Cheap and good? JD launches new social commerce platform to capture group buying in low tiered cities

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Han Rui, the VP of JD Group and the head of JD retail business, announced the official launch of social commerce platform Jing Xi. ©JD
Han Rui, the VP of JD Group and the head of JD retail business, announced the official launch of social commerce platform Jing Xi. ©JD

Related tags wechat social commerce

China’s e-commerce giant has launched a new social commerce platform for selling low priced products, including health foods, in a bid to capture the market in low tiered city markets.

Named as “Jing Xi”, the platform, which can be found on WeChat, seeks to drive group purchase by stimulating the users to share and recommend the products which are then sold at discounted prices to others. 

Already a number of health supplements are being sold at discounted rates. For example, a tin of protein powder from BY-HEALTH could be sold at RMB$308 (US$43), and for every RMB$200 (US$28) spent, consumers get a RMB$40 (US$5) discount.

Others, such as a bottle of Blackmores’ fish oil capsules, could be sold at as low as RMB$94 (US$13).

On the platform, consumers can leave their reviews for the products bought.

Commenting on the platform, JD Group’s VP, Han Rui, who is also the head of JD retail platform business, said it sold “low cost but not low quality”​ products.

The platform makes use of traffic flow from six sources, such as Jing Xi’s WeChat mini program, WeChat, Jing Xi APP, and QQ.

The firm believes that the platform can complement by catering to a different group of consumers, in this case, audience from the low tiered cities.

It also aims to offer a different shopping setting and experience for consumers, such as promoting sales through live-streaming and video clips as the country embraces the 5G technology.

The app was officially introduced when the firm was announcing the launch of its upcoming double 11 shopping event.

Han said that the app would provide extensive discounts, with over 100 million products going at RMB$1 during the shopping event.

He added that the firm was able to sell cheap products as it was sourcing the products directly from the manufacturing factories, hence saving distributors’ cost. 

Tested and trialled method?

Social commerce is increasingly seen as a crucial channel for selling health foods in China and more firms are jumping onto the bandwagon.

It is believed that social commerce drives sales by satisfying the consumers’ demands for trusted recommendations.

Big Chinese health foods firms such as Wahaha and BY-HEALTH are already using social commerce, whereas multinational firms such as Danone also said the use of social e-commerce had spurred sales growth​, especially in low tiered cities. 

The recent phenomenon of group bulk buying in China can be traced to the success of Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform famous for selling products at ridiculously low rates​. It went publicly listed in NASDAQ in August last year.

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