JD.com expands online finance business to insurance, banking in bid to topple Alibaba

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 10:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 11:02pm

Chinese e-commerce major JD.com will soon launch an internet insurance service as part of its expansion plan to surpass Alibaba Group Holding as China’s largest business-to-customer business by 2021.

JD.com chief executive Richard Liu Qiangdong said at the company’s annual meeting on Friday that it will soon launch an online insurance service as well as move into the online brokerage business and internet banking.

Liu didn’t reveal further details of the plans but said he envisions that big data-enabled technology will be able to provide tailor-made financial services for each online customer, and even provide on-demand insurance services based on individual needs.

“The transactions of JD Finance have grown more than eight times over the past three years, exceeding 1 trillion yuan in 2016. We aim to make JD Finance one of the top three fintech companies in the world by 2020, serving thousands of financial institutions and millions of enterprises,” he said.

Liu is betting big on internet finance as he outlayed a 12-year plan with numerous goals, including surpassing Alibaba Group as China’s largest B2C e-commerce player by 2021 and jumping into the top 10 of the Fortune 500 list by 2028 from the current 366th rank.

JD Finance was ranked No 10 globally in KPMG’s 2016 Fintech 100 list. China’s Ant Financial Services Group topped the list. Ant Financial is controlled by Jack Ma Yun, whose Alibaba is owner of the South China Morning Post.

In January last year JD Finance raised 6.65 billion yuan in financing from investors including venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital China and China Taiping Insurance. JD said in a statement at the time that the funding valued the finance subsidiary at 46.65 billion yuan on a fully-diluted, post-investment basis.

Ant Financial is valued at US$60 billion following its US$4.5 billion fundraising round last year, which was touted as the largest private technology funding round in history.