China’s JD.com Inc. is preparing to enter the US by the end of this year in a move that will challenge its Chinese rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and US-based Amazon.com, Bloomberg News reported.
JD.com is seeking funds for its international expansion and is in final talks to sell 15 per cent of its logistics arm to shareholder Tencent Holdings Ltd and other investors in an early fund-raising round, Bloomberg reported.
“Southeast Asia is our international focus for now, with the US being a longer-term aspiration,” a spokesman for JD.com said. “We are considering different options, but any near-term efforts in the US would likely look at partnership models.”
Tencent will get about a third of the shares on offer and the deal will be completed by the middle of next month, JD.com founder Richard Liu told Bloomberg in an interview.
The move is a precursor to an initial public offering of the logistics unit in China or Hong Kong in about three years, Liu told Bloomberg.
JD.com has kicked off a fundraising round at its logistics unit with a target of at least $2 billion, and eventually plans to list the business overseas, Reuters reported earlier this month.
Tencent was not available for comment on the Bloomberg report. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., one of the largest shareholders in JD.com with a more than 10 per cent stake, also did not respond to a request for comment. Large Chinese retail companies have been looking to enter the Untied States by tying up with American retailers. Alibaba and US grocer Kroger Co. have had early discussions on working together, a source told Reuters.
These discussions come as Amazon.com expands aggressively into groceries with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.