Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has gaming ambitions. This is its strategy – CNBC

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has gaming ambitions. This is its strategy – CNBC

JD.com’s booth at the China Joy gaming conference in Shanghai on July 30, 2021. The Chinese e-commerce giant is investing heavily in gaming.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

SHANGHAI — At China Joy, one of Asia’s biggest gaming conferences held in Shanghai, e-commerce giant JD.com built a booth featuring the giant version of its dog mascot Joy, where gamers gathered to compete against one another.

The display underscores JD.com’s ambition in the gaming space. But it’s not looking to take on the likes of Tencent and NetEase by making games.

Instead, the Beijing-headquartered firm wants to be the go-to place for young people to buy gaming-related goods and it sees e-sports and partnerships with device manufacturers as a way to do that. This could also drive growth in other parts of its business.

“We have the capabilities to … round up the entire ecosystem,” Daniel Tan, president of JD Mobile Devices, told CNBC.

What JD is doing in gaming

There are a few aspects to JD’s gaming business. Firstly, millions of shoppers buy products on JD’s platform and give feedback. JD can work with partners to share that feedback to help them improve their products.

Last year, JD announced plans to work with companies such as Chinese PC-maker Lenovo and gaming giant Tencent to develop smartphones enhanced for mobile gaming. That means JD can also distribute these and target gamers through its shopping app.