Central Group, Thailand leading retail group, JD.com, China's largest retailer and leading Chinese fintech company JD Finance, today announced an aggregate investment of up to $500 million to establish two joint ventures in Thailand covering e-commerce and fintech services, respectively.
Under the terms of the agreement, half of the investment will come from Central Group, with the remainder coming from Under the terms of the agreement, half of the investment will come from Central Group, with the remainder coming from JD.com, JD Finance and Provident Capital, which is also JD.com’s strategic partner for its Indonesian e-commerce business.
Across both the ecommerce and the fintech business, Central Group will leverage its extensive retail resources, including its physical store network, which will serve as key omni-channel and payment locations, its brand and merchant relationships, as well as its retail behavior insights from its popular customer loyalty program, “The 1 Card” . To strengthen the product offering,and to accelerate its own omni-channel business growth,Central Group will open multiple flagships stores of its omnichannel businesses on the new joint e-commerce platform.
On the other side, On the other side, JD.com will provide its extensive expertise in technology, e-commerce and logistics to the e-commerce joint venture. Meanwhile, thefintech services joint venture will benefit from JD Finance’s deep knowledge in the financial technology sector, including its experience building out easy-to-use fintech services in developing markets using its artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other industry-leading technology capabilities.
“JD’s proven track record of successfully building out national online retail businesses made it the obvious choice for our e-commerce partner,” said Tos Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Central Group.
“Thailand’s mobile-driven population, with its increasing consumer spending power, makes e-commerce is ready to explode, and this partnership is poised to better serve the country’s consumers as they migrate online. This move marks a key step in Central Group’s journey to become Thailand’s online retail leader.”
“Thailand’s large population and developed infrastructure, including strong national logistics networks, give it tremendous potential for both e-commerce and fintech services,” said Richard Liu, JD.com’s Chairman and CEO. “Working with Central Group, Thailand’s strongest retail group, with a massive shopping mall and department store network, gives us a huge competitive advantage as we expand further into Southeast Asia.”