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JD.com Shows First 2020 Quarter Performance – Were the Results as Expected?​​​​​​​
COVID-19 and China
Goods brought from online are displayed on the table. Image credit_ Malvestida_Unsplash

► JD.com's first quarter revenue increased 83.33% compared to that in 2019 Q1.

► Despite a little lag in the live e-commerce game, JD.com is actively deploying resources in logistics, healthcare and industrial products to improve resilience.

JD.com (JD:NASDAQ), the Chinese e-commerce giant, just disclosed a sterling quarterly financial report, with a performance good enough to boast of, especially during this universal pandemic. It gained a quarterly income of CNY 2.3 billion (USD 0.3 billion), over CNY 1 billion more compared to CNY 1.2 billion in 2019 Q1, or 4.3 times of the previous quarterly revenue.

Even negatively impacted by the COVID-19, this online shopping platform still demonstrated its unquestionable status in the Chinese consumer market. Its net revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were CNY 146.2 billion (USD 20.6 billion), a promising 20.7% from the first quarter of 2019.

Another noteworthy fact is about its active user number. Annual active customer accounts, or the active users who made at least one purchase during the last twelve months, increased to 387.4 million in 2020 Q1, indicating 25.4 million more users than reported in its 2019 Q4 financial report.

“Strong user growth during the first quarter reflects consumers’ increasing reliance on JD.com to support every aspect of their lives, and confidence in our commitment to providing a broad selection of quality products and best-in-class services,” as Richard Liu, Chairman and CEO, explains the pushing factor of the increased user number.

Indeed, besides the lockdown’s booming effect on e-shopping, the ambitious e-commerce company had laid a robust foundation already. The year of 2019 already saw JD.com surpass Taobao, its strongest rival in the online consumer market, with 362 million annual active users.

To sustain the operation status of e-commerce,  the monthly active users (MAU) rate is another major revenue growth engine. Its mobile daily active users in this quarter increased by 46% as compared with the first quarter in 2019.

Resilience is the new core competency

Undoubtedly, amid the continued pandemic, stability is the new quality that is highly appreciated. While the other two Chinese e-commerce players, Pinduoduo and Taobao, have been busy competing with each other on the arena of promotional campaigns, such as ‘Double 11’ and ‘CNY 10 Billion Subsidiary’ (‘百亿补贴’), JD.com, on the contrary, has been focusing on establishing its supply chain-based infrastructure.

During the outbreak this early spring, it launched its ‘Mobile Fresh Basket’ community initiative across over 100 China cities in China, especially in lower-tier cities. As of March 31, 2020, it was operating over 730 warehouses, supporting convenient community-centered deliveries.

This enhanced logistics function has also benefited its healthcare platform, JD Health. This March, it introduced online healthcare services, providing pharmaceutical and healthcare products and services, covering online drug sales, medical and psychological consultations, healthcare management services and special channels.

On the livestreaming battlefield, JD.com has just started engaging in this overly-heated game. Taobao Live, an independent livestreaming app supporting traffic for Taobao’s e-commerce, has contributed 4.3% of the total CNY 6.400 billion GMV of Taobao. Pinduoduo later on also opened its livestreaming channel, with 8% contribution to its total GMV of CNY 1,007 billion in 2019. 

However, JD.com, as the main 3C product provider, shows no prominent advantage in this fierce competition. One reason is the high average selling price, the other factor is the lower turnover rate for the average user, compared to consumer goods. But it is gradually deploying the livestreaming strategy throughout its e-commerce platform. It also believes the appeal of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) but it adopts a different angle from the other two by cooperating with entertainment celebrities.

The market has not closed yet. Its fourth quarterly and annual report in 2019 surprised the investors, resulting in a 12.44% increase in stock price. How much credit will the market give to JD’s first-quarter report this time?

We will find out soon.

Editor: Luke Sheehan

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