Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com plans to open its first Australian office soon, in Melbournes retail hub Collins Street.
The firm, also known as Jingdong, was founded by Liu Qiangdong in July 1998. It first went online in 2004, and three years later changed its name to 360buy. It has been called JD.com since 2013.
Starting as an online magneto-optical store, it soon diversified, selling electronics, mobile phones, computers and similar items. It is now the world's leading company in high tech and AI delivery through drones, autonomous technology and robots, with the largest drone delivery system in the world.
Vice president of international corporate affairs at JD.com, Josh Gartner, says JD.com currently works with thousands of Australian brands in many of the same categories as its main rival Ali Baba, including supplements, infant formula, other baby products, cosmetics and wine.
Alibaba, also has its Australian headquarters in Melbourne, open since February 2017.
JD.com has 258 million active users who shop on two platforms. One is a larger and more established platform for multinationals and companies with Chinese subsidiaries. There is also a newer cross-border platform intended for smaller sellers.
Both platforms are a mix of traditional retail and marketplace models, with the larger platform more retail, while the cross-border platform is more marketplace.
Gartner said JD.com attracts customers in China because of the company's strict policies against counterfeiting, and their attention to quality and service. Alibaba has been sued by some major Kering Group brands, including Gucci and Balenciaga, over sales of counterfeit goods. The suit was dropped when Kering Group formed a partnership with Ali Baba to fight fake brands.