JD Digits plans to acquire 99Bill.com, a third-party payment platform owned by Dalian Wanda Group, at a cost of RMB1.6bn, as reported by Sina Finance on September 15. Analysts pointed out that the most valuable asset of 99Bill.com is the third-party payment license, which may become the second payment license that JD.com acquires.
The benefits of this acquisition are mainly reflected in two aspects. Firstly, industry insiders commented that obtaining the nationwide payment business permit, which allows a non-financial institution to provide payment services, would be JD.com’s [JD:US] fundamental purpose. Though JD.com acquired Chinabank Payments in 2012, the company is only allowed to carry out card transaction processing and transaction settlement services in Beijing, while 99Bill.com will extend JD.com’s business scope to all over China. Furthermore, this deal will take the positive impact of increasing JD Digits' valuation ahead of the company's IPO. In the prospectus, the company reported a total of RMB10.3bn revenue in 1H20, among which financial services contributed 41.48% of its total revenue. This indicates that the financial services business plays an important role in the company's development. Hence, industry insiders believed that the deal enhances the company's strength in fintech.