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JD.com continues growth as online shopping habit sticks during China’s economic recovery

Written by AJ Cortese Published on 

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Even as China emerges from the pandemic, JD.com continues to effectively add and retain users.

Beijing-based e-commerce giant JD.com (NASDAQ: JD; HKEX: 9618) reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2020 on Monday, posting net revenues of RMB 174.2 billion (USD 25.7 billion), a 29.2% year-on-year (YoY) growth, exceeding market estimates of RMB 170.5 billion.

JD.com added 24.2 million new users during the third quarter, a record during what is a seasonally-light period for the company. 80% of these new users were located in China’s lower-tier cities, where e-commerce penetration is less mature than the major cities.

JD.com’s CFO Sandy Xu explained during the earnings call, “Our marketing spend ratio is also decreasing. That means we can now acquire users and retain these users more efficiently.”

The company’s paid membership program JD PLUS, which allows users access to greater discounts, services, and other benefits for RMB 149 (USD 22.63) per year, reached 20 million subscribers during the September quarter. The company explained on the earnings call that JD PLUS members shop more frequently and have an average revenue per user (ARPU) that is multiple times that of non-members on the platform.

Meanwhile, the company’s JD Retail business group generated a record gross margin of 3.9% during the third quarter, despite a shift in product mix away from big-ticket items towards fast-moving consumer goods.

Healthcare and supermarket categories showed the strongest growth during the quarter, while overall gross merchandise value sold on the platform grew 35% YoY.

The e-commerce giant will increase its focus on supermarket and fresh grocery products, as Xu explained, “This is a huge market, and we have seen a structural opportunity for this category. So this will definitely be a strategic priority for our group.”

The company’s healthcare subsidiary, JD Health, was recently approved for its initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. JD Health launched its telemedicine brand, JD Famly Doctor, in August.

Despite the strong quarterly results, JD.com’s share price on NASDAQ dropped by 7.41% to USD 85.26 in Monday trading following the earnings announcement.

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