JD.com Fourth Quarter Up 31.4%

SHANGHAI — JD.com finished off 2020 strong, boosted by shoppers who turned to e-commerce to adapt to post-pandemic life, with the Chinese online retailer delivering fourth quarter revenue growth of 31.4 percent compared to a year ago.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter totaled 224.3 billion renminbi, or $34.4 billion, while full-year revenue came in at 745.8 billion renminbi, or $114.3 billion, an increase of 29.3 percent from 2019.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fourth quarter was 24.3 billion renminbi, or $3.7 billion, compared to 3.6 billion renminbi for the same period last year. Full-year net income amounted to 49.4 billion renminbi, or $7.6 billion, leaping from the 12.2 billion renminbi in 2019.

JD.com founder Richard Liu highlighted the company’s investments in supply chain services on the Thursday earnings call, prompted by the disruption to business caused by COVID-19.

“We have been investing unswervingly in blockchain technologies to help merchants, both online and offline, big and small, brands and factories, to improve their operations, efficiency to enhance the customers’ experience and to improve their risk capacity,” he said. “This will also help promote high-quality growth of the whole industry and create value for the entire society. For JD.com, this endeavor will further diversify our revenue streams and drive our service revenue in the future.”

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Product category sales growth was led by FMCG, health care, cosmetics and home products, the firm said. Liu added that the company was encouraged by positive signs during Chinese New Year last month, describing purchasing patterns seen during the holiday as “very healthy consumption trends.”

“Because the government encouraged people to stay at their working place to celebrate the new year, we did see a surge of remote orders on our platform and the numbers of remote orders doubled on our platform,” said Liu, referring to buyers placing an order for a recipient in another city. “Also because of the ‘staycation,’ a lot of merchants continued to operate their business on the platform during the promotion and even extended their working hours there. So we do see they are very engaged and very active in participating in these sales events.”

Annual active customer accounts increased by 30.3 percent to 471.9 million, up from 362 million the year before, which chief financial officer Sandy Xu said was “the largest expansion in our history. We continue to see exciting user growth in the lower-tier cities, which contributed over 80 percent of our new users for the first time in Q4 2020.”

The company, China’s second-largest e-commerce platform after Alibaba, has been doing significant restructuring of its business. In December, JD spun off its health unit business JD Health onto the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising 31 billion Hong Kong dollars. The firm is also seeking to break off its logistics arm JD Logistics in another public listing, also on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, JD Technology, the fintech business, was reported by the South China Morning Post to likely withdraw its IPO application from Shanghai’s Star Market, given the government scrutiny and halt of Ant Group, the financial payments division of Alibaba, last November.

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