Canadian ecommerce giant Shopify has partnered up with one of China’s largest ecommerce firms JD.com to launch a joint venture which will help US merchants access to JD’s 550 million customers.
The deal means that US merchants will be able to start selling in China in just three to four weeks compared with a year, which was typically the amount of time required to launch cross-border sales.
JD will lend its network of 1,300 warehouses and 200,000 delivery personnel to the service as well as providing translation and other any other support that is required.
The Chinese ecommerce behemoth reported a 33% increase in the number of sales over a year to 218.7 billion yuan ($34.4 billion) in its latest quarter.
Shopify has around 1.7 million merchants, many of which are SMEs that sell direct-to-consumer.
Ecommerce sales in China reached an estimated $2.1 trillion in 2021, which is more than double that of the US, according to GlobalData.
All Shopify merchants will receive access to features including automatic customs calculations, duties and FX rates and smart translations of product titles and descriptions. They will also be able to source products from JD.com’s pool of pre-vetted suppliers.
The move comes as a part of a strategy for Shopify to capitalise and keep its pandemic-fulled momentum going post-pandemic.
The ecommerce platform’s gross merchandise value (GMV) was $41.8 billion in its fiscal third quarter, an increase of $10.8 billion or 35% year-over-year.