JD Logistics (JDL) listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) with the ticker symbol 2618.HK on May 28, 2021. The opening price was 40.36 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) per share, resulting in an initial value of HKD 24.11 billion for JDL’s initial public offering (IPO). JDL’s parent company, JD.com, was founded by CEO Liu Qiangdong, who has also developed IPOs for other subsidiaries of his company. JDL is the third JD company to list on HKEx. JD.com is listed as 9618.HK, which first appeared on HKEx as a secondary listing on June 18, 2020. JD Health also listed on HKEx as 6618.HK on December 8 of that year.
JDL celebrated the IPO at its headquarters in Beijing through a virtual connection to the HKEx in Hong Kong. Nine representatives of JDL stood on a stage to virtually ring the gong signaling its IPO. They consisted of JDL’s customers, clients and frontline employees, including Willie Tan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Skechers Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Korea. JDL’s six-axis robot used to automate warehouse tasks was also on stage.
Rui Yu, CEO of JD Logistics, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. He discussed JDL’s development as a logistics network for JD.com in 2007, along its achievement such as the improvement of customer experience for JD.com. Yu added, “Through unrelenting investment in logistics infrastructure and technology, JD Logistics has launched services such as 211 and 24-hour delivery in tens of thousands of counties and towns.” The “211” service that Yu referred to is the same-day and next-day delivery service that JDL offers. Yu added that JDL was redefining standards in logistics services, providing its customers with the best user experience in the world.
JD Logistics was China’s largest provider of integrated supply chain and logistics in 2020 by revenue. The company opened its first warehouse in Shanghai, China in 2014, and it now has 32 warehouses in China that include a fully automated warehouse capable of processing 1.3 million orders per day. JDL currently operates over 1,000 warehouses throughout the world with a total surface area of 21 million square meters. The company’s workforce totals more than 240,000, including 190,000 in-house staff who deliver packages across China. Delivery locations include some of the most remote villages in the country, many of which are located on sparsely populated islands.
Yu also stated that JDL began operations outside China in 2017 by developing integrated supply chains based on its previous decade of experience in this sector. The company was providing supply chain and logistics solutions to more than 190,000 enterprises throughout the world by 2020. In addition to its own warehouses, third parties operate over 1,400 cloud warehouses on behalf of JDL. This structure allows JD.com’s technology to automate its existing warehouses to a great extent, allowing external clients to account for an increasingly large portion of JDL’s revenue. In 2020, JDL’s external client revenue already accounted for 46.6 percent of its total revenue.
Yu also discussed the significance of JDL’s IPO within the context of its future roles by saying, “This IPO allows JD Logistics enter a new stage of development, and also symbolizes taking on more social responsibility.” He added that the company’s organization and scale would change in the future, but its policies of placing the customer first and doing the right thing the right way would remain the same. In addition, Yu stated that JDL’s business logic wouldn’t change with respect to the company’s core values such as cost, efficiency, and experience.
JDL will use the proceeds from its IPO to upgrade and expand its logistics networks, according to its prospectus. It will also use these funds to develop technologies for its supply chain and logistics solutions, providing them with the increased capabilities they’ll need to attract competitors’ customers. Additional uses of the IPO proceeds include investing in industry solutions and hiring more sales and marketing personnel. Working capital and general purchases are also expected uses of these proceeds.
Yu closed his remarks on JDL’s IPO by describing his firm’s “superior efficiency and sustainability for the global supply chain” in the future. He also discussed the company’s use of technology to drive the integration of its supply chain into the real-world economies. The continued provision of quality service for its existing companies while developing new businesses was another topic of Yu’s statements. Additional points included JDL’s commitment to reducing the cost of social logistics by driving improvements in efficiency.
JDL’s IPO occurs as the major ecommerce players in China are attempting to develop their logistics businesses. The driving force behind this trend is the increasing need for these enterprises to boost revenue for global expansion, typically by offering more services to third parties. Liu indicated that his company will increase its expansion efforts in Southeast Asia and Europe, especially in ecommerce, finance and technology and logistics. He added that JD.com has already established a European procurement center, allowing the company to offer more European brands on its online shopping platform.
JD.com expanded in Southeast Asia by launching its business in Indonesia in 2015. It also entered Thailand in 2020 through a joint venture with Central Group, a conglomerate based in that country. In May 2021, Liu Qiangdong announced that JD.com was investing in Tiki.vn, which is the leading business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform in Vietnam. This investment is part of the company’s overall expansion strategy, especially for logistics.
JD.com also launched a round of fundraising in 2021 for its logistics business with an initial goal of $2 billion. Chinese investment firms Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital Group are likely to be the lead investors for this funding round, which would assist JDL in operating independently of JD.com. Furthermore, the funding would allow JDL to offer its delivery services to more third-party clients. Wang Zhenhui, CEO of JDL, has stated that this strategy has allowed his firm to achieve rapid early growth that has even surpassed the growth rate of JD.com’s self-owned orders.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.