WPP strikes e-commerce partnership in China

Kuvera, a wholly owned WPP company specializing in e-commerce in China, and Paipai (拍拍網), China’s social commerce platform on mobile and a wholly owned subsidiary of JD.com, have signed an agreement naming Kuvera as Paipai’s strategic partner in a new initiative of developing mobile social e-commerce in China for global brands.

The agreement establishes a partnership between the e-commerce units of WPP, the world’s largest marketing services group, and JD.com, China’s leading online direct sales company.

Under the agreement, Kuvera acts as a total solution provider for WPP’s clients to conduct online retailing business on Paipai’s e-commerce platform, utilizing social networking and a variety of marketing tools; if circumstances permit, Paipai will recommend WPP agencies to Paipai’s merchants, as a preferred service provider of marketing and promotion services and as a strategic partner of Paipai.

Specifically, Kuvera becomes a qualified service provider on Paipai and will assist Paipai to recruit new brand merchants. Kuvera will provide a full spectrum of services to clients, including transaction services, storefront management, brand promotion and CRM.

In turn, Paipai will provide clients with necessary support and resources, including traffic, technical solutions and merchandising staff.

The agreement also provides Kuvera access to Paipai’s advertising inventory, including its organic traffic and traffic from social media which Paipai connects with, such as WeChat and QQ.

“It is a milestone that we are going to provide a total solution package including advertising and online sales for global brand names under social e-commerce context. Through Paipai and Kuvera, we hope more global brand names can enjoy the benefit and excitement that social e-commerce brings to them and we hope JD and WPP will have further and tighter co-operation along the way,” said JD.com CEO Richard Liu.

“China’s consumers are among the world’s most engaged in the e-commerce, social networking and mobile spaces. This agreement provides WPP and our clients the ability to leverage Paipai and JD.com’s platforms,” said WPP CEO Martin Sorrell.

“Brands are seeking to reach Chinese consumers more effectively, particularly over social and mobile networks. With this agreement, our clients now have greater access to social commerce channels, including the highly popular WeChat ecosystem,” added Bessie Lee, WPP China CEO.

In 2014 in Greater China, WPP companies (including associates) generated revenue of US$1.5 billion with almost 15,000 people, with digital revenue around $450 million. WPP’s global digital revenue was US$6.9 billion in 2014, representing 36% of the Group’s total revenues of US$19 billion.