HONG KONG, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Jingdong Mall, dubbed China’s Amazon.com, plans to apply for a Nasdaq listing in March at the earliest after the Chinese online retailer delayed its plans to proceed with an initial public offering late last year amid weak sentiment, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
Jingdong, which runs 360buy.com, has been working closely with investment banks including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to prepare for its IPO on Nasdaq, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank were also likely to be involved in the deal, the newspaper said citing sources.
Jingdong, which planned to raise up to $5 billion, may have to trim the IPO size to $2-3 billion as investors remain cautious, but no final decision has yet been made, the paper cited sources as saying. It gave no further listing details.
Established in 2004, Jingdong is China’s second-largest online retailer behind Alibaba Group’s Taobao, according to the latest Analysys International research.
While China’s e-commerce market is growing alongside its middle class, making it an attractive business opportunity, the market is highly fragmented and competitive. Jingdong competes not only with Taobao Mall, but also with E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc.
Jingdong Mall is planning to launch an online hotel booking business soon, as part of the firm’s rapid expansion, according to a mainland media report in February.
The Chinese online retailer had said last October that it was planning to hire 20,000 staff in 2012 to support the firm’s rapid expansion.