OT: JD.com Launces in Europe

I know Chinese companies do not interest Saul, but this seems like a huge announcement that no one noticed.

They are taking on Amazon directly in Europe.


Chinese online retailer JD.com is ready to take on Amazon in Europe. The company will first launch 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.

Spending $1 billion euros in the next 2 years to build their infrastructure.

This is one I’m watching closely.


Probably means another couple of years without profits if that’s a consideration. Personally I think they are a great alternative to Ali Baba. JD.com and Tencent have much stronger reputations and alliance partnerships and offer China plus ROW opportunities even if not US. Nice complement to Amazon or eBay.

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Probably means another couple of years without profits if that’s a consideration.
It was not for Amazon, and JD is the Amazon of China (Alibaba is the Ebay of China.

Long JD.

Eh? Core commerce remains pretty unprofitable for Amazon and JD has been unprofitable of late.
I’m not dissing JD but it isn’t a profit engine like Ali Baba or Tencent.

Like Saul, I avoid investments in Chinese companies. This is mostly driven by my experiences in China over more than 10 years of visiting the country.

That being said, I’m tempted to put some cash into JD.com. My impression is that this company is worth a hard look. I’ve not done a deep dive, so I’m not too sure about this, but my impression is that they don’t suffer from many of the ills that tend to plague the management of Chinese companies (the major one being that they consider the broader investment community as disloyal or even hostile outsiders).

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I was (and mostly still am) in the same boat – there is definitely a different class of risk in investing in China. One morning they (whomever ‘they’ is over there) could decide that all “online marketplaces” owe the government 10% across the board. Or that selling online is illegal. Or whatever. Definitely less stable and less predictable as other, more mature marketplaces.

That said, the JD.com story was compelling enough to me that I broke my rule back in September or October and added a small position. I keep wanting to add to it, but I stop myself. That may come back to haunt me, but I have to try to be disciplined, right?

They do appear to be doing a LOT of things right and maybe not repeating some of Amazon’s mistakes along the way. It’s not far off to label them the “Amazon of China,” and if that’s so, even my <1% position might be pretty plentiful over time. And if it doesn’t, I’m only out <1%. No real ownership or voting rights either way (you’re actually buying a shell company that holds JD).