JD - JD.com, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
42.01
+0.45 (+1.09%)
As of 3:54PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close41.56
Open42.70
Bid41.96 x 1000
Ask41.97 x 800
Day's range41.72 - 43.15
52-week range25.48 - 45.34
Volume15,105,274
Avg. volume17,094,347
Market cap61.349B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.97
PE ratio (TTM)285.82
EPS (TTM)0.15
Earnings date07 May 2020 - 11 May 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est342.80
  • Stocks Soar On Stimulus Hopes: AMD, Shopify, JD.com Clear Key Level
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    Stocks Soar On Stimulus Hopes: AMD, Shopify, JD.com Clear Key Level

    AMD is still leading chips, Shopify is back on shopping lists and JD.com stock is not on lockdown.

  • JD.com Jumps On Earnings
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    JD.com Jumps On Earnings

    JD.com soared on stronger than expected earnings, blasting to a new high in huge volume. The RS line, already at a 52-week highs, spiked. Chinese stocks doing relatively well as China virus cases slow dramatically.

  • JD.com, Inc. (JD) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    JD.com, Inc. (JD) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, JD.com, Inc. (JD) closed at $40.50, marking a +0.27% move from the previous day.

  • Chinese Shoppers Can Go Out Again. Online Buys Show They Won’t
    Bloomberg

    Chinese Shoppers Can Go Out Again. Online Buys Show They Won’t

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s consumers are shopping online again. But their purchases signal they plan to stay indoors for the foreseeable future, dashing hopes for a spending recovery as the nation contemplates its post-virus world.Lunch boxes saw 120 times more searches in the last 30 days as the virus pushes people to prepare their own food even after returning to the office, according to March 26 data from Index.1688, which collects information from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s shopping sites.Portable tableware, foldable spoons and work clothing also surged in popularity, while items typically given as gifts or used for travel and outdoor activities haven’t shown signs of recovery.Yoga mats and hula hoops for home exercise also climbed in demand, a bad sign for gyms waiting for the return of patrons.The data undermines predictions of a V-shaped recovery in the world’s biggest consumer market that has seen more than 80,000 infections and 3,000 deaths from Covid-19. While big operators like Starbucks Corp. and Yum China Holding Inc. have been reopening outlets, they face a public that’s preferring to stay home after work and continue to social distance, even though official data indicates China’s number of new infections fallen to zero.China’s experience may prove an important indicator for how the rest of the world recovers. Even after outbreaks are contained, lingering fear is likely to change consumer behavior for longer than expected.“Consumers are still cautious about going out and many of those venues are not yet back to full working mode,” said Jason Yu, Shanghai-based general manager of Kantar Worldpanel. Items for a return to work, such as instant coffee, hair and skin-care products, are recovering ahead of the market, he said.Other products to post a spike in searches include contact-less thermometers, suits and stationery, according to Index.1688.A report by JD.com Inc.’s research center also shows work-related consumption speeding ahead of other categories. China’s second-largest e-commerce company sold five times more lunch boxes in late February than a month earlier, while powerbanks, office equipment and stationery are also high up the list.“Consumption of staples is clearly outshining discretionary or luxury goods in what is still very much a lukewarm and uneven recovery,” Ned Salter, head of global research at Fidelity International, said in a statement. “We need to see more consumer confidence to sustain the improvement and that will depend on how well China deals now with imported cases to contain the virus fully.”A Coronavirus Vaccine in 18 Months? Experts Urge Reality CheckRetailers in China have been cautious in their forecasts since the virus emerged.Yum China Holding Inc., which operates KFC and Pizza Hut in the country, has said the second quarter will be “challenging” and patience is needed. Anta Sports Products Ltd., the country’s biggest sportswear maker, forecasts the first six months of 2020 will be “tough throughout”.About 60% of listed restaurant operators in China are at risk of running out of cash within six months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and company reports.With the food and beverage industry reeling, local governments are trying to boost consumption by urging officials to dine out in restaurants and shop in malls. Vouchers are being given out by cities including Hangzhou and Nanjing as well as shopping platforms Meituan Dianping and Suning.com Co. to spur spending.While China’s new infection numbers have plunged, the pandemic is widening globally with cases worldwide now topping 786,000 and more than 37,800 dead. Chinese factories are experiencing a second shockwave as western clients cancel orders en masse.Luiz Chen, a 31-year-old auditor in Guangzhou, recently bought moisturizing masks and a new dress before returning to the office but said she won’t be treating herself to anything expensive after her employer froze bonuses for the past two months.“I’m scared to get a salary cut or even lose the job,” said Chen. “Economic crisis seems not far away. How can I have the good mood to buy buy buy?”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Online Retail Giants Alibaba, JD Emerge From Coronavirus Deadlock
    Bloomberg

    China Online Retail Giants Alibaba, JD Emerge From Coronavirus Deadlock

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s e-commerce sector is beginning to emerge from a months-long logistics ordeal brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, judging by the latest data on delivery volumes. But a longer-term rebound hinges on a recovery in demand for goods beyond the essentials.Industry leaders Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., JD.com Inc. and Pinduoduo Inc. struggled to meet a surge in demand for household staples and gear such as surgical masks, after the epidemic forced authorities to shut highways and rail nationwide and couriers stayed home. But an analysis of publicly available information by Barclays showed shipping activity in many areas had approached pre-outbreak levels as people resumed work and roadblocks came down.Based on official data showing 3% year-on-year growth of online physical product sales during January and February, e-commerce growth will approach normality in the second quarter, Barclays analysts Gregory Zhao, Ross Sandler and Jane Han wrote. By March 11, full-truck load delivery capacity nationally was 72% of its November 2019 peak, they said, pointing to data from logistics websites G7.com.cn and Chemanman.com. This month, Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao -- which ships upwards of a billion packages daily at its peak -- said it was already operating at full capacity.Beijing released data on Monday that suggests the world’s No 2 economy may contract for the first time since 1989, denting consumer spending. Brick-and-mortar merchants have been particularly hard hit and almost half of China’s listed consumer companies don’t have enough liquidity to survive past September, according to a Bloomberg analysis. The situation is less dire online but a full e-commerce recovery will come only when consumers resume buying the big-ticket items that dropped off priority lists at the height of the outbreak, when people rushed to stock up on essentials like groceries, protective gear and household staples.Most middle-class consumers are cautiously tightening spending, said Ashley Galina Dudarenok, founder of China insights and training company Chozan. “That’s the gravest long-term impact of the virus,” she said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • JD.com, Inc. (JD) Stock Moves -1.69%: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    JD.com, Inc. (JD) Stock Moves -1.69%: What You Should Know

    JD.com, Inc. (JD) closed the most recent trading day at $37.70, moving -1.69% from the previous trading session.

  • China's JD.com to buy back $2 billion shares
    Reuters

    China's JD.com to buy back $2 billion shares

    JD said it expects to fund the buyback, to take place over the next 24 months, with existing cash. Last week, SoftBank Group Corp said it was repurchasing up to $4.8 billion of its shares after their recent slump. Shares of JD were up nearly 6% in premarket trading.

  • JD.com hires banks for a Hong Kong listing as early as mid-year - sources
    Reuters

    JD.com hires banks for a Hong Kong listing as early as mid-year - sources

    Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc has hired Bank of America and UBS to work on a second listing in Hong Kong, the latest to join the queue of Chinese companies expected to follow Alibaba to trade closer to home, two people with direct knowledge told Reuters. Rival Alibaba warned in mid-February of a drop in revenues at its key e-commerce businesses in the first quarter as the coronavirus sweeping China hits supply chains and deliveries. Alibaba raised $12.9 billion in Hong Kong in November, which was the city's largest deal since 2010 and the world's biggest ever cross-border secondary listing, prompting a number of US-traded Chinese companies to follow suit, including online travel giant Ctrip and internet companies NetEase Inc and Baidu Inc.

  • Australia Unicorn Airwallex Seeks $200 Million in Funding
    Bloomberg

    Australia Unicorn Airwallex Seeks $200 Million in Funding

    (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s Airwallex group is seeking about $200 million in a series D equity funding round to bankroll its cross-border payments business globally, according to people familiar with the matter.The company is valued at about $1.5 billion pre-money, said the people, who requested not to be named because the matter is private. The startup is talking with a strategic international financial company to lead its latest round, one of the people said.Airwallex said in an emailed statement that it was in the process of raising funds, but declined to comment further.Started in a Melbourne coffee shop in 2015, the company has attracted backers including Tencent Holdings Ltd., DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital Management Ltd. and Mastercard Inc. Airwallex was co-founded by Jack Zhang, the current chief executive officer, along with co-founders Lucy Liu, Jacob Dai and Max Li.It helps clients settle payments when their users spend money overseas.Airwallex primarily works with business clients such as merchants in China, enabling them to receive overseas payments in local currency within hours. Clients can use its service to open foreign currency accounts in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Australia.Customers include Tencent’s WeChat, e-commerce site JD.com Inc and online learning platform 51Talk, the company said. It has 400 employees across 10 offices around the world.Airwallex said it has raised over $200 million in venture funding to date. It was valued at more than $1 billion in March last year, based on the previous funding round.(Updates with names of founders in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net;Dong Cao in Beijing at dcao59@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, David Morris (News), Fion LiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba’s Chinese Delivery Arm is Back at Pre-Outbreak Levels
    Bloomberg

    Alibaba’s Chinese Delivery Arm is Back at Pre-Outbreak Levels

    (Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s parcel and meal delivery arms have returned to pre-coronavirus outbreak staffing levels, the latest example of how China’s largest corporations are getting back to work after Beijing’s entreaty to safeguard economic growth.Cainiao, of which Alibaba owns more than 60%, is again at full strength after a few weeks during which the epidemic disrupted transport and held up shipments. Meal delivery unit Ele.me and grocery chain Freshippo are also back at full strength and operating at “full capabilities” at present, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.That recovery underscores how the world’s No. 2 economy is slowly getting up to speed after Covid-19 confined millions to their homes and paralyzed roads and rail nationwide. Cainiao, the company at the heart of Alibaba’s e-commerce business, oversees a network of millions of delivery people that can handle upwards of a billion packages daily at their peak.Last week, Alibaba-rival JD.com Inc. forecast at least 10% revenue growth this quarter, suggesting online retail in China was proving more resilient to the coronavirus epidemic than anticipated.Read more: Chinese Abandon Food Delivery Fearing Drivers Will Spread VirusTo contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in JD.com (JD) Stock?
    Zacks

    Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in JD.com (JD) Stock?

    Investors need to pay close attention to JD.com (JD) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • JD.com, Inc. Just Recorded A 57% EPS Beat: Here's What Analysts Are Forecasting Next
    Simply Wall St.

    JD.com, Inc. Just Recorded A 57% EPS Beat: Here's What Analysts Are Forecasting Next

    Investors in JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) had a good week, as its shares rose 3.9% to close at US$41.46 following the...

  • JD Leaps to 20-Month High After Sales Outlook Quells Virus Fears
    Bloomberg

    JD Leaps to 20-Month High After Sales Outlook Quells Virus Fears

    (Bloomberg) -- JD.com Inc. surged to its highest since June 2018 after its forecast for at least 10% revenue growth this quarter suggested online retail in China was proving more resilient to the coronavirus epidemic than anticipated.Its shares rose more than 12.4% in New York, their biggest gain since August, after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue of 170.7 billion yuan ($24.5 billion), surpassing the highest analyst’s estimate thanks to a strong performance during November’s Singles’ Day shopping event and robust user growth.China’s No. 2 online retailer stressed that the sales forecast was a preliminary estimate while it gauges the extent to which the nationwide spread of Covid-19 will dent the world’s No. 2 economy. At its lowest point of 10%, the company’s outlook is less than half the 21% revenue rise that analysts on average anticipated for the March quarter. But JD was more upbeat about the industry impact than larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which expects the outbreak to hurt revenue growth and said business on its retail marketplaces will decline because of widespread logistics disruptions. And on Friday, Baidu Inc. predicted its sales may slide as much as 13% this quarter.For now, JD foresees business bouncing back. Demand remained strong during the epidemic for consumer goods and fresh produce, popular among the millions of Chinese confined to home. The company is in fact growing daily active users and orders at a faster pace, outgoing Chief Financial Officer Sidney Huang said. On Monday, the company announced Senior Vice President Sandy Xu will take over from September, replacing the retiring Huang.Read more: Alibaba Warns Virus Having Broad Impact on Chinese EconomyWhat Bloomberg Intelligence saysJD.com’s call for at least 10% sales growth in 1Q is a shift from Alibaba’s warning of a decline two weeks ago, suggesting the shakeup from the virus outbreak is fading faster than Alibaba expected.\-- Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analystsClick here for the research.Read more: Coronavirus Outbreak Drives Demand for China’s Online GrocersJD may fare better than its peers because it employs a direct-to-consumer sales and in-house logistics model that may prove more resilient to short-term disruptions than platforms that connect merchants with buyers, some analysts say. Away from the outbreak, JD continues to win more consumers from smaller Chinese cities and towns, while demand for the electronics it depends on should rebound after the outbreak subsides.“JD’s in-house logistics is a clear advantage over the other players during the virus outbreak,” said Shawn Yang, a Shenzhen-based analyst with Blue Lotus Capital. “The buy side will be happy about the 10% guidance compared with Alibaba’s.”Longer term, the company will continue to go head to head with upstart Pinduoduo Inc., which now rivals JD in market value. In September, the latter company rolled out a group-buying platform called Jingxi, which, like Pinduoduo, entices purchases with incentives, rebates and other promotions. It’s also available to the billion-plus users on Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s all-in-one app WeChat.“The coronavirus situation in March is still unknown. We have tried to take into consideration the potential downside, but so far we’ve been doing relatively well,” JD’s Huang told analysts on a conference call. “We do hope once the coronavirus situation stabilizes, we will resume our increasing margin trends.”To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) Potentially Undervalued?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) Potentially Undervalued?

    Let's talk about the popular JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD). The company's shares received a lot of attention from a...

  • JD.com (JD) Q4 Earnings to Gain From New Businesses Strength
    Zacks

    JD.com (JD) Q4 Earnings to Gain From New Businesses Strength

    JD.com's (JD) fourth-quarter results are likely to reflect strengthening logistics services and technology initiatives.

  • JD.com (JD) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Offing?
    Zacks

    JD.com (JD) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

    JD.com's (JD) fourth-quarter performance is expected to reflect strength across its e-commerce business. However, rising competitive pressure is likely to have impacted the quarterly performance.

  • Coronavirus' biggest winners: Tech providers in China, Hong Kong
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus' biggest winners: Tech providers in China, Hong Kong

    The coronavirus outbreak is roiling China, but some startup technology companies are actually benefitting as isolated citizens flock to a range of solutions to achieve a sense of normalcy.

  • Bloomberg

    Alibaba’s China Disconnect Cuts Hong Kong Dead

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The decision to exclude shares of China's biggest e-commerce company from a cross-border trading link is a blow to Hong Kong. Is it a punishment, or simple self-interest at work? The answer matters, both for the city’s exchange and for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Alibaba can’t be included in the stock connect program linking Hong Kong with the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges at present, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. China’s securities regulator has yet to agree to rule changes proposed by Hong Kong Stock Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. that would allow the internet company to participate, one of the people was cited as saying.Granted, the Jack Ma-founded internet giant doesn’t qualify under the stock connect program’s existing arrangements, which exclude companies that have secondary listings with weighted voting rights. These were already in place before New York-listed Alibaba raised $13 billion selling shares in Hong Kong late last year.But exceptions have already been made. In October, China allowed companies with dual-class shares to join the connect, giving investors in the mainland access to Hong Kong-listed technology companies Xiaomi Corp. and Meituan Dianping. Rules can be changed when there is the desire to do so.Clearly, that was the expectation among investors here. The notice on dual-class shares was posted by the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges in mid-October and took effect Oct. 28. Three days later, Alibaba was reported to be planning its secondary listing in Hong Kong the following month. The shares started trading Nov. 26.Investors in Alibaba’s Hong Kong stock will have a right to feel short-changed if the shares lose steam as a result. They dropped as much as 2.5% after the Bloomberg News story published, before recovering to close little changed. Alibaba has rallied more than 20% since its debut in Hong Kong, at least partly on anticipation that the stock will draw a wall of money from mainland Chinese investors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy.The lack of support for Alibaba to join the stock connect is a severe blow to Hong Kong’s aspirations of marketing itself as the offshore listing venue of choice for Chinese technology companies, in an environment where the U.S. has become increasingly inhospitable and businesses are considering their options. Trip.com Group Ltd. and Netease Inc. are among U.S.-listed Chinese enterprises that are said to be looking at listing in Hong Kong. Bankers have talked of pitching other names including JD.com Inc. and Baidu Inc.The prospect of acquiring an enthusiastic mainland investor base that would help to buoy valuations is a key selling point for those who might be tempted to decamp from a U.S. exchange. If Alibaba — a marquee name with a $578 billion market capitalization — can’t get the nod, what’s the hope for any of the others?More worrying for Hong Kong is what the reluctance may say about China’s support for the city, as it contemplates the hit to its own economy from the coronavirus epidemic. HKEX, after all, is a competitor as well as a partner with the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. If Hong Kong becomes too attractive a venue for China’s leading companies, that may hold back development of the mainland’s markets.In 2018, Hong Kong relaxed its listing rules to admit unprofitable technology companies, competing with the U.S. and making the exchange even more alluring to Chinese hopefuls than the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets. In turn, Shanghai introduced the tech-focused Star Board in July, a Chinese answer to the Nasdaq that accepts money-losing companies with weighted voting rights. After a lively start, the board’s performance has been underwhelming. It has drawn few big names and has thin turnover.All may not be lost. Smartphone maker Xiaomi had been public in Hong Kong for 15 months before it joined the connect, while food-delivery app Meituan had to wait 13 months. HKEX and Alibaba will have to hope this is the slow arm of bureaucracy rather than the cold shoulder. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Alibaba Blocked From Hong Kong Stock Link to China

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors betting on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s inclusion in a program allowing mainland Chinese investors to buy its shares in Hong Kong could be in for a disappointment.China’s largest e-commerce company, valued at HK$4.56 trillion ($587 billion) in Hong Kong, can’t be included in the stock connect program linking the Asian financial hub with Chinese investors at present, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.The exclusion of companies with secondary listings and weighted voting rights from the program was part of an arrangement agreed to by the mainland and Hong Kong exchanges before Alibaba’s Hong Kong debut last year, the people said. The Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong exchanges haven’t agreed to make an exception or revise the agreement for Alibaba, though that could change in the future, they said.With the bourses competing to draw the listings of local firms already floated in the U.S., allowing companies in Alibaba’s position into the program would run contrary to Beijing’s ambitions of developing its mainland exchanges, particularly as unrest grips Hong Kong. Other Chinese firms -- among the country’s largest corporations, from JD.com Inc. to Baidu Inc. -- may then be encouraged to also pick Hong Kong, bypassing the Shanghai or Shenzhen bourses.The Hong Kong Stock Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. has proposed changes to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which hasn’t yet made a decision to revise the previous arrangement, one of the people said.Companies with weighted voting rights and a secondary listing are not currently included in the stock connect and there’s been no precedent for such a move, a Hong Kong Exchange spokesman said in response to questions on the agreement. “We look forward to discussing the potential for this with relevant parties in the future,” he said. “More generally, HKEX is not in the habit of banning things that it considers positive for the market.”Alibaba is not among the current batch of companies to be included in the stock connect, said a separate person, adding that the list will be updated on Feb. 17.Representatives for Alibaba and the Shanghai Stock Exchange declined to comment. Shenzhen Stock Exchange and China’s stock market watchdog, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.Alibaba’s landmark $13 billion secondary listing in Hong Kong last year was in part spurred by expectations that it would attract a vast pool of capital from its home country if included in the stock connect.In the Hong Kong offering, Alibaba preserved its governance structure: Granting a partnership of top executives the right to nominate a majority of board members. That system falls broadly into the definition of having weighted voting rights in Hong Kong.Alibaba’s shares are up about 20% since the November listing, prompting other U.S.-listed technology companies including Trip.com to look at a secondary listing in Hong Kong, people familiar have said. Alibaba fell as much as 2.5% in Hong Kong Tuesday, the biggest drop in two weeks, before paring losses. In the past, China has green-lit companies with weighted voting rights that conducted primary share sales in Hong Kong to join the stock connect program. For example, food delivery giant Meituan Dianping and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. joined in late October. Chinese firms with dual class shares started listing in July on Shanghai’s new tech-focused Star board.(Updates with shares)\--With assistance from Kiuyan Wong and Lucille Liu.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.net;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net;Steven Yang in Beijing at kyang74@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, Jonas Bergman, David ScanlanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coronavirus Outbreak Drives Demand for China’s Online Grocers
    Bloomberg

    Coronavirus Outbreak Drives Demand for China’s Online Grocers

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.Like their counterparts in Silicon Valley, China’s largest tech companies struggled to prove online groceries can be a viable business. Then the novel coronavirus struck.Its spread has extended a lifeline to a slew of money-burning businesses -- many backed by big name venture capital funds and tech giants from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Tencent Holdings Ltd. -- that in some cases were on the brink of collapse in 2019. Millions of consumers shunning supermarkets and meal-delivery services are testing promises by Tencent-backed Missfresh or Alibaba’s nationwide Hema chain to ship fresh food to their doorsteps. Those that deliver can expect many of first-time customers to stay even after the epidemic burns itself out.The boom is one more way in which the abrupt onset of the epidemic is transforming consumer behavior in the world’s No. 2 economy. Usage of other online services from mobile gaming to internet malls is surging as the epidemic confines millions to their homes.“Before the Chinese New Year, many of these firms were looking precarious and their only lifeline was the deep pockets of their big backers,” said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina. “Right now, fresh grocery delivery platforms are seen as an essential for consumers to minimize risk of infection.”Not all of them are equipped to handle the sudden increase in demand. The most immediate obstacles include a shortage of delivery staff, inventory management and the difficulties of navigating physical roadblocks put up by local governments trying to curb the disease’s spread. And if the coronavirus outbreak hurts the economy, expect that also to squeeze funding overall for all tech startups.The epidemic has led consumers to seek eating options that are healthier than takeout, especially with online chatter about the risks of take-out delivery people transmitting the disease. There’s less of a concern around fresh food since delivery frequency is lower than takeout and many people take comfort in cooking their own meals.Norris sees the outbreak ushering in another boom era for e-commerce in China. Overall, he expects online to account for a third of China’s retail sales in 2020, up from around a quarter last year.Alibaba’s Hema chain, including 18 stores at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, have operated non-stop during the extended Lunar New Year break. Online orders have spiked, prompting Hema to increase its vegetable supply across Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the company said in a statement.Missfresh saw a quadrupling in online orders for groceries during the first five days of the Lunar New Year compared with the same time last year. The company sold 40 million food items including eggs, lettuce and beef during the seven-day period. And JD.com Inc. said its sales of fresh food increased by 215%, reaching almost 15,000 tons during the 10-day period ending Feb. 2, compared with the same period last year.Twenty-one-year-old Ye Xie would ordinarily be back at Fudan University in Shanghai by now, starting her last semester. But because of the epidemic, she’s stuck in her native Zhejiang province and her family has come to depend on the app Dingdong Buy Vegetables. “Before the outbreak, they would average once a week,” she said. “Now we use it three to four times a week.”It’s an unexpected windfall for grocery delivery services that have perennially struggled with the logistics of transporting perishables like fruit and vegetables and shoppers’ innate preference for testing and selecting the freshest produce on sight. That’s good news for a sector that faces a broader funding squeeze. Last year, a raft of startups raced to replenish their war chests before what many foresaw as a capital winter brought on by a slowing economy. Missfresh was said to be seeking a new round of fundraising last July at a $3 billion valuation. The company hasn’t announced completion of that financing.“The spike in online grocery demand presents an education opportunity,” said Snow Hua, managing partner of Cherubic Ventures, which has also invested in online grocery startups like China Fresh. “Long-term though, investors will still be looking at fundamentals like whether this business model is sustainable and which companies have a better supply chain, storage and delivery system.”For some, the boost may have come too late. Dingdong, backed by Sequoia and Qiming Ventures, halted expansion in certain regions last year amid setbacks in operation, Caijing reported. Dingdong discontinued all their services in Xie’s hometown of Ningbo as of Feb. 7. The suspension was to help combat the epidemic, a spokeswoman for the company said, adding that it’s fully operational in other cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.Signs of strain are also emerging. Missfresh manager Liu Guofeng said that, during the first week of the Lunar New Year holiday, its vegetable supply ran out every day around 4 p.m., whereas it would normally take three to four days to deplete. Users rush to place orders before midnight every day when the company replenishes its stock.It’s also tried to court drivers working for meal delivery services Meituan and Ele.me, doubling the payout for riders per order from Feb. 1 to Feb. 8 and handing out 1,000 yuan ($143) in subsidies if they work eight days straight. “There’s a huge shortage on deliverymen,” said Liu. “Also a lot of villages are blocking the roads so not many people have been able to return to work.” To address labor shortages, Hema has agreed to hire staff from Chinese restaurants now that dining out has plummeted.Delivery times too have elongated. Requests that used to take 30 minutes to deliver can now need half a day to arrive, Xie said.Yet once the chaff is weeded out, the remaining players will end up with a far more established and loyal customer base. The current crisis has forced customers to turn online and at least some will remain active buyers, while surviving startups will have had the chance to hone their infrastructure and offerings.“Even though the virus outbreak brings a lot of challenges, it will also create opportunities for these online grocery startups,” said Richard Peng, founder of Genesis Capital, a Missfresh backer. “It’s fundamentally changing user habits, as they open up to the idea of buying groceries online.”\--With assistance from Colum Murphy.To contact the reporters on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net;Kari Lindberg in Hong Kong at klindberg13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alibaba, JD.com, Starbucks and Apple
    Zacks

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  • Bloomberg

    Virus Pushes Robots to the Frontlines of Hospitals

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has pushed the Chinese medical community into overdrive, has also prompted the country’s hospitals to more quickly adopt robots as medical assistants.Telepresence bots that allow remote video communication, patient health monitoring and safe delivery of medical goods are growing in number on hospital floors in urban China. They’re now acting as a safe go-between that helps curb the spread of the coronavirus.Keenon Robotics Co., a Shanghai-based company, deployed 16 robots of a model nicknamed “little peanut” to a hospital in Hangzhou after a group of Wuhan travelers to Singapore were held in quarantine. Siasun Robot and Automation Co. donated seven medical robots and 14 catering service robots to the Shenyang Red Cross to help hospitals combat the virus on Wednesday, according to a media release on the company’s website. Keenon and Siasun didn’t reply immediately to requests for comment. JD.com Inc. is testing the use of autonomous delivery robots in Wuhan, the company said in a statement. Local media has also reported robots being used in hospitals in the city as well as in Guangzhou, Jiangxi, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin.The rapid spread of the coronavirus has left provincial hospitals straining to cope and helped accelerate the embrace of robots as one solution, turning the gadgets into medical assistants. These bots join China’s tech-heavy response to the coronavirus outbreak, which also includes airborne drones and work-from-home apps. The jury remains out on how effective these coping tactics will be.China’s rapid buildout of fifth-generation wireless networking in areas around urban hospitals has also seen a rise in 5G-powered medical robots -- equipped with cameras that allow remote video communication and patient monitoring. These are in contrast to robots like little peanut, whose primary function is to make indoor deliveries.“The technology of robots used in Chinese hospitals isn’t high, but what this virus is also highlighting -- and it could be the next stage of Chinese robots -- is the use of medical robot deployment,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Nikkie Lu.China Mobile Ltd. donated one 5G robot each to both Wuhan Union Hospital and Tongji Tianyou Hospital this week, according to a report by ThePaper.cn. Riding the 5G network, these assistant bots carry a disinfectant tank on board and will be used to safely clean hospital areas along a predetermined route, reducing the risk to medical personnel.Zhejiang People’s Hospital used a 5G robot to diagnose its first coronavirus patient on Sunday, according to a report by the Hangzhou news center run by the State Council Information Office. Beijing Jishuitan Hospital performed remote surgery on a patient in Shandong province via China Telecom Corp.’s 5G network last June.While it may take patients a moment or two to get over the shock of being helped by a robot rather than a medical professional, bots have already permeated a growing number of sectors in Chinese society including nursing homes, restaurants, warehouses, banks and over 200 kindergartens.Financial services company Huachuang Securities Co. believes even more robots are in China’s immediate future. Pointing to National Bureau of Statistics data suggesting that domestic production of industrial robots increased by 15.3% in the month of December, they predict similarly fast growth in the current quarter, according to a report published by Finance Sina.The increased quantity of robots deployed to combat the coronavirus has helped accelerate China’s path to the goal it had already set for itself. The country wants to become one of the world’s top 10 most intensively automated nations by the end of this year.To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lindberg in Hong Kong at klindberg13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad Savov, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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