JD.com Boosts Logistics Spinoff - Global Trade Magazine
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  March 21st, 2018 | Written by

JD.com Boosts Logistics Spinoff

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  • JD Logistics became a standalone business last April.
  • Backers of JD Logistics include Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China Merchants Group, and Tencent.
  • JD.com remain the majority shareholder in JD Logistics with a stake of 81.4 percent.

JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant and a rival of Alibaba, gave its logistics spin-out business a boost when it announced the unit raised $2.5 billion from investors.

JD Logistics, which became a standalone business last April, is raising the investment capital from a range of backers who include Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China Merchants Group, Tencent, China Life, China Development Bank Capital FOF, China Structural Reform Fund and ICBC International.

JD.com will remain the majority shareholder with a stake of 81.4 percent. The transaction, which is JD Logistics’ first outside funding event, gives the company a valuation of around $13.5 billion.

It is fairly common among China’s top tech firms to spin out divisions into standalone businesses. JD.com spun out its financial services arm and raised just over $1 billion last year. Sequoia China participated in funding for both JD.com spin-outs.

Alibaba operates a range of affiliates, including a logistics unit called Cainaio. Cainiao was formed by a consortium of logistics companies, while Alibaba took a 48-percent stake. Cainaio later raised undisclosed funding reported to be $7.7 billion.

JD.com operates seven fulfillment centers and 405 warehouses in China and has prioritized logistics. The company’s network includes capabilities to handle fresh produce. It has also tested drone delivery and plans to invest in logistics automation, including automated warehouses and drone deliveries.

That is set to continue after the recent funding, according to JD.com CEO Richard Liu. “Our decision early on to build out our own logistics network has paved the way for JD Logistics to become the industry leader it is today,” he said. “This current funding round sets the stage for us to further invest in expanding our lead in the sector in areas like automation, drones, and robotics.”

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