JD.com Cashes In On Livestreaming

What Happened: Domestic e-tail giant JD.com has ramped up its livestreaming efforts by opening a base that is specifically dedicated to this lucrative medium in Shaanxi Province. JD.com will offer several resources for local businesses who want to roll out their own livestreams, including hosts and other livestream talents. Many MCNs (Multi-Channel Networks), which are companies that support channel owners on video platforms, have already begun cooperating with the base. Also of note is that JD.com has kicked off a livestream contest that will run until October 30. This news coincides with the creation of a short-video e-commerce livestream committee by the Shaanxi E-commerce Industry Association.

The Jing Take: Livestreaming is a relatively untapped phenomenon in the West, but it is now a government-regulated sector in China, and everyone from celebrities to politicians has tried their luck at hosting livestreams. During the pandemic, Chinese interest in livestreaming skyrocketed, and platforms have been doubling-down on incorporating it into their models or further perfecting it. Though JD.com has been livestreaming since 2016, this venture advances its positioning in the field and will likely ruffle some feathers among its competitors.

In a global context, citizens’ reception of livestreaming is indicative of the pace at which China is open to change, thanks to the technology at its disposal. Additionally, by accelerating traditional enterprises and getting local merchants “up and running with digital development,” regional ecosystems across the country have been buoyed, ensuring a strategy where all businesses can benefit through access. These developments are an indicator of the levels of engagement and connectivity Chinese consumers now expect from brands. Thus far, international luxury brands have been slow to tap into this new medium, and, over the long term, slow-footed brands are likely to be left on the outside looking in.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.