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China's JD.com says Brexit will be good for business

BritCham / CBBC
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The Telegraph, 30/06/16
 
Chinese online retail giant JD.com has said that Britain leaving the European Union will boost trade with the country and exports.
 
JD.com, the largest Chinese online retailer by sales, has this week launched a “British Mall" channel dedicated to selling British products to its 170 million-strong user base.
 
The brands include Johnnie Walker whisky, Marks & Spencer clothes, Clarks shoes and Cow & Gate milk as well as merchandise by Liverpool FC. Last year JD.com sold more than a quarter of a million bottles of Scotch whisky.
 
Tony Qui, the head of JD Worldwide, said that British brands were particularly popular with Chinese shoppers. “As disposable income is rising in China there is an increasing demand for quality and imported products and goods from the UK are the most popular,” he said.
 
"From a business perspective there will be an immediate impact because the purchase price will be lower as the pound falls in price,” Mr Qui said. “We will pass this on to the consumers and so as UK products because cheaper, they will have a competitive advantage in comparison to other countries."
 
The JD.com boss said that in the longer term he thought that Britain leaving the EU would mean “the trade relationship will get stronger and stronger”.
 
“I know there are some people who are not happy with the result but we are optimistic. I think there will be a positive outcome for business in China,” said Mr Qui.
 
David Cameron last year launched a charm offensive with Chinese business leaders on the basis of the Government's ability to open doors to trading in Europe. Mr Cameron, who will step down in September following the vote to leave the EU, told President Xi that Britain would be Beijing's "best partner in the West". 
 
Chinese state media reported last week that a foreign ministry spokesman said it was hoped the "UK and EU could reach a successful agreement".
 
Last year, during his state visit, President Xi urged Britain to remain in the EU to play a "constructive role in promoting the deepening development of China-EU ties".
 
Earlier this month JD.com agreed a deal with Walmart that resulted in the US owner of supermarket chain Asda taking a 5pc stake in the Chinese company in exchange for gaining greater exposure to the Asian market. 
 
JD.com is the biggest rival to online shopping conglomerate Alibaba in China and controls around 30pc of the Chinese consumer market. The company is listed in New York and valued at £29.8bn.
 
 
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