JD Smithfield
BEIJING – JD.com, China's largest retailer and e-commerce company, signed agreements Nov. 8 to purchase $1.2 billion of US beef and pork over the next three years. The company will purchase beef from The Montana Stock Growers Association (MSGA) and Cross Four Ranch and pork from Smithfield Foods Inc., owned by Shanghai-based WH Group. The agreements are part of a commitment by JD.com to purchase $2 billion of US goods over a range of categories over the next three years.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang attended the signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

“These groundbreaking agreements bring together two of America’s most trusted and in-demand meat suppliers with China’s leading e-commerce platform, to the benefit of both US producers and Chinese consumers,” said Richard Liu, JD.com chairman and CEO. “China’s shoppers will rest assured knowing that they are able to purchase safe, high-quality meat products imported from the US, with the fast delivery and ironclad assurance of authenticity that they have come to expect from JD. We look forward to expanding our long-term cooperation with high-quality US meat producers like Smithfield and MSGA.”

The beef will be imported to China from Miles City, Montana-based Cross Four Ranch and other MSGA members. JD.com will sell the products directly to its 258 million Chinese customers on its e-commerce platform. The agreement contains commitments to import a minimum of $200 million of beef during the three-year term.

“This is a landmark agreement to increase Montana agricultural exports to the fastest growing overseas market for beef,” US Sen. Steve Daines of Montana stated. “This is a win for Montana’s hardworking ranchers.”

The purchase of Cross Four Ranch and MSGA beef will increase Montana beef export sales by as much as 40 percent in 2018, according to MSGA.

The beef and pork will be cold-chain transported from the United States and stored in JD’s warehouses in China. From there, the company has the capabilities to deliver it to customers in more than 100 cities across the country within 48 hours — and to some in as little as six hours, according to a company release.