Shopify teams up with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to make it easier for US merchants to sell to consumers in China
Canadian multinational e-commerce company Shopify announced today it has partnered with China’s JD.com to help U.S. merchants sell their goods in the world’s second-largest economy. The deal will let Shopify merchants in the US and Canada sell on JD’s cross-border platform JD Worldwide and open up access to its 550 million active customers in China.
As part of the deal, JD said it will open an “accelerated channel” for brands on Shopify to begin selling via its cross-border e-commerce site in China. The announcement comes amid tight competition in the e-commerce space in China with players like Pinduoduo, Alibaba Group Holding, and Douyin. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Shopify has dipped its toe into the China market before. In 2020, the company began allowing merchants to accept payment via Alipay, one of China’s two popular digital wallets. However, the latest tie-up with JD is its most significant push yet, as the Chinese e-commerce giant has more than 550 million annual active customers.
In a blog post, Shopify said that a partnership between Shopify and JD.com will unlock the world’s largest e-commerce market for merchants by giving them access to one of China’s leading e-commerce marketplaces. “By letting merchants easily list their products on JD’s cross-border e-commerce platform JD Worldwide, this new sales channel opens access to JD’s 550 million active customers in China who are shopping for authentic, high-quality products from brands all over the world,” Shopify said.
With a population of 1.4 billion, China is home to the world’s largest e-commerce market, estimated to be worth $3.3 trillion by 2025*—that’s more than five times larger than the US e-commerce market**. In fact, over half (52%) of all retail sales in China in 2021 were predicted to come from e-commerce alone***. Despite this enormous potential, China has often remained inaccessible to independent businesses and upstart entrepreneurs abroad. Regulatory and logistical barriers, as well as complexities related to pricing, duties, and translations, can be daunting to deal with for all but the largest of brands.