JD.com posted a quarterly loss on Thursday, as its operational costs surged, and reported its weakest revenue growth in six quarters, amid slowing consumer spending.
The slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy has taken a toll on its e-commerce sector, as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
Last month, rival Alibaba posted its slowest revenue growth for the same period since going public in 2014.
JD.com, which sells everything from home appliances to luxury goods, noted that general expenses rose by 89%, primarily due to the increase in share-based compensation expenses.
The online retailer, which enjoys a competitive edge over its rivals due to its investments in supply chain and logistics, noted that fulfilment costs were also up by 10.7%.
Net loss attributable to shareholders for the fourth quarter was 5.2 billion yuan, compared to a profit of 24.3 billion yuan last year.
Net revenue rose by about 23%, to 275.9 billion yuan ($43.64 billion), in the fourth quarter, while analysts had expected revenue of 274.45 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue from JD Retail, the unit that accounts for a majority of the company’s revenue from its website and retail partnerships and stores, rose by nearly 21%. The logistics business saw revenue jump by about 28%.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 2.21 yuan per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 1.54 yuan.
In January of this year, JD.com announced the launch of two ‘robotic stores’ under the new brand name ‘Ochama in the Netherlands’, with more locations to follow in the near future.