The finance arm of Beijing-based e-commerce giant JD.Com has signalled a shift in the orientation of its operations by changing the name on its official online platforms from “JD Finance” (京东金融) to “JD Data Science” (京东数科).
JD Finance made the name change to its official Sina Weibo, Toutiao and TikTok accounts on the evening of 17 September, as well as changed the byline for its official website to “a data sciences company servicing financial institutions.”
In response to the change JD Finance said that “we believe that data science can better embody the company’s positioning. Consequently on new media platforms have attempted to use the term ‘JD Data Science’ to engage in interactions with industry and users.”
Inside sources close to JD Finance said to Sina that “JD Data Science” has already been confirmed as the future official name of the company, and that it is currently handling industrial and commercial procedures.
According to the sources JD Finance has already completed structural adjustments, and will in future focus on data science, data services, the financial cloud, smart cities, and other areas on the foundation of its financial operations.
The move comes as many Chinese fintech companies shift their business orientation towards the provision of technological services to established financial institutions, in response to heightened scrutiny from regulators.
According to observers the name change signals the completion of the asset divestment and business model shift signalled by JD Finance’s promotion of the B2B2C model at the start of the year.
JD Finance originally positioned itself as a B2C company that provided financial services directly to consumers, yet launched its transition towards the B2B2C model after acquiring expertise in risk pricing and client operations that enabled it to provide data and tech services to financial institutions.
CEO Chen Shengqiang (陈生强) said in February at a staff meeting that the company would employ its unique advantages with regard to the B2B2C model in response to the changing conditions created by China’s transition from high-speed to high-quality growth.
According to Chen the B2B2C model is a completely new business model that uses science and technology to resolve financial problems, while ensuring that “finance belongs to finance and technology belongs to technology.”
Chen said that the opportunities brought by the model had the potential to create a company with a market value of as much as USD$100 billion.
In May JD Finance restructured itself into the two main service units of retail and corporate, with retail services comprised of consumer-end operations including consumer finance, wealth management, securities, crowd-funding, insurance and payments, and corporate services encompassing business-end operations including supply-chain financing, fintech operations, rural credit, insurance and payments.