Chinese online retailer Jingdong looking to list in US

Online retailer's offer biggest in US by Chinese firm since 2003, but HK listing not ruled out

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 2:36am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 4:49am

360buy Jingdong, the mainland online retailer backed by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plans to raise about US$2 billion in an initial public offering in the second half, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

The Beijing-based company was working with Bank of America and UBS, the people said.

Jingdong was leaning towards a listing in the United States, although Hong Kong was another potential destination, they said.

The firm is planning the biggest US initial offering by a Chinese company in more than a decade. The proceeds will help it expand in an e-commerce market that will be worth US$395 billion by next year, according to McKinsey.

Chinese companies raised US$907 million from first-time share sales in the US last year, more than five times the amount in 2012. which runs an online marketplace, has jumped 146 per cent since listing in October. Qunar, a travel-booking service, has gained 89 per cent since listing in November.

Jingdong wants to avoid listing at the same time as e-commerce giant Alibaba, two people said.

Alibaba, which has been valued as high as US$190 billion by analysts, planned to go public this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A Jingdong spokesman declined to comment on the listing plans.

The company was founded by chief executive Richard Liu in 2004. Its offering will be the biggest by a Chinese company in the US since China Life Insurance raised US$3.3 billion in December 2003.

Online retailing in China grew an average 120 per cent each year from 2003 to 2011 and is projected to more than triple to US$395 billion from 2011 to next year, according to a McKinsey report. China has 591 million Web users, more than the entire population of any other country except India, according to the government-run China Internet Network Information Centre.

China could have more than 850 million internet users by next year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. E-commerce transaction volume could reach 18 trillion yuan (HK$23 trillion), and online could account for more than 9 per cent of total retail consumption, the ministry said.

Alwaleed bought a stake in Jingdong in February last year, joining a group of investors in tapping one of the world's fastest growing e-commerce markets.