Online retailer JD.com launched a volley across Alibaba’s bow Wednesday with the launch of JD Worldwide, a new platform allowing foreign companies to sell directly to Chinese consumers, The Wall Street Journal reported. Online shopping for foreign goods is seen as a key growth driver for both firms, but with just 1,200 foreign brands JD.com’s new venture still has some catching up to do with Alibaba’s Tmall Global site, which launched in February of 2014 and currently boasts 5,400 foreign brands. Retail transactions accounted for RMB273 billion (US$44 billion) or 6.5% of China’s cross-border transactions last year, according to a study from the China e-Business Research Center.
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