JD.com in Silicon Valley

While going through the News Republic app last evening, I was intrigued to find out that JD.com opened offices in Silicon Valley. Westerners are no doubt unfamiliar with JD.com (Jingdong Mall) but if you've ever worked in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, you'll no doubt either ordered from their online service via a friend, or spotted one of their delivery trikes.

Tech Crunch reports that the Chinese company will be focusing on cloud computing, mobile applications, and big-data infrastructure in an attempt to compete with e-commerce giant Alibaba. Although I'm a huge fan of their online shopping site (the Chinese version not the English version which has less products), I never really saw JD.com as a technology or online services company. Hopefully, JD.com, formerly 360Buy.com, survives the cutthroat environment in Silicon Valley, where startups can die before they've even uhm...started.

As a side note, JD.com as a shopping site is far more successful in China than Amazon.cn, the Chinese leg of Jeff Bezos' globally beloved/loathed Amazon company. Amazon is less than a shadow of its powerful self in the China, though that isn't to say it hasn't made any mark on the Middle Kingdom. You will actually see people in the subway in Shanghai and Beijing toting a Kindle Paperwhite despite the utter lack of Amazon online services being offered in Asia. I've ordered from Amazon.cn myself, but mostly due to its English user interface and easy payment using UnionPay. When it comes to computer accessories and hardware, however, I refer to JD.com and ask my local colleagues to order for me. The prices aren't always as cheap as in the US but the selections in JD are better than other Chinese online shopping sites (including Amazon.cn).


Related articles:

Online service tested: Amazon.cn

Buying Electronics in Beijing: Zhongguanchun vs. Chaoyangmen Part 2


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