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JD.com to launch unified grocery group-buying service

Written by Song Jingli Published on     2 mins read

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Critics say that big companies are squeezing traditional small vendors.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is to unveil a neighbourhood group buying brand called JD Youxuan, to enlarge its presence in the red-hot sector, 36Kr reported on Friday, citing unidentified corporate sources.

JD Youxuan (Youxuan means ‘good selection’) will go online between the end of next month and the start of January to first serve residents in East China’s Shandong province on a pilot basis.

No further details on the service have been made public yet. Neighborhood group-buying typically involves people teaming up on a platform to buy products with a group discount, to pick them up themselves at a physical location, or to have them delivered a few hours later or on the following day.

JD.com is not a newcomer to the grocery group-buying sector. That’s unlike ride-hailing firm Didi, e-commerce company Pinduoduo, and food-delivery app Meituan, which entered the sector this year, and the short-video platforms ByteDance and Kuaishou, which are reportedly venturing into the sector.

JD Youxuan will merge JD’s earlier group-buying businesses including Youjia Puzi, which was launched as early as November 2018, as well as the existing mini programs Ququgou, which was acquired in the same year, and JD Ququgou, which went online in 2019.

The internal reshuffle indicates that JD.com has lifted neighborhood group-buying business to a more important level at a time when big-name companies are all spending heavily in the emerging sector.

JD.com has not replied to KrASIA’s request for comment.

Zhuang Shuai, a retail veteran and founder of Bailian Consulting, told KrASIA last week that large internet giants have entered this sector after startups like Xingsheng Youxuan achieved RMB 10 billion (USD 1.5 billion) in gross merchandise volume, indicating its capability to further scale up.

Didi’s CEO Cheng Wei said the company aims to be the number one in the sector, and in order to achieve this goal, the business named Chengxin Youxuan doesn’t have a spending limit.

The sector is drawing much more public attention, and critics say that big companies only squander billions just to deliver cheaper vegetables which will inevitably squeeze traditional small vendors who struggle to survive.

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