Weekly News Wrap: JD.com says worst is over for consumer demand; Tata eyes 20 'beauty tech' stores
And Tencent’s plan to cut its stake in Meituan triggered an internet stock selloff.
E-commerce firm JD.com has posted an 11.4% rise in Q3 revenue, beating analysts' estimates as COVID-19 lockdowns in China led more consumers to shop online.
U.S.-listed shares in JD.com rose more than 3% in trading before the bell.
Chinese retail spending has sagged this year, with consumers frustrated by the government's strict "zero-COVID" policy that has led to frequent snap lockdowns and hurt economic activity.
JD.com chief executive Xu Lei said on a call with analysts on Friday that the company has seen signs of consumption recovery, helped by the new rules.
"The worst moment is basically over," he said.
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India's Tata Group is planning to open at least 20 "beauty tech" stores where it will use virtual makeup kiosks and digital skin tests to get young, affluent shoppers to buy premium cosmetic products, according to a company document and a person familiar with its strategy.
The move pits Tata, whose interests range from cars to jewellery, against LVMH's Sephora and domestic rival Nykaa for a share of the fast-growing $16 billion beauty and personal care market in the world's second-most populous country.
Tata is eyeing what it calls a "beauty enthusiast" in India aged between 18 and 45 years who like to buy foreign brands such as Estee Lauder's M.A.C and Bobbi Brown, according to the document. Tata is in talks with more than two dozen companies to supply exclusive products to the new stores, according to a person familiar with the strategy, who did not name specific brands.
Tata declined to comment on its planned beauty stores and the contents of the document seen by Reuters.
Tencent Holdings’ plan to dole out $20b of stock in meal delivery giant Meituan triggered a broad selloff of Chinese internet stocks as investors fear more divestments by the online gaming company are in the offing.
The benchmark Hang Seng Tech Index slid more than 5% in hectic morning trade. Meituan dived as much as 6.7%, while other Tencent investees including Kuaishou Technology and Bilibili plunged more than 7%.
Tencent pledged to distribute the majority of its Meituan shares to investors, ramping up plans to reduce its extensive holdings across the world’s largest internet industry.
The decision marks a milestone in Tencent’s evolution from a sprawling internet empire with investments across much of China’s tech sphere to a more focused gaming and social media operator.