Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com thriving in pandemic

MarketLine   28 August 2020 (Last Updated August 28th, 2020 10:06)

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com thriving in pandemic

Some companies around the world have faced irreparable damage as a result of Covid-19, but few have flourished. However, JD.com is an exception.

The company was founded off the back of the 2002 SARS pandemic and has made itself well-positioned to tackle the issues that have plagued retailers in 2020, with savvy investments, strong capital raising and reported record revenues.

Savvy moves on stock exchanges proved important

Despite the pandemic, the company has continued to invest in companies and sought investment itself. In August 2020, a majority purchase in logistics company Kuayue-Express Group was finalised of around $365m, while in the same month JD’s Health division raised $830m in funding from Hillhouse Capital.

JD.com also launched its secondary listing IPO on the Hong Kong exchange in June this year. Shares were overbought 179 times over and share price rose from its IPO price by 3.5% by close on its first day on the exchange, proving confidence from investors.

Record financials show success through Covid-19

In the company’s Q2 earnings report, revenues rose by 33.8% to $28.5bn, surpassing analyst expectations of $27.5bn. General merchandise sales rose by 45.4% in Q2, seeing particularly good growth in its groceries and pharmaceuticals lines.

Income from operations for Q2 more than doubled to $728m compared to Q2 2019, while net income attributable to shareholders reached $2.3bn, up from $545m through the same period.

The company continued to invest in its marketing in the quarter with a spend of $1bn in marketing expenses, which was up by 21%; clearly capitalising on consumers being at home and susceptible to e-commerce purchasing, as concerns about visiting bricks and mortar stores were high.

Technology is key to JD.com success

JD.com has built on its technology services and relations, and Bowen Zhou, JD’s Cloud & AI President said in March that ‘technology and services is a core engine of growth’, and the continued development of these services will help JD achieve its international goals.

In recent years, JD have repeatedly been reinvesting money into the company in an effort to raise revenues instead of focusing purely on profitability, to secure its long term future and become a serious market player to capture market share from the likes of Alibaba and on a global scale, Amazon.

This has meant that it was perfectly positioned during the start of the pandemic to deal with any supply chain and logistics issues through its continued investment in the company. JD’s early adoption in ‘smart supply chains’ has meant that the company was able to collaborate with suppliers and allocate goods effectively.

In a country constantly thriving for technological advances, JD even piloted an effort to use drones as a means of fighting infrastructure problems, where roads were closed and citizens were told to remain indoors and deliver parcels to the public.