JD.com launches online store to sell US brands in China

BEIJING (REUTERS) - JD.com Inc, the no. 2 Chinese e-commerce company, said it would start selling U.S. products to customers in China through a new store on its website, as it looks to battle competition from bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Both companies have recently started exclusive stores that offer products from countries including Japan, France, South Korea and Australia.

JD.com also said on Monday that it would be the first authorized seller of Taylor Swift merchandise in China, which will include a line of clothes designed by the singer exclusively for JD.com customers.

JD.com and Alibaba have been vying to attract big, international brands onto their sites.

Bagging international names can be a huge credibility boost and a sign of implicit trust in China, a market notorious for the proliferation of fake and knock-off products.

JD.com said the "US Mall" would feature American brands such as Converse, Samsonite, and major apparel labels that are part of the Global Brands Group, including Nautica Kids and Jeep apparel.

Earlier on Monday, Fast Retailing Co Ltd said it had closed the online Uniqlo store that it opened in April on JD.com, citing a conflict with its China e-commerce strategy.

JD.com's US-listed shares were little changed at US$35.39 (S$48.38) on the Nasdaq. Up to Friday's close, the stock had gained about 53 per cent this year.