China’s online retailer invests in Tiki.vn

JD.com has invested in Vietnam’s Tiki.vn amid growing competition from Alibaba and Amazon in Southeast Asia

China’s JD.com has invested in Vietnam’s Tiki.vn amid growing competition from multinationals such as Alibaba and Amazon in Southeast Asia. Vietnam forms part of JD.com’s latest strategic push in Southeast Asia after Alibaba and Amazon made significant investments in the past year. However, the Chinese online retailer did not disclose the size of the funding it made in the e-commerce company.

But, according to the Vietnamese media reports in November, the round was worth 1 trillion dong ($44.04 million). The investment was made by JD.com along with Vietnamese entertainment and social media firm, VNG Corp. As a result of the deal, the funding will make JD.com one of Tiki’s largest shareholders alongside VNG.

The latest interest of large international e-commerce giants in Southeast Asia is driven by improvement in internet services and an increase in mobile-based payment in the region.

Winston Cheng, president of JD.com’s international business, said in a statement, with JD’s expertise in leveraging social media for e-commerce, Tiki.vn’s partnership with VNG in social network and mobile payments is a natural fit.

JD.com will tap Tiki.vn’s warehousing and delivery system, as well as its technology and payments capabilities.

The partnership between Tiki.vn and VNG is similar to the one between JD.com Inc. and internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Tencent Holdings is an investor in JD.com and Asia’s largest tech firm by market cap.

JD.com leverages data and payments from Tencent’s WeChat, China’s most popular social media app, and will seek to build similar capabilities with VNG and Tiki.vn.

While Alibaba has made big investments in payment and e-commerce ventures in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Amazon has invested in Singapore last month. In its bid to challenge Alibaba-backed online retailer Lazada Group in Southeast Asia, the U.S. retailer launched its subscription-based Prime service in Singapore.

JD.com launched a local online retail business in Indonesia two years ago, and now claims to be the country’ largest retailer by revenue. It also formed a $500 million e-commerce venture with Thai retailer Central Group.

Besides VNG, Tiki.vn’s previous investors include Seedcom, Sumitomo Corp and CyberAgent Ventures.

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