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JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce site debuted at the Nasdaq on Thursday, valuing the company at $30.43 billion after opening at $21.75 a share.
By noon in New York, the stock had traded 59 million shares and remained above $21 apiece. Underwriters priced the deal at $19 a share, above the expected range of $16 to $18, after the initial public offering was 15 times oversubscribed, according to CNBC sources.
JD.com has been unprofitable in recent years as it builds its own delivery infrastructure that stretches to rural areas of China. The company reported a net loss of $8 million on revenue of $11.5 billion in 2013, according to its prospectus. While the loss is narrowing, the lack of profit has drawn comparisons to U.S. e-retailer Amazon, which has been criticized for its razor-thin margins.
JD.com CFO Sidney Huang defended the strategy in a CNBC interview.
"The first nine months of last year we were GAAP profitable. So again we deliberately made the choice to reinvest and making sure we capture the market share and the tremendous growth opportunities," Huang told "Squawk Alley. "
The deal will raise a total $3.1 billion in proceeds for JD.com: Roughly $1.8 billion was raised in the sale of equity, the remainder secured from a private placement with China gaming giant Tencent.
"This is really a partnership between the largest direct e-commerce company and the largest Internet company in China. We're the largest both, you know, Internet and mobile user base."
The company's debut holds major implications for technology companies looking to go public. JD.com's offering is the largest since Twitter raised $1.82 billion in November 2013—and the microblogging company's stock has since sagged 31 percent from where it opened.
Investors see JD.com's IPO as greasing the markets for Alibaba, which could launch the largest technology offering on record as early as August.
Alibaba has yet to choose a U.S. exchange for its hotly anticipated deal. So would Huang recommend the Nasdaq, like JD.com? "Definitely," he said. "It will raise the visibility of JD.com globally and certainly will also domestically in China."
—By CNBC's Sally Shin and Kayla Tausche.