Cainiao to double annual bonuses for staff in 2025 after IPO withdrawal · TechNode

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Alibaba’s logistics operation Cainiao will double employees’ annual bonuses next year after the company announced it was canceling its planned IPO in Hong Kong. Wan Lin, chief of Cainiao announced the annual bonus decision late Tuesday in a staff-facing email, shortly after Alibaba said it was abandoning the subsidiary’s anticipated IPO.

Why it matters: Alibaba’s offer to buy remaining Cainiao shares up to $3.75 billion and the bonus incentive plan should give a double boost to investors and staff amid the unexpected listing withdrawal. Cainiao’s public offering was originally expected to be the largest IPO in Hong Kong in 2023.

The unit filed its A1 filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sept. 26 last year. When Alibaba announced the withdrawal of the IPO plan this Tuesday, it coincided with the last day of the six-month window during which the company was obligated to update its listing status.

Details: As part of the new incentive plan, Cainiao employees will receive their standard year-end bonus in April 2025, with an additional bonus of the same amount in August 2025. This plan will cover all of the firm’s regular employees who are on duty and eligible for the year-end bonus at that time.

This year marks a crucial period for Cainiao’s “second venture journey,” according to Wan, which he said will require all employees to continue to “work hard together,” without providing further details on what this journey may entail.

Joe Tsai, chair of Cainiao’s parent company Alibaba, told analysts the IPO abandonment was an internal decision made after evaluating strategy; he emphasized that the call was made without any influence from regulatory authorities, given the infamous halting of Ant Financial’s IPO in 2020. He highlighted a deep integration between Cainiao and Alibaba’s e-commerce businesses as important to the retailer’s priority of “winning in e-commerce by regaining market share and driving growth.”

Cainiao is closely entwined with Alibaba’s core e-commerce operations. For instance, its logistics arm launched same-day delivery services for Tmall Supermarket last year. In a competitive landscape where domestic logistics firms vie to be known for efficiency and service excellence, customers in over 20 cities can now expect to receive their purchased items within half a day after they place orders through the online supermarket.

Cainiao also plays an important role in facilitating Alibaba’s international expansion efforts as cross-border platform AliExpress extends its reach to overseas customers rival to Shein and Temu. This has pushed Cainiao to expedite its delivery services accordingly. Shoppers across multiple overseas markets, including the US, the UK, and the Netherlands, can currently receive parcels from China within five working days via the service.

Context: Driven by income from cross-border fulfillment solutions, Cainiao’s 2023 fourth-quarter revenue grew 24% from a year earlier to $4 billion. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) reached RMB 961 million ($135 million) during the period, a $550 million improvement compared to the previous quarter.

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Cheyenne Dong is a tech reporter now based in Shanghai. She covers e-commerce and retail, AI, and blockchain. Connect with her via e-mail: cheyenne.dong[a]technode.com.
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