JD.com, (NASDAQ:JD), China’s largest retailer, and JD Finance, along with Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate Central Group, and Provident Capital have announced an investment of up to $500 million to establish two joint ventures in Thailand covering e-commerce and fintech services, respectively.
According to company representatives, the terms of the agreement indicate that half of the investment will come from Central Group, with the remainder coming from JD.com, JD Finance and Provident Capital, which is also JD.com’s strategic partner for its Indonesian e-commerce business.
JD.com will provide its expertise in technology, e-commerce and logistics to the e-commerce joint venture.
Meanwhile, the Fintech services joint venture will benefit from JD Finance’s knowledge in the financial technology sector, including its experience building out Fintech services in developing markets using its artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other industry-leading technology capabilities.
Across both businesses, Central Group will leverage its retail resources, including its physical store network, which will serve as key channel and payment locations, its brand and merchant relationships, as well as its retail behavior insights from its customer loyalty program, “The 1 Card.”
To strengthen the product offering, and to accelerate its own channel growth, Central Group will open multiple flagship stores on the e-commerce platform for its department stores and key retail chains, as well as for select brands owned or operated by Central Group.
“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.”
Tos Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Central Group said that JD’s proven track record made them an obvious choice.
“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.”