Podcast: How China’s Biggest Retailer Scales Its Supply Chain

Lori Chao, Director of International Communications, JD.com speaks to Priyanka about how JD.com copes with its $24.7bn shopping festival peak

Priyanka talks to Lori Chao, Director of International Communications at JD.com and former Wall Street Journal Supply chain reporter, on what it takes for China’s biggest retailer to be prepared for their 618 anniversary sale, which just last week raked in $24.7bn over two weeks! Lori talks about the various processes and technologies – including robots, drones, AI, VR, blockchain and fully-automated warehouses – they are rolling out to sustain more and more increasing demand. She also talks about what the key changes in the supply chain industry will be over the next 5 years.

As if all this isn’t intriguing enough, Google just announced last week a $550 million investment in JD.com.

Questions Lori answered:

  • What is the 618 anniversary sale and how big is it?
  • How do you market this, and more importantly, how do you plan for such a big demand? What’s the margin of error?
  • How do you scale up your supply chain to meet such big numbers?
  • What are some of the key learnings from this year’s 618 anniversary sale?
  • What are the biggest technologies that you’re investing in and trialling? I read something about developing a massive drone that can deliver a 1 tonne worth of inventory – is that true?
  • What does Google’s $550mn investment mean for JD.com?
  • What are some of the biggest changes that you see will happen in the supply chain industry over the next 5 years?

About Lori

Lori Chao is a Director of International Communications at JD.com, China’s largest retailer, online or offline.

She started at JD in New York last year, after 12 years at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered business and technology. She was a foreign correspondent in Brazil and China, and won awards for her reporting on the Chinese tech sector. She was part of the team that started the Journal’s logistics vertical, and wrote about the many ways that e-commerce is changing global supply chains and the future of retail.

Lori continues her work in logistics now by joining one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced e-commerce giants. She assists with outreach to brands, technology and logistics partners around the world for JD, which, in addition to being the largest retailer, operates China’s largest nationwide distribution network. JD is now leading the industry in robotics and automation, and was the first e-commerce company in the world to deploy delivery drones. Twitter: @JD_Corporate

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