Chinese online retailer JD.com is reportedly eyeing a secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock market as early as mid-2020, following rival Alibaba’s blockbuster $13 billion listing in November.

Why it matters: JD.com could be the latest addition to a group of Chinese tech firms that are gearing up for a dual listing in Hong Kong.

  • A successful listing would be a vote of confidence for China’s e-commerce market as well as the broader economy, which is struggling to return to full capacity following country-wide lockdowns. However, the economic effects from the pandemic as well as the protests in the city adds uncertainty to a potential Hong Kong debut.
  • Chinese search engine Baidu, online travel platform Trip.com, and Netease, China’s second-biggest gaming firm, are reportedly planning to dual list in Hong Kong.
  • The possible listing would further boost Hong Kong’s status as a major capital markets hub.

Details: JD.com is in discussions with investment banks including UBS and Bank of America on details about a secondary listing, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

  •  A spokesman for JD.com declined to comment on the news.
  • The two banks underwrote the company’s 2014 initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq, and have a long history of working with the company.

Context: In January 2018, founder and CEO Richard Liu indicated that the company was considering a dual listing either in Hong Kong or mainland China.

  • JD announced in January a $1 billion note offering to refinance and fund general operations.
  • The e-commerce giant beat market expectations of its Q4 2019 earnings, though it said the crisis around the Covid-19 outbreak will cost the company about 10% of its net revenue growth in Q1.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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