Thursday, August 28, 2014

China's Is the New Amazon in the E-Commerce Jungle

This article was originally published by TheStreet on August 19, 2014
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- (JD_) , one of the biggest players in China's e-commerce market, posted its second-quarter results last week --its net loss increased by more than 20 times from the same period last year. Yet, its shares climbed by 2% when the markets opened on Monday.
Why? Because's business model makes it very familiar to anyone who knows Amazon (AMZN_) . sells a vast variety of products to consumers, often at lower prices than conventional brick and mortar stores. Hence's shares trade like those of Amazon, purely on growth. As long as manages to grow its revenues at a robust pace, its shares will likely continue going higher.'s shares have climbed 44% since its IPO in late-May, currently hovering around $30. For the third quarter, the company has forecast growth of between 55% and 61% from last year. had been a seller of mainly lower-margin electronic products but has worked on expanding its product portfolio. In an email to TheStreet, Josh Gartner, the company's senior director for international communications said that aims to become a "one-stop e-commerce platform" for its customers. This can have a positive impact on the company's profit margins as it moves beyond electronics and home appliances.
In the second quarter, got nearly 45% of the value of its total merchandise sales from non-electronic items, an increase from 35% last year.
Gartner has also said that authenticity of products on is a critical factor that differentiates the company from other competitors serving the Chinese market. The company is going to expand "on the promise of authenticity" to as many products as possible.
Earlier in June, China's leading online seller of beauty products Jumei (JMEI_) suffered a setback when a media investigation revealed that a seller on its Web site was offering counterfeit goods. Since then, Jumei has apologized while the Chinese government has launched an inquiryinto the sale of fake and pirated goods by online retailers. is now focusing on expanding in lower-tier Chinese cities. Meanwhile, its partnership with Tencent, owner of the popular mobile messaging services Mobile QQ and WeChat, should fuel its growth in mobile. Mobile QQ has 490 million users while WeChat has 438 million monthly active users.