(Bloomberg) — JD.com Inc. posted 23% growth in revenue, after China’s second-largest e-commerce operator managed to grow users despite intensified competition and slowing consumption.
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Sales climbed to 275.9 billion yuan ($43.6 billion) during the December quarter, compared with the 274.9 billion yuan average of analyst forecasts. It reported a net loss of 5.2 billion yuan, versus a projected loss of 80.5 million yuan.
JD and larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are feeling the heat from macroeconomic headwinds as well as emergent competitors such as social media platforms. Last month, Alibaba reported its slowest quarterly growth in revenue since its 2014 listing. JD in recent months has already been under pressure after Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced it plans to distribute the majority of its JD shares as a one-time dividend, a surprising retreat by a long-time backer.
Billionaire Richard Liu’s online shopping empire was one of the few Chinese internet titans to avoid a direct hit from Beijing’s sweeping champaign to rein in Big Tech. In fact, JD has benefited from the crackdown by adding new and returning brands like Starbucks and Estee Lauder to its platforms, after Chinese antitrust watchdogs fined Alibaba $2.8 billion and forced it to revamp some of its practices around merchant exclusivity.
Even so, JD’s market valuation has shrunk by about 40% from a high of about $167 billion last year to about $97 billion. Its shares closed 1% higher in Hong Kong Thursday, before the company reported results.
Annual active customer accounts expanded 21% to 569.7 million in 2021, though that lagged expectations for about 577 million.
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