JD.com moves into gadget making

Chinese online retailer JD.com has chosen CES Asia to unveil two new gadgets to be sold by its JD Smart division.

JD Smart is a recently launched ‘smart device platform and business unit’ which has created what it describes as an ‘open ecosystem initiative’, integrating products from a wide range of manufacturers seamlessly on a JD.com smart platform.

The new products are a DingDong Smart Speaker, developed in partnership with iFlyTech. It’s a voice-controlled device that can pull news, weather and around 3 million songs and 4 million hours of audio content instantaneously from third party sources on the Internet and play them through the high-quality speaker system.

The voice interface system can also assist in schedule management by setting up alarms, calendars and similar planning tools, all via voice commands. The DingDong Smart Speaker uses the JD+ super app (called “Jingdong Weilian” in Chinese) to allow full voice control of all products in the JD+ ecosystem, centralising the user experience.

JD Smart also launched Changhong’s EleCloud Wireless Smart Rechargeable Storage Device to its JD+ ecosystem. The device, which similarly leverages the Weilian app, is an external charger for mobile devices that integrates the functionalities of wireless sharing and a high speed flash drive, allowing users to share documents, music and videos simultaneously with up to more than 30 people.

JD Smart president Zhenhui Wang said the new products underscore JD Smart’s close relationships with manufacturers and its focus on delivering a truly integrated open platform for smart devices.

“Leveraging JD.com’s unrivalled resources, we support our partner companies throughout the development process, including big data analysis of user behavior, smart cloud computing platform, equity crowdfunding through JD Finance for start-ups, marketing support and access to our more than 100 million users for market-ready smart products.”

JD Smart’s ecosystem provides users a convenient single point of control over connected smart devices from participating manufacturers through its Weilian mobile super app.

“We’ve created an ecosystem that allows products from different manufacturers to work together on a seamless smart platform, JD Smart is able to bypass the ‘pain point’ created when a user’s devices can’t talk to each other,” said Leslie Liu, JD Smart’s CTO.

“The DingDong Smart Speaker leverages the Weilian app we have developed to seamlessly integrate into customers’ smart home networks with a single voice command center, avoiding the ‘bottleneck’ of closed platforms.”

Through its JD+ industry partner program, JD Smart builds partnerships with traditional and early-stage hardware manufacturers around the open JD Smart platform. Currently JD+ includes over 100 manufacturers, including Haier, Hisense, Midea, TCL, Joyoung and Fotile, with a total of more than 400 JD Smart-enabled products. JD Smart supports its partner companies through multiple development stages, including providing incubators, accelerators, technological support, go-to-market solutions, supply chain and cloud computing services, as well as access to JD.com’s huge base of upwardly mobile consumers.


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