京东其金融科技部门在2018年之前一直被称为京东金融（JD Finance），后来更名为京东数字（JD Digits），并于今年1月更名为京东科技（JD Technology）
JD Technology, the fintech unit of one of China’s largest online shopping platforms, is likely to withdraw its
initial public offering (IPO)
from Shanghai’s Star Market, amid changing business circumstances after the halt of Ant Group’s stock sale last November, according to sources. The company, renamed from JD Digits since absorbing
JD.com’s businesses in artificial intelligence and cloud computing in January, may resubmit a listing application in future, according to two sources briefed about ongoing discussions who declined to be named.
The company feels it’s appropriate to withdraw the IPO plan because its name, its business and its senior management team have all changed since the initial listing plan was first filed, said one source who is involved in the listing discussions.
Any postponement in the listing of JD Technology, 36.8 per cent owned by JD.com, would not be a heavy blow to the e-commerce company, as investors are convinced of the company’s business prospects and are unlikely to force the parent into a buy-out, another source said. Executives of JD.com and JD Technology in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment.
Workers sort out packages for delivery at JD.com's Yizhuang Smart Delivery Station in Beijing on November 11, 2020. Photo: Simon Song
The IPO application by JD Technology is sitting in abeyance. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) have neither given their approval, nor rejected the application. Spokespeople at the bourse operator and the securities regulator could not be reached to comment.
The fintech unit changed its name at least twice in the last three years. Known as JD Finance until 2018, the unit filed to raise an estimated 20 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion) last September on the Star Market. That was two months before China’s financial regulators published a raft of new rules to rein in the growth of fintech, particularly insmall online loans to consumers and small businesses.
JD.com’s fintech unit, spun off in 2013, earned 43 per cent of last year’s first-half revenue from online consumer loans and cash loan services Baitiao and Jintiao, a growth of 5 percentage points from 38 per cent for the whole of 2019. according to JD Digits’ listing prospectus.
The last time the company made any disclosure concerning its IPO was on October 12, when it provided answers to the SSE’s queries in a 261-page document.
Three weeks later, Chinese regulators halted the dual listing of Ant Group in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was seeking to raise US$39.67 billion in what would have been the largest capital raising in global financial history, 48 hours before shares were due to begin trading.
Ant Group is an affiliate of this newspaper’s owner Alibaba Group Holding.
China leads in big tech lending Source: BIS
此后，监管机构发布了一系列新的监管规定，对互联网平台和科技公司提供的金融服务进行隔离，极大地改变了蚂蚁集团的经营环境，京东科技及其他金融科技新的公司这项规定要求在线贷款机构向银行提供的任何贷款中，至少有30%的资金到位。他们还必须拿出50亿元的注册资本来提供跨省网上贷款。个人贷款规模上限为30万元，即最近三年平均年收入的三分之一，以两者中的三分之一为准低一点。那个这些规则的结合可能会影响公司的盈利能力京东或者要求公司缩小规模，上海德恒律师事务所（DeHeng Law Shanghai）合伙人赵志东表示：“除非金融服务不再是京东科技的主营业务，否则京东科技必须进行重组，以符合小额贷款的规定，就像蚂蚁集团一样。”京东正推动业务转型，京东公司首席合规官李亚云出任金融科技部门首席执行官。
Regulators have since published a slew of new regulations
to ring-fence the financial services offered by internet platforms and technology companies, significantly changing the business environment for Ant Group, JD Technology and other fintech companies.A
new rule requires online lenders to fund at least 30 per cent
of any loan they extend with banks. They must also put up 5 billion yuan in registered capital to offer online loans across provincial borders. The size of the loans are capped at 300,000 yuan for individuals, or one third of their average annual income for the last three years, whichever is lower.
The combination of the rules could either affect the profitability of JD.com’s fintech business, or require the company to scale down, or else pony up more capital to support its ambitions.
“Unless financial service is no longer the main business of JD Technology, it has to restructure to comply with the regulation for microlending, just like Ant Group,” said Zhao Zhidong, a partner at DeHeng Law Shanghai Offices.
JD Technology put its business transformation into overdrive, promoting JD.com’s chief compliance officer Li Yayun to the fintech unit’s chief executive, replacing Chen Shengqiang. Li, JD.com’s Communist Party secretary, had never been in charge of a business unit before at the group.
Big tech lending surges past fintech. Source BIS.
It’s not all bad news for JD Technology. The Star Market, launched under an edict by President Xi Jinping to
nurture China’s home-grown technology champions
and start-ups, is flexible in its listing approvals. It accepts applications by non-profitable companies, and has instituted a registration-based listing regime.
JD.com could also make use of its various ventures spread across the Chinese regulatory spectrum. The central bank picked JD.com to be the first e-commerce platform for its trial of China’s sovereign digital currency.
JD.com is also a key investor in Pudao Credit
, the second company licensed to collect personal credit data in China. Ant Group’s Alipay and
Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay were co-investors of a 2018 data-collection venture called Baihang Credit
The efforts by JD.com to restructure its unit also underscored what’s at stake, said Zhao of DeHeng Law.
“If the company is merely fine-tuning its business by moving cloud technology forward to the front, it might still be possible for JD Technology to have its IPO approved, with the help of professionals like lawyers, brokers and investment institutions,” he said. “If the company wants to list as a fintech company, then it will need to restructure to comply with the regulations.”