To foretell where JD.com Inc. is going to expand in Indonesia, follow the cell phone towers.
Wider mobile coverage means more consumers starting to shop online, so the Chinese e-commerce company tracks their construction to decide where to market its web store and set up delivery centres.
JD has four warehouses in the archipelago, with plans to build another three by the end of the year. Staffing has almost tripled to about 400 people in the past 12 months. Within five years, the Beijing-based company plans to have refrigerated trucks delivering fresh food and frozen goods to homes.
“E-commerce is a no-brainer and it’s going to happen,” said Zhang Li, head of JD’s operations in Indonesia.
Indonesia has a population of 261 million and, like China, a growing middle class.
JD.ID, the Indonesian arm of JD.com, may buy local players to grow faster:
JD is also said to be in talks to make a large investment in PT Tokopedia, a major online marketplace. The company won’t comment, but Li said he remains open to growing through local acquisitions.
Indonesia is another major Asian market, growing fast and having its own (infrastructure) challenges.
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