JD.com Struggles with U.S. Protectionism

On Wednesday, China’s second biggest e-commerce company, JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD)accused the U.S. of practicing serious protectionism against Chinese firms that could backfire on the world’s largest economy. A day prior, the U.S. enforced steep import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels as President Donald Trump hopes to protect American jobs, sparking disapprovals from China and South Korea. Recently, the U.S. government also rejected Chinese firm, Ant Financial’s plan to acquire American money transfer, MoneyGram International Inc. over national security concerns.

“Many friends from other countries discuss protectionism in China but I think things have completely reversed,” JD.com Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Liu said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  “One day it will hurt the U.S. economy too,” said Liu, whose $67 billion online retailer competes with bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding.

Over time, the U.S. government has been increasingly tough on sales of American companies to Chinese firms, hindering JD.com’s ability to overtake rival Alibaba as the largest online retailer in China while also expanding globally. Currently, JD.com is only able to remain focuses in Southeast Asia by looking for local partners to develop business.

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