JD.com is the largest retailer in China and the ecommerce firm has accepted a commercial deal with Santander UK, which will allow the bank to open the Far East to SMEs.
Santander and JD.com signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2016 and a selected customers have been given access to the China growth opportunity, but the pair are hoping to grant access to many more in 2018.
The partnership will allow SMEs to open ecommerce stores on JD.com Worldwide. The conditions stipulate that businesses must have a Santander UK bank account and experience of international trading, with a recommended turnover of at least £10m.
Those successful will have access to the 266.3m active JD.com customers, as well as the site’s customisable logistics support. The companies referred to Goldman Sachs research, highlighting that the middle class in China is set to reach 600m people by 2025, with 200m additional online shoppers. Additionally, online retail sales are expected to double and hit $1.7bn by 2020.
John Carroll, head of international business at Santander Corporate & Commercial Bank said: “Facilitating these connections between customers and genuine business opportunities (across borders) is the essence of what we’re trying to do with our international business.
“We are thrilled to announce our official partnership with JD.com, which allows our SME customers to start selling their products in China via JD.com Worldwide’s extensive network that is dedicated to providing Chinese customers with quality products from around the world.”
This international growth development builds on one launched by the government in December. It saw the Department for International Trade work with US online marketplace Newegg to let UK tech SMEs showcase and sell goods to American consumers.
Continuing on the China agenda, Kaisi Li, deputy GM of JD.com Worldwide, added: “Through our cross-border ecommerce platform, we are making it easier than ever for international merchants to tap into the potential of the China market.
“This partnership with Santander opens up many more opportunities to SMEs across the UK. Demand for imported products in China is strong and growing rapidly, and we’re excited to work with Santander to enable more UK-based brands to benefit from the growth of this huge market.”
With almost 1.4bn consumers, it’s not just Premier League clubs that are eager for success in China – many UK businesses see the country as a huge growth opportunity. But there’s a right and a wrong way to enter the market, as Chelsea FC found out the hard way.