Richard Liu, chief executive to Chinese e-commerce giant JD, told Reuters that the company is planning to enter the Thailand market by end of this year.

The company’s entrance to the Thailand market follows up its foray into the Indonesian market, where it has recently been reported to be in talks for an investment in top Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia.

Liu explained that Thailand would be a hub for servicing other Southeast Asian markets such as Malaysia and Vietnam.

He also said that JD will invest “a lot” in the market though he did not give further detail about the numbers.

However, the number is likely to be smaller than what JD had invested in Indonesia, where the company plans to build five to six new warehouses across the country this year.

“We will invest a lot and also find the best local partners to work together with. Everyone could be possible, but not Lazada,” Liu said.

Liu is confident that JD will be able to compete directly with Alibaba which had been strengthening its foray into the Southeast Asian market with last year’s acquisition of Lazada.

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“When we entered the e-commerce business 12 years ago … Alibaba was already a giant. It couldn’t kill us. How can it do so today?” he said.

“Unless we make some serious strategic mistake, no competitors can actually beat us nowadays,” he stressed.

In May, JD revealed that it has made a first-quarter net profit of RMB355.7 million (US$52.3 million) on revenue, up 41 per cent at RMB76.2 billion (US$11.21 billion). Its active customer accounts total more than 237 million.

In April, the company announced the launch of its own logistics group JD Logistics, led by former Senior Vice President of JD and Head of Fulfillment Operations Zhenhui Wang.

JD has also been pushing for the use of delivery drones between cities and rural areas, with a plan to build 180 drone network “airports” in Sichuan to ease transport of agricultural products in the mountainous region.

In Indonesia, by March JD claimed that it has grown into 14 categories, three warehouses, 300 employees, and achieve 30 to 50 per cent month-on-month growth ever since its launch in November 2015. It also operates its own logistics company Jaya Ekspres Transindo (JX).

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