BEIJING, July 17 Chinese e-tailer JD.com
on Thursday relaunched its Paipai online marketplace, opening a
new front in its escalating battle against the country's
e-commerce market leader Alibaba Group Holding IPO-ALIB.N.
Paipai's relaunch marks the first time that JD.com, the No.2
player by market share, has directly taken on Alibaba's core
e-commerce offering, Taobao. Paipai and Taobao both provide an
online marketplaces for consumers and small businesses to sell
goods to one another.
Alibaba, which is preparing for a potentially
record-breaking initial public offering (IPO) in New York this
summer, said in its investor prospectus that gross merchandise
volume on Taobao reached $48 billion during the March quarter.
JD.com acquired Paipai in March as part of a sweeping $215
million deal with Tencent Holdings that effectively
aligned the two companies against Alibaba.
JD.com on Thursday said that it had incorporated its own
search algorithms and delivery infrastructure into Paipai and
would keep advertising rates low to lure new sellers.
The company, which is expected to receive a boost in the
mobile market thanks to its alliance with Tencent, raised $1.78
billion in a May IPO in New York but remains unprofitable.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by David Goodman)