JD.com (sort of, not really) partners with Douyin for 618 Shopping Festival

TikTok says it’s launching its own shopping cart, while its mini-app platform will give access to JD.com and other e-commerce platforms.

TIANJIN, CHINA - 2018/01/28: JingDong logo on the shop window. On January 18th, Jingdong X self-service supermarket opened in Binhai New Area of Tianjin. Entering the supermarket by scanning QR code on mobile phone, paying by facial recognition technology, customers can finish their shoppings without any sales assistance. In 2018, the unmanned supermarkets in China will develop rapidly. JD.COM is one of the biggest e-commerce companies in China. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Reports in Chinese media yesterday claimed JD.com and Douyin reached a partnership, where the former would integrate its shopping cart into the popular short-video app for its 618 Shopping Festival.

Then, in a statement to 36Kr, Douyin’s parent Bytedance said the reports were not entirely inaccurate. The company clarified that it had launched its own shopping cart, and that access to JD.com, in addition to other e-commerce platforms, would be possible via its mini-app platform.

JD.com rang alarm bells yesterday when an internal email from founder and chairman Richard Liu said the company had a runway of fewer than two years on based on current funding, with losses in 2018 exceeding RMB 2.8 billion (USD 417.5 million). The company has failed to turn a profit in the past 12 years and recently implemented cost-cutting measures including canceling basic salaries for couriers amid rumored layoffs.

A tie-in with Douyin could help JD.com reach new users and drive sales.

ByteDance launched mini-program features in Jinri Toutiao and Douyin in September and October last year, respectively, and recently tweaked Jinri Toutiao’s interface design to improve accessibility to these programs.