Central Group launching JVs with JD.com

Thai retail conglomerate Central Group has teamed up with China retailer JD.com and Provident Capital to establish two joint ventures in Thailand with an aggregate investment of up to US$500 million.

Under the agreement, half of the investment will come from Central Group and the rest from JD.com, its finance arm JD Finance and Provident Capital, which is also JD.com’s strategic partner for its Indonesian e-commerce business. One of the JV firms will cover e-commerce services and the other will be a fintech company.

The partnership will draw on Central Group’s retail resources including its store network, which will serve as key omni-channel and payment locations, as well as its brand and merchant relationships. Retail behaviour insights from its loyalty program will also be brought to the table. On the other side, JD.com will provide its extensive expertise in technology, e-commerce and logistics.

“Thailand’s mobile-driven population, with its increasing consumer spending power, means e-commerce is ready to explode,” says Central Group CEO Tos Chirathivat. “This move marks a key step with Central Group’s goal to become Thailand’s online retail leader.”

Central will open multiple flagship stores on the JV e-commerce platform for its department stores and key retail chains as well as selected brands.

“Thailand’s large population and developed infrastructure, including strong national logistics networks, give it tremendous potential for both e-commerce and fintech services,” says JD.com chairman/CEO Richard Liu.


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