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Richard Liu talks momentum for JD’s first quarter continued to migrate to’s e-commerce retail business, which returned a good first-quarter performance, says chairman/CEO Richard Liu.

Annual active customer accounts increased by 27.6 per cent to 301.8 million in the 12 months to the end of March, while the “Retail as a Service” strategy also gained momentum as brands looked to the Chinese company’s technological infrastructure to take their businesses to the next level, says Liu.

“JD’s revenue growth for the first quarter was strong and maintained a healthy balance between profitability and investing for the future,” says CFO Sidney Huang. “We are making rapid progress in boundaryless retail innovations while expanding JD’s nationwide fulfillment network to bring value to a wide range of brands and industry players.”

Net revenues for the quarter grew 33.1 per cent to RMB100 billion (US$216 billion), while net service revenues jumped 60 per cent RMB8.6 billion.

JD’s operating margin before unallocated items was 2.1 per cent, slipping from 2.2 per cent a year earlier.

During the quarter, JD expanded its premium Expedited Delivery service including two-hour delivery for smaller packages and three-hour delivery for large items, covering more than 50 major cities and about 1000 counties and districts in China.

JD Logistics also launched a premium logistics service with China Railway Corporation, using domestic high-speed trains for long-distance transportation of high-end goods, and JD’s Luxury Express, a last-mile delivery service for luxury products.

As of April 30, JD’s JV New Dada had partnered with 192 Walmart stores and 424 Yonghui stores, among other supermarkets and grocery stores, to provide a premium online fresh grocery service with one-hour home-delivery service.

JD now has 515 warehouses in China with about 170,000 merchants on its online marketplace and a total of 163,543 full-time employees.

This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail Asia.

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