JD.com joins Tencent in selling 574,000 smartphones

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, 10:17am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 11:26am

China’s second-largest e-commerce company JD.com sold 574,000 smartphones in a five-day promotion offered exclusively on Tencent Holdings’s Mobile QQ, the two companies said on Monday, to show their partnership has paid off.

Investors have scrutinised JD and Tencent, China’s biggest mobile gaming and social media company, for signs of benefits from a US$215 million partnership deal, in which Tencent took a 15 per cent stake in JD.

JD aimed to gain a potent ally in its battle against Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding. So far the deal has proved costly for JD. The company said last week that its quarterly losses widened due to costs related to its Tencent partnership, sending shares lower.

But the two companies have touted the potential for selling JD’s inventory, including big-ticket electronic devices, via Tencent’s popular mobile apps such as QQ and WeChat.

During the August 8 to 12 promotion, the Nokia XL 4G smartphone was sold only through a link within the Mobile QQ app. More than 210,000 people ordered the smartphone on the first day, JD said.

The smartphone, offered by the Finnish handset maker following its acquisition by Microsoft, is now widely available in China including on Alibaba’s Taobao market.