China's online direct seller JD.com opens store to sell US goods on its site

MarketsAssociated Press

JD.com, China's largest online direct retailer, is launching a new channel to sell U.S. goods on its site.

"U.S. Mall" will sell American brands ranging from Converse to Nautica to a rapidly growing middle class in China.

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JD.com operates like a department store, buying goods from suppliers and re-selling them on its site. The Beijing company controls the flow of merchandise from the supplier to the customer's door. It operates its own distribution network of more than 100 warehouses and a fleet of thousands of bright red delivery vehicles emblazoned with its logo of a grinning dog named Joy.

CEO Richard Liu addressed the issue of counterfeit goods directly, which has become a problem for companies like Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba. The site, which global retailers use to reach Chinese consumers, has been criticized about the number of counterfeit goods bought and sold there.

"As American companies increasingly understand our core advantages of zero tolerance towards counterfeits and unparalleled same-day delivery capabilities, we are gaining excellent momentum attracting U.S. brands to our site," said Liu.

DHL will handle delivery logistics for JD.com's U.S. Mall as the appetite for U.S. goods explodes. The total value of U.S. exports from the U.S. into China totaled $123 billion last year, according to DHL.

Other brands that will be sold on the site include Samsonite, Ocean Spray, Nautica Kids and Jeep apparel.

The company is also selling a line of clothes designed with singer Taylor Swift.

The U.S. is the fifth country-specific channel for JD.com. It also sells imported products from Australia, France, Japan and Korea.

Shares of JD.com, which went public on the Nasdaq in May 2014, slipped 32 cents to $35 in midday trading. The stock is up 53 percent since the beginning of the year.