Chinese e-commerce behemoth JD.com has closed its office in Australia after just having opened it in February last year. This comes amid a string of negative press about JD, involving layoffs in China and a rape allegation against founder Richard Liu.
In a statement to KrASIA on Thursday, the Beijing-based company said that its Melbourne office was initially set up to “maker it easier for Australian brands to enter China”. JD sells Australian wine, food and beverage items, health supplements, mom and baby products, and cosmetics among other things to millions of Chinese consumers through its e-commerce business. JD is China’s second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba’s Taobao and it has more than 200 million monthly active users, according to data from Quest Mobile.
JD said the closure of its Australian office is a “normal” change because after years of hard work the local office has “completed its historical mission,” according to the statement. The services this office provided will now be integrated and managed by JD’s domestic team in China. The head of JD’s Australian operations, Patrick Nestrel, has left the company, according to the Australian Financial Review, which first broke the news.
An unnamed JD spokesperson quoted by AFR said its service and partnership with Australian and New Zealand exporters would not be affected.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad