JD.com Increases Asian Expansion

Chinese online retailer JD.com Inc has reportedly led an investment in Vietnamese e-commerce firm Tiki.vn, expanding its Southeast Asia business amid competition from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Amazon.com Inc, Reuters reported.

Pictured here is the JD.com warehouse in Shanghai  -  credit: JD.com
Pictured here is the JD.com warehouse in Shanghai - credit: JD.com

JD.com co-led the financing with Vietnamese entertainment and social media firm VNG Corp, which is an existing investor, JD.com said in a statement. The company did not specify the size of the funding, but it noted that following the deal, it would become one of Tiki's largest shareholders alongside VNG.

Raising large funds
In a related development, JD.com last week invited a select group of investors to raise funds for its logistics unit with a target of at least US$2 billion. According to insiders, the company eventually plans to list the business overseas.
The Reuters report pointed out that the move comes as China’s major e-commerce companies are looking to bulk up their logistics businesses to support their global expansion ambitions and boost revenues by offering services to third-party entities.

Gaining more independence
Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital China will likely be lead investors of JD Logistics’ funding round, while a number of state-owned and international investors have also shown strong interest in the deal.
The fundraising and any ensuing spin-off would give JD Logistics - set up as a separate entity within the company last April - some independence and help it offer services to third-party clients as well as to compete with Alibaba’s logistics network Cainiao and delivery services firms such as SF Express.
JD.com posted net earnings of 1 billion yuan (US$151 million), its highest-ever quarterly profit, in the three months to September 30.
The company has a current market cap of $66 billion.

Nol van Fenema

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