Chinese online retail giant has become one of the first distributors that smart-hardware makers would turn to when they are about to ship products.

When the maker revolution was about to explode, JD established a sub-channel for selling smart hardware products only. Then, the company launched JD+, an accelerator for smart hardware products, offering funding, marketing support, and other resources to which individual makers would otherwise have scant access.

More recently, the JDCloud project was added to provide makers with WiFi or sensor solutions, cloud services, user data analytics service, among others.

Some user data on the platform, according to the company, will be made open for third parties to build applications or services. JD also promised to share its VMNO (virtual mobile network operator) capabilities with makers, since it is one of the first private companies that have obtained VMNO licenses in China.

Smart hardware developers will also be able to implement JD’s user account system.This means that end users will be able to control all their smart gadgets from one app. And of course, JD gets the longer end of the stick, as the company will have all the users’ data.

Broadlink is a case of a hardware maker taking good advantage of JD’s offerings. The smart home “appcessory” maker now is selling products on JD and has announced funding from the company.

JD said many traditional home electronics manufacturers have signed up.

This story originally appeared on TechNode. Copyright 2014

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