Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is rumored to have acquired majority stake in Tokopedia, according to our trusted sources. This news, if true, will put an end to speculation about the possibility of any Chinese e-commerce company investing in one of the largest local marketplace services in Indonesia. It will ensure Tokopedia’s position as Southeast Asia’s unicorn, following Go-Jek and Traveloka’s earlier announcement. For JD.com, the acquisition of Tokopedia is an important ammunition in competition against its closest competitor, Alibaba.
In the last 3 months, rumors about who invested in Tokopedia became a hot topic in the industry. In early May, it was JD.com who was in talk, but then at the end of July there was a shocking news if Alibaba was interested in injecting funds up to $500 million (over 6.6 trillion Rupiah) for the company founded by William Tanuwijaya and Leontinus Alpha Edison in 2009. Alibaba previously has acquired Lazada, a leading player in the Indonesia’s e-commerce market.
It would be logical if finally JD.com dare to offer hard-to-reject acquisition preposition. In order to compete with Alibaba, JD.com needs support from large market, Indonesia in this case, and Tokopedia is indeed the most ideal player. It would be a big loss for JD.com if its closest competitor controls the # 1 and # 2 players in Indonesia’s e-commerce scene, the third largest market in Asia, after China and India.
Uniquely, Tokopedia’s business that focuses on the marketplace sector is much closer to Alibaba than JD.com.
We still have not received confirmation about this and will update once there is certainty from related parties.
Tokopedia’s last publicly announced funding was in 2014 when it received $100 million funds from Softbank Japan and Sequoia Capital. Meanwhile, JD.com has already operated its own Jakarta-based JD.id since the end of 2015.