jd.com takes on Alibaba

JD, China's number two e-commerce firm, will invest 397 million dollars in fashion retailer Farfetch to expand its luxury offerings. JD is locked in fierce competition with Alibaba for China's high end retail market.

JD will become a major shareholder in the UK firm. The partnership will combine the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese e-commerce giant.

Farfetch will be integrated into JD's existing logistics and marketing systems and the former will also employ JD's online finance tools, including its payment service and microcredit feature.

The deal comes as JD is looking to broaden its offering of luxury and branded consumer goods. Its largest domestic rival Alibaba has expanded heavily into branded goods with its online marketplace Tmall.

JD initially gained popularity as a retail platform for electronics and appliances, but it has since leveraged its extensive in-house logistics network to expand into a range of products including grocery, apparel and on-demand services.

JD has a high-end delivery service, JD Luxury Express, where staff in suits and white gloves deliver packages directly to customers' homes using electric vehicles.

Online UK fashion retailer Farfetch has partnered with 700 global luxury brands and boutiques.

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