China’s JD buys £314m stake in fashion store Farfetch

The Chinese firm is placing a greater focus on high-end luxury and fashion
The Chinese firm is placing a greater focus on high-end luxury and fashion

Chinese internet giant JD.com has splashed out $397 million (£314m) on a stake in London-based online fashion retailer Farfetch.

The companies said the deal will allow Farfetch to tap an $80billion (£63bn) market in China, with JD helping “drive further brand awareness, traffic and sales” in the Asian powerhouse.

It will see JD become one of the largest shareholders of Farfetch, with founder Richard Liu joining the online firm’s board.

The announcement comes as JD is placing a greater focus on high-end luxury and fashion to match the demand among its customers.

Hundreds of well-known fashion brands sell their products on Farfetch and the firm recently launched a tie-up with Gucci which offers a 90-minute delivery service.

Mr Liu said: “As part of our major luxury push, we could not have found a stronger online partner than Farfetch.

“This partnership with Farfetch further extends our lead in the battle for the future of China’s upwardly mobile consumers.”

The size of JD’s stake in Farfetch was not disclosed.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Farfetch was plotting a stock market flotation which would value the firm at $5bn (£4bn).

Founded in 2008 by Portuguese Jose Neves, Farfetch last raised $110m (£87m) in 2016 in a funding round which saw Singaporean investment fund Temasek become an investor.