commerce in Thailand through the platform and aims to assist more small and medium Thai companies in their development.
JD will also import over THB100 billion (USD3.1 billion) of Thai commodities to China over the next three to five years through direct purchasing and its cross-border e-commerce network.
Editor: William Clegg