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CHINA BRIEF | JD.com sputters launch of B2B car dealing app

The new app is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform designed for car dealers, but is yet to be “officially released”.

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Chinese online retailer JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) on July 17 launched Dong Che Hui, an app for car dealers to buy automobiles from manufacturers and other dealers, but quickly removed it from Apple’s app store. The new platform is the latest move for the e-commerce conglomerate to expand into the auto industry.

Dong Che Hui, which roughly translates to “Dong Car Deal” in English (from the surname of Liu Qiangdong, founder of JD.com), makes transactions among vehicle dealers more efficient, allowing them to search by brand, model, price, location, and color, as well as inquire about vehicles they are looking for. They can also manage and list vehicles they have in storage on the app.

The company did not address why it took down the app, but told KrASIA on Tuesday that “Dong Che Hui is now under internal test, and hasn’t been officially released.”

The spokesperson added that they “will introduce the app to media and industry once it’s online.”

JD.com already owns an enormous e-commerce car unit, which includes auto sales, supplies, and aftermarket businesses. In 2018, it launched a chain of physical auto service stores, Jing Che Hui, which also offers online services.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.