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JD Finance eyes US$1b to develop eco-system

NASDAQ-listed e-commerce group JD.com Inc’s financial subsidiary JD Finance intends to raise 6.65 billion yuan (US$1.01 billion) to be used in developing China’s leading financial technology ecosystem.

JD Finance signed an agreement to raise the funds with investors including Sequoia Capital China, China Harvest Investments and China Taiping Insurance. The fundraising is set to be completed in the first half of this year, JD said over the weekend.

“By partnering with top financial and start-up service institutions, we will be even better positioned to create China’s leading financial technology ecosystem,” said JD.com CEO Liu Qiangdong.

JD.com will continue to hold the majority stake in JD Finance after the fundraising.

Domestic Internet companies such as JD and Alibaba Group are becoming increasingly influential in the financial sector as the heavy transactions online provide a strong base for their online payment and financial services.

JD Finance, set up in October 2013, offers consumers financial services like e-wallet and small loans for qualified vendors who sell on JD.com’s platform.

Earlier media reports said that JD Finance plans to list on the strategic emerging industry board in 2017, but JD officials declined to comment.

The board for domestic high-growth and innovative enterprises in the Internet, alternative energy and bio-medicine sectors may be launched by the Shanghai Stock Exchange in the first half this year.

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