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JD.com loses ground as growth shifts to China's smaller cities

E-retailer hurt by weak rural service, joins Alibaba in seeking new revenues

Like Amazon.com, JD.com built its empire on logistics. But the company's distribution networks are lacking in smaller cities, causing the company to fall behind Alibaba.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce platform, is losing domestic market share to leader Alibaba Group Holding and emerging players -- especially in regional cities, the key to growth in the country's maturing market.

The Tencent Holdings-backed company posted a net loss of 2.4 billion yuan ($358 million) for 2018, larger than the 150 million yuan in red ink amassed the prior year. JD.com's user base expanded about 4% last year to around 300 million people, a sharp slowdown from 29% growth in 2017.

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