The “Amazon of China” to sell UK properties online

E-commerce behemoth JD.com will feature properties from around the globe alongside wedding dresses and milk.

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International properties in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom will now be available for sale on JD.com, due to an unprecedented deal struck between the e-commerce giant and Juwai.com – the largest real estate website in China.

The two companies sealed the deal at a lavish signing ceremony, and the integration became accessible to buyers in April.

Skimming through JD.com, the website offers visitors everything from household items, to clothes, electronics, food and drink, and now properties. JD serves 292.5 million customers, who will now be able to view international real estate listings. Should they show an interest, a Juwai representative will contact the customer offering assistance and the opportunity to complete the purchase.

CEO of Juwai.com Carrie Law said of the collaboration: “We are truly excited to be launching this partnership with JD.com, which is not just one of China’s but one of the globe’s most advanced commerce and e-commerce companies.

“This partnership with JD.com is incredibly innovative and exciting on one level, but on a deeper level it simply represents Juwai.com continuing to fulfil its core mission of helping Chinese become global residents and investors.”

China is the biggest e-commerce market in the world; consumers spent more than $375bn on e-commerce purchases in the first six months of 2017. The United States, Australia, Canada and the UK are the top four choices for Chinese buyers of international property worth £1m and up – they receive more Chinese interest than any other nationality. Combining this interest in international real estate, and what seems to be the preferred Chinese mode of purchasing is expected to streamline the investment process, and increase the rate.

The influx of Chinese capital into cities across the UK has caused political division and led to criticisms of price inflation, as well as pushing full-time UK residents out of the housing market. With bold developments like this deal between Juwai and JD, this trend doesn’t look set to reverse in the near future.

Augusta Riddy is a Special Projects Writer at the New Statesman.