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JD.com raises $2.5 billion by selling stake in logistics unit

China's second-largest online retailer expects to expand its business reach to more overseas destinations after GMV tops 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion).

Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has raised $2.5 billion by selling a stake in its logistics business to a number of its backers including Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, and Tencent.

The Nasdaq-listed JD will remain the majority shareholder of JD Logistics with an 81.4 percent stake, the company said in a press release on Wednesday, adding that it expects the deal to be fully completed within this quarter.

It is JD Logistics' first outside funding, and also the largest single financing registered in the Chinese logistic industry, according to the company.

JD's CEO Richard Liu said the current funding round will help the company further invest in expanding its lead in the sector in areas like automation, drones, and robotics.

"JD Logistics will continue to support both JD.com's ecommerce business and the logistical needs for a wide range of industries for years to come," Liu said in the release.

JD Logistics was spun off as a standalone subsidiary of the ecommerce platform in April last year.

The Amazon-like Chinese online shopping platform completes 57 percent of its orders in 12 hours, and 90 percent in 24 hours, supported by its 500 warehouses in the country, according to a Sina report.

On the same day, Liu said in an inner company letter that JD will continue to invest in technology and will speed up its globalisation process this year.

AI, big data, and cloud computing will become JD's core advantages in seeking cooperative opportunities, after the Chinese ecommerce giant achieved 1 trillion yuan in gross merchandising value (GMV) ahead of plan last year.

The Chinese company will expand the size of its R&D center in Silicon Valley this year, and will officially launch its R&D center in Europe soon. The company will also start fully mapping out businesses in Thailand and Indonesia, and will set up offices in Canada, France, and the UK, Liu said in the letter.

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