Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com exits Australia – Financial Review
What happened: Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has quietly closed its Australian office fewer than 15 months after opening the location with great fanfare in February last year. The head of its Australian operations, Patrick Nestrel, has departed. However, the company will continue to conduct business in Australia and New Zealand and its partnerships with exporters from the region are unchanged. Staff in China will take over Australian operations.
Why it’s important: Globalization and cross-border e-commerce has been an important theme among Chinese e-commerce giants for the past few years. To keep up with the trend, JD.com had singled out Australia, New Zealand, and Europe for the first phase of its global expansion plans. Facing a slowing macro economy, a scandal involving its founder, internal turmoil, and financial pressure, the online retailer has been struggling since late last year to keep up its growth momentum. JD is pulling the plug on its Australian office in a reshuffle to retain focus on businesses that are more profitable.. The restructuring is also affecting JD’s expansion to Europe. Company founderd Richar Liu announced last July that JD will enter the region to compete with Amazon and Alibaba. An office in Germany and a logistics hub in France were on the program, but now these plans may be on hold.