JD.com divests from travel agency Tuniu in $65m fire sale

Photo: Reuters

Major e-commerce platform JD.com will unload its entire 21% stake in Chinese online travel website Tuniu for about 458 million yuan ($65 million), losing a $500 million bet as a recovery looks elusive for a sector decimated by the pandemic.

JD.com and Tuniu announced the sale to travel company Caissa Sega Tourism Culture Development Group on an unspecified closing date.

Tuniu was the domestic industry leader, with a 28% share of the resort-focused Chinese online travel market in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research firm Analysys. But its net loss widened to 200 million yuan in the first quarter of 2020 from the year-earlier 150 million yuan.

JD.com spent half a billion dollars total to acquire and gradually increase its Tuniu stake in 2014 to 2015.

Coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions led to canceled trips and vacations, cutting deeply into revenues at such online travel companies as Trip.com Group.

JD.com generated record-high sales in the first three months of this year as people stayed inside and shopped online. The Beijing-based company, listed on Nasdaq, debuted in Hong Kong last week through a secondary listing as it looks to expand operations.

This article was first published in Nikkei Asian Review.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.