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Grameen China and JD.com Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Platform to Eliminate Poverty in China

6 Dec

Project kicks off partnership to help alleviate poverty in rural Chinese communities

By Robert Hoskins

Beijing, China – JD.com (NASDAQ: JD), China’s largest online direct sales company, and Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust (“GT”), a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation, announced that they have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership inChina.

Grameen China and JD.com Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Project

Grameen China and JD.com Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Project in China

The partnership will use JD.com’s crowdfunding platform to raise money to establish Grameen China’s ground operations, and future cooperation will likely also use the platform to provide micro-loans for entrepreneurs in rural areas of China, which have been underserved by the traditional banking system. To kick off the partnership, JD Finance, the finance business unit of JD.com, and Grameen China today launched a crowdfunding microfinance project, led by Nobel Laureate and GT founder Mahammad Yunus, a pioneer in microcredit and microfinance.

On December 17, 2014, Mr. Yunus and Richard Liu, Founder and CEO of JD.com, will host a fundraising breakfast to formally launch the partnership between JD.com and Grameen China. Tickets to attend the event are available at z.jd.com, with proceeds to support Grameen China’s efforts in the country.

“JD.com is extremely proud to provide a platform for Grameen Trust, the global leader in microfinance, and Mahammad Yunus to expand their groundbreaking work helping to alleviate poverty in China by empowering rural entrepreneurs,” Mr. Liu said. “In line with our vision to give back to the communities that have made us successful, we look forward to drawing on the expertise of Grameen Trust to strengthen JD.com’s microfinance and crowdfunding efforts to more effectively empower people living in rural areas of China.”

Mr. Zhan Gao, President and CEO of Grameen China, commented, “The partnership between Grameen China and JD.com is a landmark step in the development of China’s nascent microfinance efforts. Grameen’s expertise in empowering people in rural areas to lift themselves out of poverty, combined with JD.com huge user base and reach into targeted areas, provides a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

“It is a great honor to work with Grameen China to develop programs that will help provide crowdfunding platforms for people in the Chinese countryside to build businesses and improve their lives,” said Nathan Yao, Vice President at JD Finance. “JD Finance will continue to look for ways to promote our business while bringing real benefits to traditionally underserviced segments of society.”

JD Crowdfunding was launched on July 1, 2014 and has collected more than RMB 100 million for innovative projects. In what JD.com believes was the largest crowdfunding project to date in China, on October 22, 2014 JD.com raised more than RMB 11.2 million from more than 3,500 people to fund a company developing advanced air purifiers.

In June 2014, JD.com launched its own microfinancing project, JD Hometown Delivery Program, to provide small loans to eligible Company couriers to establish and operate JD.com delivery stations in their hometowns. More than 200 delivery stations in rural areas have been established to date.

JD.com, Inc. on of the leading online direct sales company in China. The Company strives to offer consumers the best online shopping experience. Through its content-rich and user-friendly website and mobile applications, JD.com offers a wide selection of authentic products at competitive prices and delivers products quickly and reliably.

The Company believes it has the largest fulfillment infrastructure of any e-commerce company in China. JD.com operates 7 fulfillment centers and a total of 118 warehouses with an aggregate gross floor area of approximately 2.3 million square meters in 39 cities, and 2,045 delivery stations and 1,045 pickup stations in 1,855 counties and districts across China, staffed by its own employees. The Company provided same-day delivery standard in 130 counties and districts under its 211 program and next-day delivery in another 815 counties and districts across China as of September 30, 2014.

Grameen China is a social enterprise of microfinance. It was founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus in 2014. Grameen China provides microloans, financial education and support network to women who live in poverty in rural China to build small businesses. Grameen China opened its first office on July 2014 in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province.

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