IN 2019 RICHARD LIU told couriers working for JD.com that the Chinese e-commerce giant he established would cancel their base pay after a 2.8 bn yuan ($438 m) loss the previous year, its 12 th consecutive one in the red. Riders would make just a commission on shipments. If the company did not cut down on costs, Mr Liu cautioned, it would fold in two years.
Far from collapsing, 2 years on JD Logistics, JD.com’s shipment department, is on a roll, fuelled by a boom in Chinese e-commerce (see chart). Its parent business’s revenues leapt by 39%, year on year, in the first quarter, to 203 bn yuan. On Might 26 th Pinduoduo, an upstart competitor that likewise uses clients shipment by JD Logistics couriers, reported quarterly sales of 22 bn yuan, 239%greater than a year earlier.
The State Post Bureau expects logistics companies to provide more than 100 bn parcels this year, twice as numerous as in2018 Overall costs on logistics in …