State media including the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily newspaper took JD to task this week for a major sales promotion that drew consumer complaints over pricing and allegedly misleading product descriptions.
Newspapers nationwide and Web sites such as portals Sina (SINA) and Sohu (SOHU) gave prominent play to reports produced by the official Xinhua news agency criticizing JD's "618 Party On" promotion, which ran Tuesday through Friday. The reports included no comments from company officials.
JD is a holding company that runs a business-to-consumer Internet shopping platform. Its website, payment and delivery services support retailers selling a variety of brand names from air conditioners to makeup to zinc supplements. Its biggest sellers are electronics such as smartphones.
Last month, state media rained praise on JD for raising $1.78 billion in the largest IPO ever for a Chinese company on a U.S. exchange. Alibaba could top that soon: It has filed for an IPO in New York that could raise $20 billion. A date has not been set, but Chinese media say it could launch Aug. 8, or 8/8 -- an auspicious date because eight is a lucky number to Chinese. A Dangdang IPO raised $272 million in 2010.