JD.com is China's second largest ecommerce player.

HONG KONG — Beating analysts’ expectations, JD.com posted a 47 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue helping it to shrink its full-year losses by 63 percent.

On Thursday, China’s second-largest e-commerce operator, posted a net loss for 2016 of 3.5 billion renminbi ($500 million), down from the 9.4 billion renminbi ($1.4 billion) the year before. That was on full-year net revenues of 260.2 billion renminbi ($37.5 billion), representing a 44 percent increase from 2015. 

The strong fourth quarter was boosted by seasonality factors, most notably Singles’ Day which falls in November.

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“Normally in the fourth quarter you see somewhat higher orders because of promotional events,” chief financial officer Sidney Huang commented. 

The company stated it expects net revenues for the first quarter to grow between 34 percent to 38 percent year-on-year. 

The company confirmed the upcoming spin-off of JD Finance, its payments and investments division, from its core e-commerce business. To be completed by midyear, it will result in a 14.3 billion renminbi ($2.1 billion) cash payment, mirroring the move by rival Alibaba and its finance arm Ant Financial. Huang said it would allow JD Finance to apply for securities licenses that require a strict domestic shareholder base.

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The site, which started out selling electrical appliances, still skews slightly toward a male audience. Huang said they do not have exact numbers as the site does not require customers to register their gender but believed “they are at least are very close.”

He went on to say that attracting more female shoppers was a key focus for customer acquisition in the days ahead and increased efforts in the fast-moving consumer goods category and apparel would help achieve that. As a result, it plans to separate the apparel category, which at present is lumped in with the home goods business, and appoint a new leader to run the team.

In December, it added voice shopping functionality allowing users to check the status of their orders, 
listen to product promotions and complete the entire shopping process via the company’s DingDong A1 smart speaker.

JD.com counted over 120,000 merchants on its online marketplace as of Dec. 31.

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