JD’s Finance Arm Seeks Fresh Funding

In an effort to deepen its push into securities, banking and insurance, JD.com’s finance arm is seeking to raise ¥12 billion — or $1.9 billion — in equity. If successful, the unit could be worth more than $20 billion, CNBC reported.

JD Finance’s fundraising began in 2017 and could become finalized in the weeks to come, people familiar with the deal told CNBC. The fundraising comes as tech companies in China are seeking to capture the demand for digital services, including those that are related to finance. JD Finance reportedly plans to use some of the funds to invest in financial institutions within China — and to purchase licenses for securities and banking in addition to other areas.

Potential investors in the round are said to include the Qiyuan National New Industry Venture Capital Guidance Fund, COFCO and China Merchants Group.

Earlier this year, JD.com announced plans to invest more than ¥20 billion — or $3.11 billion — in China’s northeastern “rustbelt” region, Business of Fashion reported. The company’s investments would help upgrade industries and create jobs in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang. In addition, the eRetailer plans to build a commerce settlement center in the region, which could lead to 9,000 new jobs.

Areas in China’s east coast have seen fast growth in high-tech manufacturing, but the country’s northeastern provinces have lagged behind. To help induce growth in the region, the country’s central government has created investment projects and encouraged coastal-based companies to take part in reforms of state companies there.

The news also comes on the heels of an investment from JD.com in the Vietnamese eCommerce firm Tiki.vn. While JD.com did not disclose dollar amounts for the deal at the time, the company said it will become one of Tiki’s largest shareholders — along with VNG.

Additionally, in Dec. 2017, the company joined a $863 million funding round for apparel platform Vipshop with Tencent Holdings. JD.com invested $259 million for a stake of 5.5 percent, adding to a previously held, undisclosed stake of roughly 2.5 percent.