China's JD.com raises $1.8bn in US share sale

A Chinese woman looks at Taobao.com China's online retail market has expanded sharply

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Chinese online retailer JD.com has raised $1.8bn (£1.1bn) in its US share sale, valuing the company at more than $25bn according to underwriters Bank of America and UBS Investment Bank.

Shares are due to start trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the symbol 'JD' at the price of $19 per share.

JD.com is China's second largest e-commerce firm after Alibaba.

The IPO will be closely watched as a measure of Wall Street's appetite for Chinese internet firms.

The e-commerce industry in China is attracting a lot of interest, due to increasing affluence in the world's second largest economy as well as rising access to the internet.

According to research firm eMarketer, China's business to consumer e-commerce sales may surpass $180bn this year.

Investors

In its IPO prospectus, JD.com said it had a 17.5% market share based on transaction volume, as of the third quarter of last year. The figures are based on calculations by iResearch, a research firm.

Asia's biggest internet company, Tencent Holdings, bought a 15% stake in JD.com in March this year, in an attempt to grab a larger share of China's online shopping market.

Under the deal, JD.com will take full control of Tencent's e-commerce business, which includes subsidiaries such as QQ Wanggou and Paipai.

The purchase signals heightened efforts by Tencent to take on rival Alibaba.

JD.com's list of investors include Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, with a 5% stake.

The e-commerce firm plans to use proceeds from the IPO to expand its infrastructure needs with the building of new warehouses and establishing more delivery stations. It also wants to build a fund for potential investments in and acquisitions of complementary businesses, assets and technologies.

US investors will be watching how JD.com shares perform on Nasdaq, hoping for clues as to how Wall Street will receive rival Alibaba, which filed for an IPO earlier this month.

Analysts are expecting Alibaba to raise more than $15bn.

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