May 31, 2021| Executive Spotlights
JDT Chief Economist: 2B and 2G as the Next Wave of China’s Digitalization
by Vivian Yang
A new wave of digital economy development is taking place in China in the post-COVID era with digital transformation services expanding from “to customer” to “to business” such as shops and factories, as well as “to government”, noted Dr. Jianguang Shen, chief economist of JD Technology during the OECD’s Emerging Market Network (EMnet)’s virtual meeting under the topic of “the challenge of digital transformation in emerging markets” on May 26.
Dr. Shen was invited as a guest speaker at the opening session of the organization’s working group discussion to share his thoughts on the progress of digital transformation in China.
Dr. Jianguang Shen, chief economist of JD Technology speaks at the opening session of OECD EMnet’s working group meeting
China’s decade-long investments in digital infrastructure such as the internet and 5G are paying off as these have allowed most companies to still engage in business during the pandemic, and the government has used digital infrastructure as an important tool to control the spread of COVID-19 in one quarter’s time, enabling the country’s economy to quickly pick up speed in the following quarters and achieve positive growth in 2020.
Shen shared his observation that most cities in China now offer free WiFi access in public areas, such as on the streets, on subways, in railway stations and more. He cited the mobile banking case to demonstrate the power of digital technology in supporting the government, business and households to deal with the difficult situation. Thanks to the wide application of fintech by banks, securities, insurance companies and more, “China’s financial sector achieved 8% growth in the first quarter of 2020 while overall economic activity fell 6.8%”.
With this experience, “from shops to manufacturers now, everyone knows that they have to embrace digitalization to be successful, using the internet to provide services online and maintaining reachable to their customers.” Shen also attributed this as a primary reason for the growing number of unicorn companies emerging in China.
Shen noted that the Chinese government is stepping up its effort in digital infrastructure investment after the pandemic outbreak by building data service centers, encouraging studies and applications of artificial intelligence, and supporting the development of companies and labs in relevant areas.
“The digital economy has been put at the center of China’s future development,” said Shen while stressing that “the government needs to strike a balance between using data as a productivity driver and protecting privacy.”
Juan Carlos Mora, president of Bancolombia, François Candelon, managing director & senior partner, global director of BCG Henderson Institute, and Maryleana Mendez, general secretary, ASIET also joined the panel discussion and shared their insights on the topic from their respective regional perspectives in Latin America, Europe and Africa.
All the speakers emphasized that public-private partnership is important to foster an ecosystem that can promote inclusive digitalization. In response to this point, Dr. Shen added that it’s important for the government to set up the principles and enable the proper use of data, then the private sector can contribute a lot in offering virus prevention services and beyond.
JD Logistics’ CEO on Its Advantages, Market Competition and Overseas Plans
by Vivian Yang
Rui Yu, CEO of JD Logistics met with international and Hong Kong media on May 28 in Beijing and online immediately after the company’s ceremony to celebrate its successful listing on HKEx.
Over 40 media organizations participated the press conference in person or through live webcast. International media including AP, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, Kyodo News attended the IPO gong-ringing ceremony and press conference at JD’s headquarters. Hong Kong Economic Daily, Hong Kong Economic Journal, AA Stocks, RTHK, SCMP, BBC, Fortune magazine and other media joined the press conference online from Hong Kong and other regions.
Rui Yu, CEO of JD Logistics at the IPO press conference
“Providing integrated supply chain solutions based on clients’ demand and JD’s technological capabilities” is the key advantage of JD Logistics, said Yu when answering the question about how the company differentiates itself from other players in the highly competitive market.
According to Yu, unlike most logistics companies which provide standard delivery service products, JD Logistics aims at offering flexible and customized supply chain services that can best support its clients’ business development in a fast-changing market environment.
“Changing business models and technologies (such as social and livestreaming e-commerce) will bring serious implications to supply chains,” said Yu. “We continuously iterate our supply chain services, dive deep into supply chain processes and study timely feedback, so that we can help our clients to shorten their distance to customers, and create more sales opportunities with less inventory.”
Yu pointed out that by the end of 2020, external clients accounted for nearly 47% of JD logistics’ revenues, with the majority using its integrated services which involve supply chain solutions, systems management, warehousing and more. Yu said that the number of external clients will continue to grow at a fast rate in the coming year, lessening JD Logistics’ reliance on its parent company and making positive contributions for its overall profits.
In responding to media’s questions related to the industry’s tighter regulatory scrutiny, Yu noted that there is sufficient market competition in the logistics market in China. With over 10-years of experience in serving customers and business clients in all products and categories, he believes that the recent regulations will bring JD Logistics more open opportunities and help it reach more platforms and enterprises that were previously not easy to access.
On overseas operation plans, the company will continue to build its global logistics network, infrastructure and supply chain solutions to better serve cross-border sellers to China, mainly from North America and Europe, and explore new markets in line with Chinese brands’ globalization destinations, such as Southeast Asia, South America and other regions. Additionally, Yu eyes some business breakthroughs in cargo flights in the foreseeable future.
Click here to watch the replay of the press conference.
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