China’s second largest e-commerce player, JD.com, will restructure its main shopping site and create an office of the chief executive to what the company described in a statement, “better serve its customer-centric strategy.” It also noted that the e-commerce industry is undergoing “tremendous changes after rapid development in the past decade.”
The overhaul will divide JD Mall, the company’s main revenue driver, into three segments, including a unit responsible for understanding customer behaviour and market changes, another to provide
services to satisfy customer demands, and a third to handle infrastructure-building, service support and risk management.
The new business segments will report directly to Xu Lei, who took on the role of rotating chief executive for JD Mall last year, in a move considered unusual in a company tightly controlled by founder Richard Liu Qiangdong.
The statement also announced the establishment of a new Chief Executive’s Office to coordinate the company’s major reorganisation and business reforms, without naming members of the office.
JD.com’s November revenue went south – signs of a turnaround?
U.S. prosecutors last week announced they would not press charges against JD.com’s founder and chief executive Richard Liu, who was arrested in the U.S. in August after a woman accused him of rape while he was attending a university business programme. Liu was released on December 21 and returned to China hours later after prosecutors said they had insufficient evidence to follow through with charges.
Beijing-based JD.com, which is backed by Walmart, Alphabet’s Google and China’s Tencent Holdings, reported lower-than-expected revenue in November due to increased spending. It also said investment costs in technology and logistics were escalating amid rising competition in China’s online shopping market.
In a related development, the U.S.-listed e-commerce giant announced on December 26 that its board of directors has authorised a share repurchase programme under which the company may repurchase up to US$1.0 billion of its shares over the next 12 months. In a statement, the company said it plans to fund repurchases from its existing cash balance.
Nol van Fenema
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