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Alibaba-Rival JD to Get $2.1 Billion in Finance Arm Spinoff

  • JD.com will get 40% of the unit’s profits under an agreement
  • Move sets up a battle with Alibaba’s own Ant Financial
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JD.com Inc. agreed to sell its finance arm for 14.3 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) in cash while retaining a share of its future profits, part of a deal to spin off the fast-growing division and create a strong rival to billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial.

The sale and spinoff of JD Finance, a payments and investment business, will be completed by the middle of 2017, the Beijing-based company said Thursday without naming buyers or investors apart from Chief Executive Officer Richard Liu. The co-founder said in November he intended to split finance away from its core e-commerce business, a similar structure to what Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has with affiliate Ant Financial. A spokesman for JD.Com said the deal valued the spun-off unit at more than 50 billion yuan.