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JD.com launches in Europe

Chinese online retailer JD.com is ready to take on Amazon in Europe. The company will first launchs its ecommerce platform and delivery services in France next year. After that, the United Kingdom and Germany are next.

That’s what founder and CEO Richard Liu told the Financial Times yesterday. The Chinese company wants to be everywhere across Europe within a few years and it starts this journey by entering the three biggest European ecommerce markets: France, the UK and Germany.

JD will spend €1 billion in France over next two years

First stop will be France and to build its logistics network there, JD will spend at least one billion euros over the next two years. By comparison, its competitor Amazon said that, since 2010, it has invested 15 billion euros in Europe in six years’ time.

JD also has plans to launch its first European research center. Goal is to open one in Cambridge, UK, in the first half of next year. The research center will be the company’s second outside of China, and will focus mostly on artificial intelligence and big data. Earlier this month, Liu met with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and the entrepreneur said his company will sell over 2.2 billion euros of UK goods to Chinese consumers in the next two to three years.

Fast delivery in Europe

JD is different from competitors Alibaba and Amazon in the fact that the ecommerce company owns and runs its logistics network, which it cites as the reason for the fast deliveries. “Our efficiency mostly comes from the management technology of our logistics. We built our logistics to be online from day one”, Liu explains. “Companies like DHL built their systems on decades-old technology, it’s very hard for them to overturn their systems overnight.”

In Europe though, the company is considering working with local partners for the last-mile delivery, but JD has plans to own its own network of warehouses across the continent.