China’s JD.com Is Seeing Sales Surge as Consumers in Lockdown Turn to Online Shopping

While the coronavirus pandemic has decimated overall retail spending, major e-tail players are getting a boost, as consumers have been forced to go online to safely purchase both essential and non-essential goods.

Beijing-based e-commerce giant JD.com reported that its net revenues jumped 20.7% to 146.2 billion yuan (or $20.6 billion) during the first quarter ended March 31, compared with the same quarter last year.

Its net revenues from product sales increased 19.7% to 130.09 billion yuan (or $18.37 billion), while revenues from services such as advertising and logistics rose 29.6% year-over-year to 16.11 billion yuan ($2.29 billion).

Richard Liu, chairman and CEO of JD.com, said in a statement, “Strong user growth during the first quarter reflects consumers’ increasing reliance on JD.com to support every aspect of their lives, and confidence in our commitment to providing a broad selection of quality products and best-in-class services.”

The company’s CFO, Sidney Huang, added, “Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, JD has implemented disciplined financial control policies while providing undisrupted and timely services to consumers. We will continue to invest in technology and customer experience to support our future growth.”

Indeed, in mid-February, while China was in lockdown, JD.com announced it was staffing up to minimize disruptions in operations. The conglomerate promised to offer more than 20,000 new jobs for warehouse workers, couriers and drivers across its logistics network.

E-commerce companies around the globe have seen a rise in online spending throughout the pandemic. In April, when much of North America and Europe were in lockdown, digital sales for the general retail sector grew 209% compared with the same year-ago period, according to payments firm ACI Worldwide.

And some experts predict the e-tail sector will continue to thrive post-pandemic, as more consumers are being trained to shop online.

For Q2 2020, JD.com forecast net revenues 180 billion to 195 billion yuan, representing a growth rate of 20% to 30%.

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