Enter your email to read the full article.

China’s JD.com Fights Alibaba With Robots, Drones

BEIJING—Richard Liu, the founder of e-commerce company JD.com, long labored in the shadows of his bigger and more famous rival Alibaba.

In early 2011, when JD was much smaller than it is now, Alibaba tried to persuade Mr. Liu to open a JD store inside Alibaba’s online marketplace instead of competing head on against the giant. If Mr. Liu took the offer, Alibaba would promote his business and help bring a lot of traffic. If he didn’t, JD would have to stop using Alibaba’s popular Alipay payment system, according to Mr. Liu. The talks between Alibaba and JD were previously unreported.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 1567 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

How will JD meet the challenge? “We just have to work harder,” Mr. Liu said.

-- Shai Oster contributed to this article.

James Lloyd and Dan Goldin commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
‘The idea is that our revenue can increase five to 10 times, but we don’t have to increase our workforce.’