Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com is opening its first Australian office in Melbourne later this month.

Similar to Alibaba which opened an office in Melbourne 12 months ago, JD’s operations will focus on getting Australian businesses to list their products on its online marketplace.

It’s an opportunity for local brands, franchisees and retailers to more easily access the domestic Chinese market and JD’s 266 million active users.

The Australia and New Zealand regional headquarters will be located Melbourne’s Collins Street and its staff of business development officers will be tasked with finding businesses to meet the growing Chinese demand for Australian products.

“Australian and New Zealand brands are in strong demand on JD.com, especially in the categories of food, agriculture, dairy and cosmetics. This office will help local products access that demand. We look forward to strengthening and promoting the trading relationship between these two great countries and China,” said Winston Cheng, JD.com’s President of International.

Richard Liu, JD.com’s Chairman and CEO, said the company wants to be a trusted partner to help brands and retailers “build their brand and protect their IP in China.”

Tencent is a major shareholder in JD and has been active in the Australian market, conducting events in Sydney and Melbourne late last year to educate Australian businesses about its WeChat platform.

Through JD’s exclusive partnership with Tencent, Australian businesses will have more expsoure to the marketing oppurtunities available on the Chinese social media network.

JD said it chose Melbourne because of the city’s access to an abundance of local suppliers, Australia’s only 24-hour shipping port and a supportive local government.

Philip Dalidakis, Victorian Minister for Investment and Trade, said the government is working closely with JD to connect them with businesses in Victoria.

“We’re excited to have such an important ecommerce company in JD.com opening its Australian and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne – this move is confirmation that we truly are Australia’s ecommerce capital,” Dalidakis said.

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