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JD.com and Penfolds bet big on future of China’s fine wine E-commerce market

As China’s oenophiles search for ways to purchase top imported vintages without the fear of rampant fakes, JD.com is expanding its partnership with Penfolds in order to cash in on surging demand for online wine sales.

On May 4, the Chinese online direct sales company announced that it has expanded its cooperation with the Australian winemaker as it will become the first e-tailer to offer the new Penfolds Max’s wine range in China. Penfolds chose China as the second global location after Australia to offer the new wine collection, which was created in tribute to former chief winemaker Max Schubert.

Demand for wine e-commerce is already significant in China—in 2015, the number of bottles sold on JD.com doubled from the previous year to 22 million. The e-commerce giant launched wine sales five years ago and currently sells imported wines from 12 different countries, including France, Australia, Chile, Spain, Italy, and the United States. Demand for Australian wine is particularly strong, as JD.com’s president of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Business Unit Carol Fung says that “Penfolds has long been one of the top selling brands on JD.com.”

The next step for JD.com’s imported wine business will be to start offering wine brands on its JD Worldwide cross-border e-commerce platform, which will allow Chinese online shoppers to ship bottles directly from wineries abroad. This comes at a time of change for the cross-border e-commerce industry in China—as orders abroad have surged in recent years thanks in part to lower prices than at domestic brick-and-mortar locations, the Chinese government recently introduced a new tariff policy that effectively raises taxes on most goods ordered online that are shipped from abroad into China.

(Source: Jing Daily )

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