China’s second-largest e-retailer raised $1.78 billion during its May 21 initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ exchange. JD.com, also known as Jingdong, exceeded investor expectations in an offering that is the latest in a long line of Chinese technology companies listing in the United States.
The listing concluded three years of preparation by JD.com, which first declared its plans to go public in May 2011. JD.com features an online shopping platform similar to Amazon’s, which sells to customers directly and relies on its own logistics networks. JD.com’s filing comes just before rival Alibaba’s US IPO, which—at a possible $200 billion—is expected to be one of the largest in history.
Investors did not seem deterred by Jingdong’s recent announcement of an $849 million loss, caused by a gift of stock to the company’s CEO. Nor did they seem deterred by five consecutive years of losses, most due to heavy investments in logistics operations. Unlike Alibaba, which relies on sellers to handle most logistics issues, JD.com owns and operates its own delivery network.
Jingdong currently controls only 6.8 percent of China’s total e-commerce market compared to Alibaba’s 84 percent. But it could pose a threat to Alibaba after forming a strategic partnership in March with Tencent, China’s largest Internet company. According to the deal, Tencent will allow JD.com to advertise on its social messaging services WeChat and QQ, which have 355 million and 808 million users, respectively.