JD.com freeing up finance business to fight in growing sector

|By:, SA News Editor

JD.com (JD +0.7%) will spin off its finance business for $2.1B, adding some heat to a growing payment-service sector for Chinese consumers.

The new unit, JD Finance, will be able to move more aggressively as a separate unit, and respond to challenges from Alibaba's (BABA -1.1%) Ant Financial, which is considering a public offering in China.

JD Finance could do the same. It raised about $1B in January 2016 at a valuation of about $6.8B. Ant raised $4.5B at a valuation of $60B last April.

JD.com will retain access to 40% of future JD Finance profits even though it loses control of the unit. It won't disclose investors in JD Finance but they are a mix of old and new investors.

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