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The logo of e-commerce company is seen at the World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, eastern Zhejiang province, in October 2019. Photo: Reuters’s fintech arm prepares for IPO in Shanghai’s Star Market

  • JD Digits, formerly known as JD Finance, has expanded its range of activities to include projects in artificial intelligence, blockchain and data technologies
  • Founded in 2013, JD Digits had a valuation of around US$19 billion after completing its Series B financing round in 2018
JD Digits, the financial technology arm of e-commerce giant, is preparing for its initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai’s Star Market, joining waves of Chinese firms pursuing fundraising on the Nasdaq-style tech board.

Four Chinese investment banks – Guotai Junan Securities, Citic Securities, Minmetals Securities and Huajing Securities – last week signed pre-listing tutoring agreements with JD Digits to support its IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation Board, according to their filing to the China Security Regulatory Commission on June 28.

A spokeswoman for Beijing-based said on Thursday that it has no comment on the matter.

JD Digits’ push to list on the Star board comes amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington, which is weighing tighter scrutiny on Chinese firms’ plans to go public in the US. The Nasdaq Stock Market already plans new rules that would make it harder for Chinese companies to list in the US.


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The new US curbs, however, have played into the hands of Shanghai and Hong Kong, which are now in a tight race this year for the crown of leading listing venue for Chinese issuers. The Star board waives the requirement that companies are profitable, which Shanghai’s main board still insists upon for new issuers.
The IPO plans of JD Digits on the Star board follow Nasdaq-traded’s secondary listing last month in Hong Kong, which relaxed its rules over dual-class shares two years ago. US-listed peers NetEase, the Chinese video games giant, and Alibaba Group Holding, the country’s largest e-commerce company and parent of the South China Morning Post, completed their secondary offerings in Hong Kong last month and in November, respectively.

JD Digits, formerly known as JD Finance, was valued at 133 billion yuan (US$18.8 billion) after completing its Series B round of financing in 2018. While fintech continues to be its core business, JD Digits’ other activities cover the fields of data technology, blockchain, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.