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Liu Qiangdong, chief executive,

Like its Chinese rival, Alibaba, ecommerce platform has accelerated its PR drive in Europe this year. 

In February, during prime minister Theresa May’s visit to China, it committed to selling £2bn of British goods to its Chinese customers in the next two to three years. In September, it renewed its sponsorship of the British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund as part of its efforts to build its luxury business.

At the same time,’s global clout has grown, thanks in part to its strategic partnership with Google. The US tech giant announced it would invest $550m (£415m) into the partnership, which will “explore joint solutions for a personalised and frictionless shopping experience”. The aim will be to combine’s logistics expertise with Google’s tech heft to produce “next generation retail infrastructure solutions”.

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