April 16, 2018 / 10:38 AM / a year ago

JD.com takes $85 million stake in Allianz China unit

FILE PHOTO: A sign of China's e-commerce company JD.com is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - JD.com Inc (JD.O) will invest 536.6 million yuan ($85.4 million) for a 33 percent stake in the China unit of global insurance giant Allianz SE (ALVG.DE), the companies said, as part of the Chinese e-commerce firm’s push into financial services.

The investment will make JD.com the second largest shareholder in Allianz China, said the insurance firm in a filing on Monday.

JD.com spun out its finance unit in 2017 and earlier this month Reuters reported it aims to raise $1.9 billion in fresh equity that will potentially double the unit’s value to $20 billion yuan.

JD Finance offers consumer-facing financial products including wealth management and credit services, which compliment sales on its e-commerce platform.

The firm’s investment in the Allianz unit comes as other Chinese tech firms are also investing heavily in the country’s burgeoning online finance sector, including top e-commerce rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and search firm Baidu Inc (BIDU.O).

“Allianz and JD.com have entered into a long-term partnership to develop a digital insurance joint venture in China. We expect this type of insurance to give consumers even greater confidence when buying online,” said JD.com in an emailed statement on Monday.

JD.com’s investment is still subject to approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said Allianz in the filing.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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