BEIJING — JD.com Inc., a Chinese e-commerce company that is becoming a major rival to online retail giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., announced a 73 percent year-on-year increase in revenues for the fourth quarter through December, the company said on Tuesday.
Net revenues for the fourth quarter were $5.6 billion while the gross merchandise value of goods sold was $13.8 billion, a 119 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2013, JD.com said in a statement. The company posted $18.5 billion in net revenues for 2014, a 66 percent increase from the full year of 2013.
JD.com said the sales uptick is attributable to a more streamlined experience for consumers shopping from JD.com via mobile devices. In particular, the company has focused on improving user experience on WeChat, a wildly popular mobile chat app, which is increasingly being used by companies in China as a marketing tool as well as additional channel for selling products. Sales via mobile devices accounted for more than a third of total orders in the fourth quarter, the company said.
It also said primary growth drivers for the increase in annual revenues was due to an increase in annual active customer accounts to 96.6 million for the full year of 2014 from 47.4 million in 2013 and the growth in the number of fulfilled orders to 689 million last year compared to 323.3 million in 2013.
JD.com’s marketing strategy is centered on ensuring consumers of the authenticity of the products. In recent weeks, rival Alibaba has faced a flurry of scrutiny from Chinese regulators questioning whether the e-commerce giant has engaged in illegal business practices, including the sale of fake products online. Upon the release of the Nasdaq-listed JD.com’s earnings report, Alibaba shares, as of around 1 p.m. in New York, dropped around 3.4 percent to $80.66.
A number of international brands have opened up flagship stores on JD.com, including Gap and Samsonite. It is also broadening its product offerings, inking partnerships with computer and cell phone manufacturers as well as distribution agreements with popular Chinese liquor brands.