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JD Appoints Xin Lijun as the CEO of its Latecomer Healthcare Unit
COVID-19 and China
A JD personnel on its work at the warehouse. Photo: Credit to JD Press Kit

JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) announced Xin Lijun (辛利军), who was the VP of JD.com and the president of JD Retail Group, as the new CEO of JD.com's healthcare unit. The strategic appointment signalled that the retail giant would concentrate more on its healthcare business. 

The new CEO will be responsible for the strategy, management and business development of the JD Health, the parent company announced. While serving as the Chief Executive Officer of JD Health, Xin Lijun will continue to serve as the president of JD Retail Unit.

JD Health is an e-commerce platform for pharmaceutical products and OTC supplements, and it raised a massive USD 1 billion from CPE China Fund and CICC Capital in its Series A financing round, the fundraising event marked one of the biggests in China's digital health scene.

JD is a prolific Chinese internet giant with a market cap of around USD 37 billion. The Health subsidiary represents the third unicorn that has been created by JD.com, after JD Logistics (京东物流) and JD Digits (京东数科). 

As of July 2019, the newly-launched wholesale platform of JD Health is covering 19 provinces and 47 cities in China, and nearly 100,000 pharmacies. "We're the largest third-party drug wholesale platform in China," the parent company claimed.

Despite the parent company's confidence, online pharmacy is an industry with strong rivals in it, and JD Health will presumably face fierce competition. 360 Health and Yao123.com are the other rooted and assertive players of China's online pharmacy scene. 

In the field of digital health, JD.com has already missed the chance to be the early-mover. 

China's largest insurance group, Ping An Insurance (2318: HK) initiated Ping An Good Doctor for digital health services in 2014. Alibaba launched Ali Health (阿里健康) in 2016, and in 2017, even Wanda Group entered the industry. 

However, Xin Lijun is considering JD Health as a "rising-star" and although it is a latecomer, the CEO believes that the timing is an advantage for JD Health to avoid the mistakes that the predecessors have fallen into, iyiou.com, sister publication of EqualOcean reported.

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