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Alibaba's Tmall Maintains Ecommerce Lead in China

But JD.com has seen gains over the past few years

September 6, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

Alibaba has long held rival platform JD.com to a distant second place in China’s retail ecommerce sector. But there are signs that JD.com is making steady gains into what once seemed like Alibaba’s insurmountable lead.

According to recent data from Analysys International Enfodesk, Alibaba’s business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce platform Tmall still controlled the largest share of retail ecommerce sales in China in Q2 2017, at 51.3%.

Retail Ecommerce Sales Share in China, by Site, Q2 2017 (% of total)

JD.com was next with a respectable 32.9% share. But JD.com has slowly been advancing on its largest competition. In 2014, Analysys International Enfodesk reported that JD.com accounted for just 17.7% of retail ecommerce sales in the country, while Tmall held a 54.6% share.

While Tmall has seen its share slide slightly over that timeframe, JD.com has made more substantial gains, largely at the expense of smaller online retailers.

But JD.com has also seen its revenues grow thanks to consumers in China moving away from consumer-to-consumer (C2C). The company reported its revenues increased 44% year over year in Q2 2017 to RMB93.2 billion ($14.03 billion), beating analysts’ estimates.

However, the company still reported a net loss for the quarter, which it chalked up to higher marketing costs and expenses related to fulfillment, among other causes.

JD.com has also been working to keep pace with Alibaba’s efforts to expand into Southeast Asia. Local media have been reporting that JD.com is in talks with Thai retailer Central Group to open a joint ecommerce venture in Thailand worth $500 million. JD.com has also joined the ranks of investors in Indonesia’s Go-Jek, a ride-hailing service.

Rahul Chadha

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