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TABLE OF CONTENTS
VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LIMITED INDEX TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Table of Contents


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549



FORM 20-F



(Mark One)    

o

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR

ý

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
OR

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

For the transition period from                                     to                                      
OR

o

 

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
Commission file number: 001-35454

VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LIMITED



(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

N/A



(Translation of Registrant's Name Into English)

Cayman Islands



(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

No. 20 Huahai Street,
Liwan District, Guangzhou 510370
People's Republic of China



(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Donghao Yang, Chief Financial Officer
Vipshop Holdings Limited
No. 20 Huahai Street
Liwan District, Guangzhou 510370
People's Republic of China
Telephone: +86 (20) 2233-0000
Facsimile: +86 (20) 2233-0111



(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)

             Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class   Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
American depositary shares, each representing 0.2 Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share   New York Stock Exchange
Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share*    

*
Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing of American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

             Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None



(Title of Class)

             Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None



(Title of Class)

             Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report: 116,395,883 Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, and 16,510,358 Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, as of December 31, 2018.

             Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

ý Yes    o No

             If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

o Yes    ý No

             Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

ý Yes    o No

             Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

ý Yes    o No

             Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer   ý   Accelerated Filer   o

Non-Accelerated Filer

  o   Emerging Growth Company   o

             If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  o      


The term "new or revised financial accounting standard" refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

             Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP ý   International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board o   Other o

             If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

o Item 17    o Item 18

             If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

o Yes    ý No

             (APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

             Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Section 12, 13, or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.

o Yes    o No

   


Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I.

       

ITEM 1.

 

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

    2  

ITEM 2.

 

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

    2  

ITEM 3.

 

KEY INFORMATION

    2  

ITEM 4.

 

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

    43  

ITEM 4A.

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

    80  

ITEM 5.

 

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

    80  

ITEM 6.

 

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

    106  

ITEM 7.

 

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

    120  

ITEM 8.

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

    121  

ITEM 9.

 

THE OFFER AND LISTING

    122  

ITEM 10.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    122  

ITEM 11.

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

    133  

ITEM 12.

 

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

    135  

PART II.

       

ITEM 13.

 

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

    136  

ITEM 14.

 

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

    136  

ITEM 15.

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

    137  

ITEM 16A.

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

    138  

ITEM 16B.

 

CODE OF ETHICS

    138  

ITEM 16C.

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

    138  

ITEM 16D.

 

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

    139  

ITEM 16E.

 

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

    139  

ITEM 16F.

 

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT'S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

    139  

ITEM 16G.

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

    139  

ITEM 16H.

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

    139  

PART III.

       

ITEM 17.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    139  

ITEM 18.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    139  

ITEM 19.

 

EXHIBITS

    140  

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INTRODUCTION

        Unless otherwise indicated and except where the context otherwise requires, in this annual report on Form 20-F:

        Effective November 3, 2014, we changed our ADS to Class A ordinary share ratio from one ADS representing two ordinary shares to five ADSs representing one Class A ordinary share. The computation of U.S. GAAP and non-U.S. GAAP income per diluted ADS has been adjusted retrospectively for all periods presented to reflect this change.

        Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars in this annual report were made at RMB6.8755 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate for December 31, 2018 as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this annual report could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. The PRC government restricts the conversion of Renminbi into foreign currency and foreign currency into Renminbi for certain types of transactions. On April 12, 2018, the noon buying rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board was RMB6.7039 to US$1.00.

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PART I.

ITEM 1.    IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

        Not applicable.

ITEM 2.    OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

        Not applicable.

ITEM 3.    KEY INFORMATION

A.
Selected Financial Data

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

        The following selected consolidated statements of income data for the three years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2018 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report. The selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes and "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" in this annual report. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP.

        Our selected consolidated statements of income data for the two years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015, and our selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014, 2015, and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included in this annual report.

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        Our historical results do not necessarily indicate results expected for any future periods.

 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB   %   RMB   %   RMB   %   RMB   %   RMB   US$   %  
 
  (in thousands, except percentages, number of shares, and per share and per ADS data)
 

Selected Consolidated Statements of Income Data:

                                                                   

Product revenues

    22,685,111     98.1     39,409,961     98.0     55,281,900     97.7     71,171,653     97.6     81,510,275     11,855,178     96.4  

Other revenues

    444,202     1.9     793,251     2.0     1,309,402     2.3     1,740,660     2.4     3,013,673     438,321     3.6  

Total net revenues

    23,129,313     100.0     40,203,212     100.0     56,591,302     100.0     72,912,313     100.0     84,523,948     12,293,499     100.0  

Cost of revenues(1)

    (17,378,044 )   (75.1 )   (30,306,723 )   (75.4 )   (42,994,688 )   (76.0 )   (56,618,471 )   (77.7 )   (67,454,981 )   (9,810,920 )   (79.8 )

Gross profit

    5,751,269     24.9     9,896,489     24.6     13,596,614     24.0     16,293,842     22.3     17,068,967     2,482,579     20.2  

Operating expenses(2)

                                                                   

—Fulfillment expenses(3)

    (2,268,949 )   (9.8 )   (3,667,031 )   (9.1 )   (4,904,526 )   (8.7 )   (6,899,654 )   (9.5 )   (7,489,393 )   (1,089,287 )   (8.8 )

—Marketing expenses

    (1,164,149 )   (5.0 )   (2,089,348 )   (5.2 )   (2,837,680 )   (5.0 )   (2,978,621 )   (4.1 )   (3,240,450 )   (471,304 )   (3.8 )

—Technology and content expenses

    (670,998 )   (2.9 )   (1,076,520 )   (2.7 )   (1,563,582 )   (2.8 )   (1,808,452 )   (2.5 )   (2,000,894 )   (291,018 )   (2.4 )

—General and administrative expenses

    (967,463 )   (4.2 )   (1,301,472 )   (3.2 )   (1,941,146 )   (3.4 )   (2,447,724 )   (3.3 )   (2,674,179 )   (388,943 )   (3.2 )

Total operating expenses

    (5,071,559 )   (21.9 )   (8,134,371 )   (20.2 )   (11,246,934 )   (19.9 )   (14,134,451 )   (19.4 )   (15,404,916 )   (2,240,552 )   (18.2 )

Other operating income

    153,977     0.6     308,431     0.8     358,029     0.6     531,055     0.8     757,062     110,110     0.9  

Income from operations

    833,687     3.6     2,070,549     5.2     2,707,709     4.8     2,690,446     3.7     2,421,113     352,137     2.9  

Income before income taxes and share of loss of equity method investees

    1,060,341     4.6     2,050,520     5.1     2,666,084     4.7     2,540,853     3.5     2,747,075     399,546     3.3  

Income tax expenses

    (245,032 )   (1.0 )   (457,745 )   (1.1 )   (601,828 )   (1.1 )   (626,140 )   (0.9 )   (566,604 )   (82,409 )   (0.7 )

Share of loss of equity method investees

    (62,716 )   (0.3 )   (84,063 )   (0.2 )   (71,489 )   (0.1 )   (22,280 )   (0.0 )   (46,999 )   (6,836 )   (0.1 )

Net income

    752,593     3.3     1,508,712     3.8     1,992,767     3.5     1,892,433     2.6     2,133,472     310,301     2.5  

Net loss/(income) attributable to non-controlling interests

    88,693     0.3     80,953     0.2     44,050     0.1     57,222     0.1     (4,685 )   (681 )   (0.0 )

Net income attributable to our shareholders

    841,286     3.6     1,589,665     4.0     2,036,817     3.6     1,949,655     2.7     2,128,787     309,620     2.5  

Shares used in calculating earnings per share

                                                                   

Class A and Class B ordinary shares(4) :

                                                                   

—Basic

    113,310,682         115,736,092         115,958,088         117,554,229         132,266,157     132,266,157      

—Diluted

    120,227,584         120,168,063         125,817,183         125,715,833         140,083,610     140,083,610      

Net earnings per Class A and Class B ordinary share

                                                                   

Net income attributable to our shareholders—Basic

    7.42         13.74         17.57         16.59         16.09     2.34      

Net income attributable to our shareholders—Diluted

    7.00         13.23         16.86         15.94         15.61     2.27      

Net earnings per ADS(5) (1 Class A ordinary share equals 5 ADSs)

                                                                   

—Basic

    1.48         2.75         3.51         3.32         3.22     0.47      

—Diluted

    1.40         2.65         3.37         3.19         3.12     0.45      

Notes:

(1)
Excludes shipping and handling expenses, and includes inventory write-down that amounted to RMB218.1 million, RMB293.9 million, RMB303.2 million, RMB206.7 million, and RMB440.8 million (US$64.1 million) for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

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(2)
Include share-based compensation expenses as set forth below:
 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   US$'000  

Allocation of Share-based Compensation Expenses:*

                                     

Fulfillment expenses

    (10,822 )   (18,665 )   (38,428 )   (73,235 )   (73,151 )   (10,639 )

Marketing expenses

    (17,293 )   (19,938 )   (38,459 )   (40,364 )   (41,063 )   (5,972 )

Technology and content expenses

    (103,160 )   (126,274 )   (183,122 )   (206,073 )   (203,594 )   (29,612 )

General and administrative expenses

    (94,219 )   (138,064 )   (215,644 )   (347,426 )   (353,402 )   (51,400 )

Total

    (225,494 )   (302,941 )   (475,653 )   (667,098 )   (671,210 )   (97,623 )

*
The share-based compensation expenses for 2014 included RMB225.5 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, employees, and consultants. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB29.4 million and RMB598.2 million, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 1.34 years and 3.20 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2014, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2015 included RMB302.9 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB6.9 million and RMB914.0 million, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 1.02 years and 2.97 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2015, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2016 included RMB475.7 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB243 thousand and RMB1.24 billion, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 0.25 years and 4 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2016, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2017 included RMB667.1 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB162.9 million and RMB1.43 billion, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 3 years and 2.72 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2017, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2018 included RMB671.2 million (US$97.6 million) share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB131.4 (US$19.1 million) and RMB1.20 billion (US$175.0 million), and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 2 years and 2.32 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2018, respectively. See "Item 5.A. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Operating Results—Critical Accounting Policies—Share-based compensation" for details.
(3)
Include shipping and handling expenses, which amounted to RMB1.17 billion, RMB1.71 billion, RMB2.58 billion, RMB3.83 billion, and RMB4.50 billion (US$654.3 million) for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

(4)
Authorized share capital was re-classified and re-designated into Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, with each Class A ordinary share being entitled to one vote and each Class B ordinary share being entitled to ten votes on all matters that are subject to shareholder vote.

(5)
Each ADS represents 0.2 Class A ordinary shares, effective November 3, 2014. The computation of net earnings per ADS has been adjusted for all periods presented to reflect this change.
 
  As of December 31,  
 
  2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   US$'000  

Summary Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

                                     

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

    4,791,151     3,324,384     4,109,577     10,221,992     10,038,472     1,460,035  

Total current assets

    13,220,454     12,153,276     14,580,872     25,916,138     27,325,637     3,974,350  

Total assets

    16,951,041     20,035,522     25,094,453     37,982,820     43,562,663     6,335,927  

Total liabilities

    14,252,973     16,422,255     19,312,649     23,732,244     26,351,870     3,832,719  

Total shareholders' equity

    2,698,068     3,613,267     5,781,804     14,250,576     17,210,793     2,503,208  
B.
Capitalization and Indebtedness

        Not applicable.

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C.
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

        Not applicable.

D.
Risk Factors

Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry

If we are unable to manage our growth or execute our strategies effectively, our business and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

        We have experienced a period of growth and expansion that has demanded, and will continue to demand, significant financial and managerial resources. We plan to further increase our sales through enhancing our brand recognition, growing our customer base, and increasing customer spending on our Vipshop Online Platform.

        We intend to continue investing in our warehousing capacity to support our long-term growth. To further improve our nationwide fulfillment capabilities, we have expanded our warehouses in strategic locations in China to strengthen our regional logistics hubs. Moreover, we have leased warehouses outside China. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to execute our expansion plan as expected. Our rapid expansion requires us to continue to effectively manage our relationships with brand partners and third-party delivery companies to ensure efficient and timely delivery of our products. To continue our business growth, we will also need to allocate significant managerial and financial resources in retaining, training, managing, and motivating our workforce.

        We also seek to broaden our product and service offerings through third-party sellers offering their own products and services on our Vipshop Online Platform. The products and services offered by such third-party sellers may differ in category, quality, and value in comparison to those offered directly by us. Such expansion may require us to work with different groups of brand partners and introduce new product and service categories to address the needs of different kinds of customers. We have limited or no experience in some of these newer product and service offerings, such as online sales under third-party proprietary cosmetics brands, and our expansion into these new product and service categories may not achieve broad customer acceptance. These offerings may present new and difficult technological or operational challenges, and we may be subject to claims if customers experience service disruptions or failure or other quality issues with these third-party sellers. In addition, our profitability, if any, in our newer product and service categories may be lower than in our older categories, which may adversely affect our overall profitability and results of operations. Moreover, we cannot assure you that we will be able to recoup our investments in introducing these new product categories.

        Furthermore, we have further developed and expanded new business initiatives in Internet finance. We intend to stay focused on consumer financing and supplier financing services that we offer to our customers. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—We have limited experience in operating an Internet finance business, and increasing exposure to credit risks or significant deterioration in the asset quality of our Internet finance business may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations." and "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Our Product and Service Offerings—Other Services."

        All of these endeavors involve risks. We cannot assure you that we will successfully execute these expansion plans and strategies. We may fail to acquire financial or managerial resources needed for our business growth in a timely and cost-efficient manner, or at all. We cannot assure you that we will be able to manage our growth effectively, and any failure to do so may materially and adversely affect our business and prospects.

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If we are unable to offer branded products at attractive prices to meet customer needs and preferences, or if our reputation for selling authentic, high-quality products suffers, we may lose customers and our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

        Our future growth depends on our ability to continue to attract new customers as well as to increase the spending and repeat purchase rate of existing customers. Constantly changing consumer preferences have historically affected, and will continue to affect, the online retail industry. Consequently, we must stay abreast of emerging lifestyle and consumer preferences and anticipate product trends that will appeal to existing and potential customers. As we implement our strategy to offer personalized Vipshop Online Platform focusing on deep curation and targeted offerings desired by our customers, we expect to face additional challenges in the selection of products and services. Our ability to offer individually-tailored merchandise is dependent on our IT systems, including our big data and business intelligence system, to collect and provide accurate and reliable information on consumer interests. In addition, we focus on offering only authentic products on our platform, as perception by our existing or prospective customers that any of our products are not authentic, or are of inferior quality, could cause our reputation to suffer. This is particularly important for cosmetics and maternal and baby products. While our representatives generally check the products that we sell to confirm their authenticity, quality, and proper labeling, we cannot assure you that our suppliers have provided us with authentic products or that all products that we sell are of the quality satisfactory to our customers. If our customers cannot find desirable products within our product portfolio at attractive prices, or if our reputation for selling authentic, high-quality product suffers, our customers may lose interest in our platform and thus may visit our platform less frequently or even stop visiting our platform, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to maintain our customer experience or provide high-quality customer service.

        The success of our business largely depends on our ability to provide superior customer experience and high-quality customer service, which in turn depends on a variety of factors, such as our ability to continue to provide reliable and user-friendly Vipshop Online Platform for our customers to browse and purchase our products, reliable and timely delivery of our products, and superior after-sales services. Our sales may decrease if our platform services are severely interrupted or otherwise fail to meet our customer demands. Should we or third-party delivery companies fail to provide our product delivery and return services in a convenient or reliable manner, or if our customers are not satisfied with our product quality, our reputation and customer loyalty could be adversely affected. In addition, we also depend on our call center and online customer service representatives to provide live assistance to our customers. If our call center or online customer service representatives fail to satisfy the individual needs of customers, our reputation and customer loyalty could be adversely affected and we may lose potential or existing customers and experience a decrease in sales. As a result, if we are unable to continue to maintain our customer experience and provide high-quality customer service, we may not be able to retain existing customers or attract new customers, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Any harm to our brands or failure to maintain our reputation may materially and adversely affect our business and growth prospects.

        We believe that the recognition and reputation of our brands among our customers and brand partners have significantly contributed to the growth of our business. Maintaining and enhancing the recognition and reputation of our brands are critical to our business and competitiveness. Many factors, some of which are beyond our control, are important to maintaining and enhancing our brands and, if

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not properly managed, may negatively impact our brands and reputation. These factors include our ability to:

        A public perception that non-authentic or counterfeit goods are sold on our Vipshop Online Platform, even if factually incorrect, could damage our reputation, reduce our ability to attract new customers or retain our existing customers, and diminish the value of our brands. If we are unable to maintain our reputation, enhance our brand recognition, or increase positive awareness of our platform, products, and services, it may be difficult to maintain and grow our customer base, and our business and growth prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

If we fail to manage our relationships with, or otherwise fail to procure products at favorable terms from, our existing brand partners, or if we fail to attract new brand partners, our business and growth prospects may suffer.

        We source our products from both domestic and international brand partners. As of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, we worked with over 10,000, 13,000, and 17,000 brand partners, respectively. We depend significantly on our ability to source products from brand partners on favorable pricing terms, typically at a substantial discount to the original sales price. However, our agreements do not ensure the long-term availability of merchandise or the continuation of any particular pricing practices. Our contracts with our brand suppliers typically do not restrict our brand partners from selling products to other buyers. We cannot assure you that our current brand partners will continue to sell products to us on commercially acceptable terms, or at all. In the event that we are not able to purchase merchandise on favorable pricing terms, our revenues, profit margin, and earnings may be materially and adversely affected. Our brand partners primarily include brand owners, and to a lesser extent, brand distributors and resellers. If any brand distributor or reseller fails to obtain or maintain appropriate authorization from the relevant brand owner to sell certain products to us, such brand distributor or reseller may cease selling such products to us at any time, which may adversely affect our business and revenues. Furthermore, although we, as an online distributor, are not directly responsible to obtain customs clearance or other relevant permits for the sale of products imported by our brand partners, we are required under the relevant PRC laws to check whether our brand partners who have imported such products have obtained the requisite import-related permits or filings and whether the products have passed the quality inspection before they are sold and distributed in the China market. If any of our brand partners fails to pay the required import tariffs, fails to obtain clearance from the customs or inspection and quarantine bureaus, or fails to meet the product labeling or other mandatory specification requirements, and sells such imported products to us, we may be subject to fines, suspension of business, and confiscation of unlawfully sold products and the proceeds from such sales, depending on the nature and gravity of such liabilities.

        If our brand partners cease to provide us with favorable payment terms or return policies, our working capital needs may increase, resulting in negative impact on our cash flows from operating activities, and our operations may be materially and adversely affected. As part of our growth strategy,

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we plan to further expand our brand and product offerings and thus need to continue establishing relationships with new brand partners to ensure our access to a steady supply of products on favorable commercial terms. Furthermore, our relationships with some brand partners, particularly international brand partners of apparel products in China, may be adversely affected as a result of our sale of branded products that are directly procured from overseas markets. If we are unable to develop and maintain good relationships with brand partners that would allow us to obtain sufficient amount and variety of quality merchandise on acceptable commercial terms, it may inhibit our ability to offer sufficient products sought by our customers or to offer these products at prices acceptable to them. Negative developments in our relationships with brand partners could materially and adversely affect our business and growth prospects.

We rely on our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and third-party delivery companies for our product delivery, and if we or these third-party delivery companies fail to provide reliable delivery services, our business and reputation may be materially and adversely affected.

        Leveraging our continued and committed investment in quality delivery companies and build-out of in-house delivery capabilities and warehousing systems with almost nationwide coverage over the years, we now rely primarily on our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and, to a lesser extent, on third-party delivery companies to fulfill our product delivery demand. In 2018, our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities handled over 95% of our total orders. Nevertheless, we still maintain cooperation arrangements with a number of third-party delivery companies to supplement our invested and in-house delivery capabilities to deliver our products. Interruptions to or failures in delivery services could prevent the timely or proper delivery of our products. These interruptions may be due to events that are beyond our control or the control of these third-party delivery companies, such as inclement weather, natural disasters, transportation interruptions, or labor unrest or shortage. Moreover, if these third-party delivery companies fail to comply with applicable rules and regulations in China, reputation of our delivery services may be materially and adversely affected. We may not be able to find alternative delivery companies to provide delivery services in a timely and reliable manner, or at all, to replace such third-party delivery companies to the extent necessary. As competition intensifies in the future, we expect that we will be required to further shorten delivery time, which could place increasing pressure on our delivery network. Delivery of our products could also be affected or interrupted by merger, acquisition, insolvency, or government shut-down of our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities or the third-party delivery companies we engage to make deliveries, especially those local couriers with relatively small business scales. Furthermore, we may face additional challenges in managing our relationship with third-party delivery companies as a result of maintaining our own in-house delivery operations and capacities.

        If our products are not delivered in proper condition or on a timely basis, our business and reputation could suffer. Although we pay delivery companies subsequent to their fulfilment of delivery obligation on a monthly basis, such subsequent payment may not adequately incentivize their timely and proper delivery of goods. Although we typically require delivery companies, especially local couriers, to make cash deposits or guarantee payments securing their due performance of duties as part of our engagement with them, such security deposit may not be sufficient to recover the losses that we sustain as a result of their failure to perform.

If we do not compete effectively against existing or new competitors, we may lose market share and customers.

        The online discount retail market is rapidly evolving and competitive. Our primary competitors include major B2C e-commerce companies in China that sell a broad range of products and services

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online, such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo, and other online discount retail companies in China. We compete with others based on a number of factors, including:

        Some of our current and potential competitors may have significantly greater resources, longer operating histories, larger customer bases, and greater brand recognition. As the online discount retail market in China is expected to grow, many new competitors and some existing B2C e-commerce companies may enter into this market. In addition, other online retailers may be acquired by, receive investment from, or enter into strategic relationships with, well-established and well-financed companies or investors, which would help enhance their competitive positions. Some of our competitors may be able to secure more favorable terms from brand partners, devote greater resources to marketing and promotional campaigns, adopt more aggressive pricing or inventory policies, and devote substantially more resources to their platform and system development than us. In addition, emerging technologies and continuing innovation in mobile Internet may increase the competition in the online retail industry. Increasing competition may negatively affect our business development, online retail, and brand recognition, which may in turn affect our market share and operating margins. We cannot assure you that we will be able to compete effectively against our competitors, and competitive pressure may materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

        In addition, we seek to expand into the offline retail business as a supplement to our growth strategy. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to compete successfully with existing offline competitors, including, among others, traditional offline malls that have accumulated considerable customer base and offline stores of other reputable online retailers. We may lack experience in offline store management and may hold insufficient offline operational capabilities. We may not be able to locate desirable sites for our stores. Operating offline stores requires considerable capital and personnel, and we may not be able to generate profits from our offline business to cover the relevant cost within a short period of time. The occurrence of any of the above may adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

We had incurred net losses and experienced negative cash flow from operating activities in historical periods and may incur net losses in the future.

        We had incurred net losses in historical periods. Although we have achieved net profit since the fourth quarter of 2012, we cannot assure you that we can continue to generate net profits or maintain positive cash flow from operating activities in the future. Our ability to be profitable depends on our ability to grow our business and increase our total net revenues, to optimize our product category mix, to negotiate favorable terms with our suppliers, and to control our costs and operating expenses. Although we have experienced significant revenue growth since our inception, such growth may not be sustainable and we may incur net losses in future periods or fail to maintain positive cash flow from operating activities. We have incurred in the past and expect to continue to incur in future periods share-based compensation expenses and we expect our costs and other operating expenses to continue to increase as we expand our business, either of which will reduce our net income and may result in future losses. If our costs and operating expenses continue to increase without a commensurate

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increase in our revenue, our business, financial condition, and results of operations will be adversely affected, and we may need additional capital to fund our ongoing operations.

We may suffer losses if we are unable to effectively manage our inventory.

        Due to the nature of the flash sales business, we need to manage a large volume of inventory turnover. We depend on our forecasts of demand and popularity for various kinds of products to make decisions regarding product purchases. Our customers may not order products at our expected levels. In addition, any unfavorable market or industry conditions or change in consumer trends and preferences may limit our ability to accurately forecast the inventory levels to meet customer demand.

        We generally have the right to return unsold items for most of our products to our brand partners. In order to secure more favorable commercial terms, we may need to continue to enter into supply arrangements without unconditional return clauses or with more restrictive return policies. We may also need to take inventory in certain key product categories in order to achieve higher gross margin and obtain better commercial terms. Furthermore, because products imported to China for our cross-border business are generally not returnable, our inventory may contain an increasing portion of unreturnable products as our cross-border business continues to grow.

        We recorded RMB303.2 million, RMB206.7 million, and RMB440.8 million (US$64.1 million) in inventory write-down in the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. Such write-downs primarily reflected the estimated net realizable value of damaged or obsolete inventory.

        If we fail to manage our inventory effectively in the future, we may be subject to a heightened risk of inventory obsolescence, a decline in inventory values, and write-down, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, if we are unable to sell products or if we are required to lower sale prices in order to reduce inventory level or to pay higher prices to our brand partners in order to secure the right to return products to our brand partners, our profit margins might be negatively affected. High inventory levels may also require us to commit substantial capital resources, preventing us from using that capital for other important purposes. If we do not accurately predict product demand, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

If we are subject to higher than expected product return rates, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

        Purchases of apparel, fashion accessories, and other items over the Internet may be subject to higher return rates than merchandise sold at physical stores. In order to accommodate our customers and to overcome any hesitance that they may have in shopping with us, we currently implement a unified seven-day product return policy for purchases via our Vipshop Online Platform and refund our customers if they refuse to accept the delivery, which also constitutes a product return. Our product return rates remained stable from 2013 to 2017, and slightly increased in 2018 due to the repositioning of our business focus towards the apparel category and the implementation of our new Super VIP Membership program, which offers free shipping and free return for its paid members. If we are unable to efficiently manage our product return rates within an appropriate range relative to our sales volume, or if our product return rates increase or are higher than expected, our revenues and costs can be negatively impacted. In addition, as we cannot return some products to our brand partners pursuant to our contracts with them, if return rates for such products increase significantly, we may experience an increase in our inventory balance, inventory impairment, and fulfillment costs, which may materially and adversely affect our working capital. As a result, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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We rely on online retail of apparel products for a significant portion of our total net revenues.

        Historically, online retail sales of apparel products accounted for a significant portion of our total net revenues. We expect that sales of these products will continue to grow and represent a significant portion of our total net revenues in the near future. We have increased our offerings to include other product categories, including fashion products, cosmetics, home goods, maternal and baby products, accessories, wellness products, consumer electronic products, and other lifestyle products, as well as Internet finance offerings (including consumer financing and supplier financing services). However, we do not expect the sales of these new products and services to increase to a level that would reduce our dependence on our current line of products and services. Any failure in maintaining or increasing the number of our online retail customers or our sales volumes could result in our inability to retain or capture a sufficient share of the markets that we are targeting. Any event that results in a reduction in our sales of apparel products could materially and adversely affect our ability to maintain or increase our current level of revenue, our profitability and business prospects.

We have been expanding our logistics network. If we are not able to manage such expansion successfully, our growth potential, results of operations, and business could be materially and adversely affected.

        Our logistics network, currently consisting of regional logistics hubs located in Zhaoqing of Guangdong Province in Southern China, Kunshan of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, Jianyang of Sichuan Province in Southwestern China, Tianjin in Northern China, Ezhou of Hubei Province in Central China, and Shenyang of Liaoning Province in Northeastern China, as well as local distribution centers, is essential to our business growth. We intend to continue using our available cash and financing options to expand our logistics network to accommodate increasing volumes of customer orders, enhance customer services, provide better coverage across China, invest in IT system and mobile channel, and other general purposes. However, we cannot assure you that our plans to operate our own logistics centers and delivery operations will be successful. The expansion of our logistics network will put pressure on our managerial, financial, operational, and other resources. We cannot assure you that we will be able to locate suitable facilities on commercially acceptable terms in accordance with our expansion plan. Nor can we assure you that we will be able to recruit qualified managerial and operational personnel to support our expansion plan. If we are unable to secure new facilities for the expansion of our logistics operations, or to effectively control expansion-related expenses, our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Uncertainties regarding the growth and sustained profitability of the online retail market in China, and in particular, the development of the online flash sales business model, could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

        Substantially all of our total net revenue is generated through an online retail business model, and in particular, an online flash sales business model. While online retail businesses have existed in China since the 1990s, only a limited number of these companies became profitable. The flash sales business model originated in Europe in 2001 and then spread to the United States and later to China. The long term viability and prospects of the online retail industry, particularly companies utilizing an online flash sales business model, and B2C e-commerce business generally in China, remain subject to significant uncertainty. Our business, financial condition, and results of operations will depend on numerous factors affecting the development of the online flash sales business and, more broadly, the online retail and e-commerce businesses in China, which may be beyond our control. These factors include the general economic conditions in China, the growth of Internet usage, the confidence in and level of e-commerce and online spending, the emergence of alternative retail channels or business models, the success of marketing and brand building efforts by e-commerce and flash sales companies, and the

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development of payment, logistics, after-sale, and other services associated with e-commerce and flash sales.

The proper functioning of our IT systems is essential to our business. Any failure to maintain the satisfactory performance, security, and integrity of our Vipshop Online Platform and systems will materially and adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, and results of operations.

        Our IT systems mainly include technology infrastructure supporting the user interface of our Vipshop Online Platform, as well as our customer service, enterprise resource planning, warehouse and logistics management, product information management, business intelligence, and administration management systems. The satisfactory performance, reliability, and availability of our IT systems are critical to our success, our ability to attract and retain customers, and our ability to maintain a satisfactory customer experience and level of customer service.

        Our servers may be vulnerable to computer viruses, user traffic boom that exceeds the capacity of our servers, physical or electronic break-ins, and other disruptions, which could lead to system interruptions, website slowdown or unavailability, delays in transaction processing, loss of data, or the inability to accept and fulfill customer orders. We can provide no assurance that we will not experience such unexpected interruptions. We can provide no assurance that our current security mechanisms will be sufficient to protect our IT systems from any third-party intrusions, viruses or hacker attacks, information or data theft, or other similar activities. Any such future occurrences could damage our reputation and result in a material decrease in our revenue. We did not have material system failure in 2018.

        Additionally, we intend to continue using our available cash and financing options to upgrade and improve our IT systems and cybersecurity to support our business growth. For the year ended December 31, 2018, we spent RMB244.5 million (US$35.6 million) to maintain our IT and cybersecurity protections. However, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in executing these system upgrades and improvement strategies. In particular, our systems may experience interruptions during upgrades, and the new technologies or infrastructures may not be fully integrated with the existing systems on a timely basis, or at all. If our existing or future IT systems do not function properly, it could cause system disruptions and slow response times, affecting data transmission, which in turn, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to successfully adopt new technologies or adapt our Vipshop Online Platform and systems to changing customer needs or emerging industry standards, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

        To remain competitive, we must continue to enhance and improve the responsiveness, functionality, and features of our Vipshop Online Platform. The online retail industry is characterized by rapid technological evolution, changes in end user requirements and preferences, frequent introductions of new products and services embodying new technologies, and the emergence of new industry standards and practices that could render our existing proprietary technologies and systems obsolete. Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to identify, develop, acquire, or license leading technologies useful in our business, enhance our existing services, develop new services and technologies that address the increasingly sophisticated and varied needs of our existing and prospective customers, and respond to technological advances and emerging industry standards and practices, such as mobile Internet, on a cost-effective and timely basis. The development of mobile applications, websites, and other proprietary technology entails significant technical and business risks. We can provide no assurance that we will be able to use new technologies effectively or adapt our platform, proprietary technologies, and transaction-processing systems to meet customer requirements or emerging industry standards. If we are unable to accurately project the need for such system expansion or upgrade or to adapt our systems in a cost-effective and timely manner in response to changing market conditions or customer

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requirements, whether for technical, legal, financial, or other reasons, our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We have limited experience in operating an Internet finance business, and increasing exposure to credit risks or significant deterioration in the asset quality of our Internet finance business may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operation.

        Over the past few years, we have participated in the emerging Internet finance sector in China. We have launched consumer financing and supplier financing services. Operating in this highly-regulated and fast-changing business sector involves new risks and challenges. Our lack of familiarity with the Internet finance sector may make it difficult for us to anticipate the demands and preferences in the market and develop financial service products that meet our customers' requirements and preferences. We may not be able to successfully identify new product and service opportunities or develop and introduce these opportunities to our customers in a timely and cost-effective manner, or our customers may be disappointed in quality of our services.

        The development of our Internet finance business is capital intensive. For certain financial service products, we have committed and will continue to commit our own capital, which had and may continue to have a negative impact on our cash flow. To supplement such capital requirement, one of our subsidiaries operating our Internet finance business offered asset-backed securities, or ABSs, listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange in China, and also offered asset-backed notes, or ABNs, listed on Shanghai Clearing House in China. As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate carrying amount of these ABSs and ABNs was RMB969.0 million (US$140.9 million). Although we plan to continue to use any future ABS and ABN offerings in China to alleviate the dependence of our Internet finance business on our own cash flow, we may require additional cash resources due to further developments or changing business conditions and there can be no assurance that we will continue to complete additional ABS or ABN offerings in China or obtain access to other financing options in appropriate amounts or on acceptable terms, or at all.

        Additionally, our accounts receivable increased over 2018 due to the credit we extended for our financial service products, in turn increasing our exposure to bad debts. Although default rate remained low since we launched these services, the risk of nonpayment of loans is inherent in the financing business and we are subject to credit risk resulting from defaults in payment for loans by our customers and suppliers. Credit risks may be exacerbated in microcredit and consumer financing because there will be relatively limited information available about the credit histories of consumers. We cannot assure you that our monitoring of credit risk issues and our efforts to mitigate credit risks through our credit assessment and risk management policies are or will be sufficient to result in lower delinquencies. Furthermore, our ability to manage the quality of our loan portfolio and the associated credit risks will have significant impact on the results of operations of our Internet finance business. Deterioration in the overall quality of loan portfolio and the increasing exposure to credit risks may occur due to a variety of reasons, including factors beyond our control, such as a slowdown in the growth of the global or Chinese economies or a liquidity or credit crisis in the global or Chinese finance sectors, which may materially and adversely affect our businesses, operations or liquidity of our suppliers and consumers or their ability to repay or roll over their debt. Any significant deterioration in the asset quality of our Internet finance business and significant increase in associated credit risks may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our wide variety of accepted payment methods subject us to third-party payment processing-related risks.

        We accept payments using a variety of methods, including our Vipshop Payment service, cash on delivery, and payment through third-party online payment services, such as Tenpay. For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards processed via our Vipshop Payment service, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time and raise our operating costs and lower our

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profit margins. We may also be subject to fraud, customer data leakage, and other illegal activities in connection with the various payment methods we offer, including online payment and cash on delivery options. Although we depend less and less on third parties to provide payment processing services due to our customers' increasing use of Vipshop Payment, we continue to offer the various payment methods for the convenience and flexibility of our customers. For example, although we offer the cash on delivery payment option primarily on our in-house last mile capabilities, we still engage some third-party delivery companies for our cash on delivery payment option. If the service quality of these third-party delivery companies deteriorates, certain customers who prefer their services may become dissatisfied with us in general. We may also be subject to various rules, regulations, and requirements, regulatory or otherwise, governing electronic fund transfers and online payment, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it difficult or impossible for us to comply with. If we fail to comply with these rules or requirements, we may be subject to fines and higher transaction fees and lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our customers, process electronic fund transfers, or facilitate other types of online payments, and our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

The security of operations of our own and other third-party online payment services may materially and adversely affect our business.

        Currently, we accept payments through our own Vipshop Payment service and other third-party online payment services, such as Tenpay. In 2018, approximately 93% of our total orders were collected through online payment services, and our Vipshop Payment service was used to process a significant portion of our total orders. We expect that an increasing amount of our sales will be conducted over the Internet as a result of the growing use of online payment services. In all these online payment transactions, secured transmission of confidential information such as customers' credit card numbers and personal information over public networks is essential to maintain consumer confidence.

        We do not have control over the security measures of our third-party online payment vendors, and security breaches of the online payment services that we use could expose us to litigation and possible liability for failing to secure confidential customer information and could, among other things, damage our reputation and the perceived security of all of the online payment services that we use. If a well-publicized Internet or mobile network security breach were to occur, users concerned about the security of their online financial transactions might become reluctant to purchase on our Vipshop Online Platform even if the publicized breach did not involve the online payment services or other methods used by us. In addition, there may be billing software errors that would damage customer confidence in these online payment services. If any of the above with respect to any third-party online payment vendors were to occur and damage our reputation or the perceived security of the online payment services we use, we might lose customers and customers might be discouraged from purchasing on our platform, which may adversely affect our business.

Our growth and profitability depend on the level of consumer confidence and spending in China.

        Our business, financial condition, and results of operations are sensitive to changes in overall economic and political conditions that affect consumer spending in China. The retail industry, including the online retail sector in general and the flash sales business in particular, is highly sensitive to general economic changes. Online purchases tend to decline significantly during recessionary periods and substantially all of our total net revenue is derived from online retail sales in China. Many factors outside of our control, including inflation and deflation, interest rates, volatility of equity and debt securities markets, taxation rates, employment and other government policies can adversely affect consumer confidence and spending. The domestic and international political environments, including military conflicts and political turmoil or social instability, may also adversely affect consumer

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confidence and reduce spending, which could in turn materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We may incur liability for counterfeit or unauthorized products sold or information posted on our platforms.

        We have been and may continue to be subject to allegations that some of the items sold on our platforms are counterfeit or unauthorized from the relevant brand owners. As of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, we worked with over 10,000, 13,000, and 17,000 brand partners, respectively, via our Vipshop Online Platform. We cannot assure you that measures we have adopted in the course of sourcing such products to ensure their authenticity or authorization and to minimize potential liability of infringing third parties' rights will be effective. Any inadvertent sales of counterfeit, non-authentic or unauthorized items, or public perception of such incidents, could harm our reputation, impair our ability to attract and retain customers, and cause us to incur additional costs to respond to any incident of this nature. If counterfeit products, unauthorized products, or products, images, logos or any other information that otherwise infringe third parties' rights are sold or posted on our platform, we could also face infringement claims. We have occasionally received claim letters alleging our infringement of third-party rights. In December 2015, we received various consumer complaints about non-authentic Maotai liquor purchased during our annual promotion and confirmed that one of our vendors supplied non-authentic Maotai liquor sold on our platform. We discontinued cooperation with the vendor and voluntarily paid over RMB40 million to compensate the customers who had purchased such non-authentic Maotai liquor. We cannot assure you that in the future, we will not be required to allocate significant resources and incur material expenses regarding such claims. We may need to pay substantial amount of compensation to settle similar claims without involving in any legal proceedings, and could be required to pay substantial damages or to refrain from the sale of relevant products in the event that a claimant prevails in any proceedings against us. Forms of potential liabilities under PRC law if we negligently participated or assisted in infringing activities associated with counterfeit goods include injunctions to cease infringing activities, rectification, compensation, and administrative penalties. Moreover, our reputation could be negatively affected due to the negative publicity of any infringement claim against us. Any third-party claims may materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

Failure to protect confidential information of our customers and our network against security breaches could damage our reputation and brand and substantially harm our business and results of operations.

        A significant challenge to e-commerce and communications is the secure transmission of confidential information over public networks. Currently, almost all product orders and, in some cases, payments for products we offer, are made through our Vipshop Online Platform and systems. In such transactions, maintaining security on our platform and systems for the transmission of confidential or private information, such as customers' personal information, payment-related information, and transaction information, is essential to maintain consumer confidence in our platform and systems.

        We have adopted rigorous security policies and measures, including use of encryption technology, to protect our proprietary data and customer information. However, advances in technology and hacker skills, new discoveries in the field of cryptography, or other events or developments could result in a compromise or breach of the technology that we use to protect confidential information. We may not be able to prevent third parties, especially hackers or other individuals or entities engaging in similar activities, from illegally obtaining such confidential or private information we hold as a result of our customers' visits on our platform. Such individuals or entities obtaining our customers' confidential or private information may further engage in various other illegal activities using such information. In addition, we have limited control or influence over the security policies or measures adopted by third-party providers of online payment services through which some of our customers may elect to make payment for purchases on our platform. Furthermore, our third-party delivery companies may also violate their confidentiality obligations and disclose or use information about our customers illegally. Although we do not believe that we will be held responsible for any such illegal activities, any negative publicity on our platform's safety or privacy protection mechanism and policy could materially and adversely affect our public image and reputation.

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        In addition, the methods used by hackers and others to engage in illegal online activities are increasingly sophisticated and constantly evolving. Significant capital, managerial, and other resources may be required to ensure and enhance information security or to address the issues caused by such security failure. Any perception by the public that e-commerce and transactions, or the privacy of user information, are becoming increasingly unsafe or vulnerable to attack could inhibit the growth of online retail and other online services generally, which may also in turn reduce the number of orders we receive and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to prevent others from unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could harm our business and competitive position.

        We regard our trademarks, service marks, domain names, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, and other intellectual property as critical to our business. We rely on a combination of intellectual property laws and contractual arrangements, including confidentiality agreements and license agreements with our employees, brand partners and others, to protect our proprietary rights. As of December 31, 2018, we owned 1,401 registered trademarks, 149 copyrights (including copyrights with respect to 115 software products developed by us relating to various aspects of our operations), and 301 registered domain names that are material to our business, including vip.com and vipshop.com. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Intellectual Property."

        It is often difficult to register, maintain, and enforce intellectual property rights in China. Statutory laws and regulations are subject to judicial interpretation and enforcement and may not be applied consistently due to the lack of clear guidance on statutory interpretation. Confidentiality agreements and license agreements may be breached by counterparties, and there may not be adequate remedies available to us for any such breach. Accordingly, we may not be able to effectively protect our intellectual property rights or to enforce our contractual rights in China. Policing any unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and costly and the steps we have taken may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our intellectual property. In the event that we resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, such litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our managerial and financial resources. We can provide no assurance that we will prevail in such litigation. In addition, our trade secrets may be leaked or otherwise become available to, or be independently discovered by, our competitors. Any failure in protecting or enforcing our intellectual property rights could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Future strategic alliances or acquisitions may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

        We may pursue selected strategic alliances and potential strategic acquisitions that are complementary to our business and operations, including opportunities that can help us promote our brand to new customers and brands, expand our product and service offerings and improve our technology infrastructure. We may also pursue strategic initiatives with brands and platforms in international markets.

        Strategic alliances with third parties could subject us to a number of risks, including risks associated with sharing proprietary information, non-performance or default by counterparties, and increasing expenses in establishing these new alliances, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business. We may have little ability to control or monitor the actions of our partners. To the extent a strategic partner suffers any negative publicity as a result of its business operations, our reputation may be negatively affected by virtue of our association with such party.

        In addition, although we have no current acquisition plans, we may consider entering into strategic acquisition of other companies, businesses, assets or technologies that are complementary to our

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business and operations as part of our growth strategy. For example, in 2014, we acquired, through a series of transactions, a majority stake in Lefeng.com Limited, or Lefeng, an online retail website specialized in selling cosmetics and fashion products in China, from its parent Ovation Entertainment Limited, or Ovation, to strengthen our cosmetics and fashion product expertise. In February 2015, January 2016, and May 2016, we acquired an aggregate of 97.0% of equity interest in Feiyuan Logistics Co., Ltd., or Feiyuan, for a total consideration of approximately RMB255.7 million, to boost our warehousing, transportation, and distribution capabilities in southeast China. In September 2016, we acquired 100% of equity interest in Zhejiang Ebatong Technology Co., Ltd., which is a third-party payment service provider, for a total consideration of RMB428.3 million. Zhejiang Ebatong Technology Co., Ltd. changed its name to Zhejiang Vipshop Payment Co., Ltd. following the completion of acquisition, and developed our Internet payment channel. In December 2017, subsidiaries of Tencent Holdings Limited, or Tencent, and JD.com, Inc., or JD.com, invested in us with an aggregate investment amount of US$862.3 million in cash. A Tencent subsidiary and JD.com also entered into strategic cooperation framework agreement and business cooperation framework agreement with us, respectively. Under these agreements, Tencent granted us an access interface on Weixin Wallet, and JD.com granted us access interfaces on JD.com's mobile application and JD.com's Weixin Discovery shopping application, to utilize the traffic from such platforms. In March 2018, we agreed to invest up to US$250 million in a private equity fund focusing on technology-enabled consumer, retail, and related business.

        Strategic acquisitions and subsequent integrations of newly acquired businesses would require significant managerial and financial resources and could result in a diversion of resources from our existing business, which in turn could adversely affect our growth and business operations. The costs of identifying and consummating acquisitions may be significant. We may also incur significant expenses in obtaining approvals from shareholders and relevant government authorities in China and elsewhere in the world. Our failure to consummate acquisitions could also require us to pay certain pre-negotiated fees and expenses. Acquired businesses or assets may not generate expected financial results and may have historically incurred and continue to incur losses. In addition, acquisitions could also require the use of substantial amount of cash, issuance of equity or debt securities, incurrence of significant goodwill and related impairment charges, amortization expenses for intangible assets and exposure to potential unknown liabilities of the acquired businesses or assets, including liabilities as the result of historical actions of the acquired businesses. The cost and duration of integrating newly acquired businesses could also materially exceed our expectations. Any such negative developments could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Any interruption in the operation of our regional logistics hubs or data centers for an extended period may materially and adversely affect our business.

        Our ability to process and fulfill orders accurately and to provide high-quality customer service depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our current regional logistics hubs and our self-owned servers located in data centers operated by major PRC Internet datacenter providers. Our regional logistics hubs and data centers may be vulnerable to damage caused by fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, break-ins, earthquake, human errors, and other events. We have developed a disaster tolerant system which includes real-time data mirroring, daily off-line data back-up and redundancy and load balancing. However, we do not carry business interruption insurance. The occurrence of any of the foregoing risks could materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

We may be subject to product liability claims if people or properties are harmed by the products we sell.

        We sell products manufactured by third parties, some of which may be defectively designed or manufactured. As a result, sales of such products could expose us to product liability claims relating to

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personal injury or property damage and may require product recalls or other actions. Third parties subject to such injury or damage may bring claims or legal proceedings against us as a product retailer or as a marketplace service provider. Currently, we maintain third-party liability insurance and product liability insurance in relation to products we sell for any product liability claims based on property damage or personal injury. We also maintain public liability insurance. However, any material product liability claim beyond our coverage or litigation could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Even unsuccessful claims could result in the use of funds and managerial efforts in defending them and could negatively impact on our reputation.

We have limited insurance coverage, which could expose us to significant costs and business disruption.

        Risks associated with our business and operations include, but are not limited to, damage to properties due to fire, explosions and other accidents, business interruption due to power shortages or network failure, product liability claims, transportation damages, losses of key personnel, and risks posed by natural disasters including storms, floods, and earthquakes, any of which may result in significant costs or business disruption. We have maintained insurance coverage we consider necessary and sufficient for our business, and customary for the industry in which we operate, including all risk property insurance covering our equipment, facilities, inventories, and other properties and public liability insurance covering certain premises liability. However, insurance companies in China currently offer limited business-related insurance products. We do not maintain business interruption insurance. We cannot assure you that our insurance coverage is sufficient to prevent us from any loss to be sustained or that we will be able to successfully claim our losses under our current insurance policies on a timely basis, or at all. If we incur any loss that is not covered by our insurance policies, or the compensated amount is significantly less than our actual loss, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Our business depends on the continuing efforts of our management. If we lose their services, our business may be severely disrupted.

        Our business operations depend on the continuing efforts of our management, particularly the executive officers named in "Item 6.A. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Directors and Senior Management" in this annual report. If one or more of our management were unable or unwilling to continue their employment with us, we might not be able to replace them in a timely manner, or at all. We may incur additional expenses to recruit and retain qualified replacements. Our business may be severely disrupted and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. In addition, our management may join a competitor or form a competing company. We can provide no assurance that we will be able to successfully enforce our contractual rights included in the employment agreements we have entered into with our management team, particularly in China, where all these individuals reside. As a result, our business may be negatively affected due to the loss of one or more members of our management.

If we are unable to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel, our business may be materially and adversely affected.

        We intend to hire and retain additional qualified employees to support our business operations and planned expansion. Our future success depends, to a significant extent, on our ability to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel, particularly management, technical, marketing, and other operational personnel with expertise in the online retail industry. Our experienced mid-level managers are instrumental in implementing our business strategies, executing our business plans and supporting our business operations and growth. Since our industry is characterized by high demand and intense competition for talent, we cannot assure you that we will be able to attract or retain qualified staff or other highly skilled employees that we will need to achieve our strategic objectives. In addition, our

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ability to train and integrate new employees into our operations may also be limited and may not meet the demand for our business growth on a timely fashion, or at all. If we are unable to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel, our business may be materially and adversely affected.

Failure to renew our current leases or locate desirable alternatives for our facilities could materially and adversely affect our business.

        We lease various properties for offices, logistics centers, offline stores, data centers, and customer service centers. We may not be able to successfully extend or renew such leases and may therefore be forced to relocate our affected operations. This could disrupt our operations and result in significant relocation expenses, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, we compete with other businesses for premises at certain locations or of desirable sizes. As a result, even though we could extend or renew our leases, rental payments may significantly increase as a result of the high demand for the leased properties. In addition, we may not be able to locate desirable alternative sites for our facilities as our business continues to grow and such failure in relocating our affected operations could affect our business and operations.

Our use of leased properties could be challenged by third parties, which may cause interruptions to our business operations.

        Some of our landlords do not have proper ownership certificates for the properties we lease, or have other restrictions on their ownership of the properties. In particular, we have eight offices in Guangzhou as of the date of this report. Some of them are located on land allocated by local government, and the landlord has not obtained the relevant government approvals for leasing the premises. In addition, some of our leased properties were mortgaged by the owners to third parties before we entered into lease agreements with them, and if such owners fail to perform their obligations secured by such properties and the mortgage is enforced by the third parties, we may be unable to continue to lease such properties and may be forced to relocate. Furthermore, a few of our leasehold interests in leased properties have not been registered with relevant PRC government authorities as required by PRC laws. According to PRC laws, rules and regulations, failure to register a lease agreement will not affect its effectiveness between the landlord and the tenant. However, the landlord and the tenant may be subject to administrative fines of up to RMB10,000 each for such failure to register the lease. As of the date of this annual report, we are not aware of any claims or actions being contemplated or initiated by government authorities or any third parties with respect to our leasehold interests in or use of such properties. Currently, we are constructing our new office building in Guangzhou and plan to move into the new office building upon its anticipated completion in 2020. However, we cannot assure you that our use of the leased properties before we move into our new office building will not be challenged by the government authorities or third parties alleging ownership of such properties. In the event that our use of properties is successfully challenged, we may be forced to relocate the affected operations. We can provide no assurance that we will be able to find suitable replacement sites on terms acceptable to us on a timely basis, or at all, or that we will not be subject to material liability resulting from third parties' challenges on our use of such properties. As a result, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.

        We are subject to the reporting obligations under the U.S. securities laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, has adopted rules requiring a public company to include a report of management on the effectiveness of such company's internal control over financial reporting in its annual report on Form 20-F. In addition,

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an independent registered public accounting firm for a public company must issue an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for the year ended December 31, 2018, as included in this annual report. As required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related rules promulgated by SEC, our management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2018 using criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on this assessment, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2018. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm attested the effectiveness of our internal control and reported that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2018. If we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment for our financial reporting, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. We may therefore need to incur additional costs and use additional management and other resources in an effort to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other requirements going forward. Moreover, effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports. As a result, any failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could negatively impact the trading price of our ADSs. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations, and civil or criminal sanctions.

Our business, financial condition, and results of operations, as well as our ability to obtain financing, may be adversely affected by the downturn in the global or Chinese economy.

        The global macroeconomic environment is facing challenges. The Chinese economy has shown slower growth since 2012 compared to the previous decade and the trend may continue. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world's leading economies, including the United States and China. There have been concerns on the relationship among China and other Asian countries, which may result in or intensify potential conflicts in relation to territorial disputes. There have also been concerns on the relationship between China and the United States, including those resulting from the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. There have been concerns over unrest and terrorist threats in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, which have resulted in market volatility. It is unclear whether these challenges and uncertainties will be contained or resolved, and what effects they may have on the global political and economic conditions in the long term.

        Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions. Our business and operations are primarily based in China and substantially all of our revenues are derived from our operations in China. Accordingly, our financial results have been, and are expected to continue to be, affected by the economy and online retail industry in China. While the economy in China has grown significantly over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy, and the rate of growth has been slowing. Recent changes in U.S. trade policies, including new tariffs on imports from China generally, and reactions by a number of markets including China in response to these U.S. actions, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and they may significantly reduce global trade and, in particular, trade between China and the United States. The online retail industry is particularly sensitive to economic downturns, and the macroeconomic environment in China may affect our business and prospects. A prolonged slowdown in the global or Chinese economy may lead to a reduced level of online purchasing activities, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

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        Moreover, a slowdown in the global or Chinese economy or the recurrence of any financial disruptions may materially and adversely impact financings available to us. The weakness in the economy could erode investors' confidence, which constitutes the basis of the credit markets. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies that have been adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world's leading economies, including China. The recent financial turmoil affecting the financial markets and banking system may significantly restrict our ability to obtain financing in the capital markets or from financial institutions on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any prolonged slowdown in the global or Chinese economy may negatively impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and continued turbulence in the international markets may adversely affect our ability to access the capital markets to meet liquidity needs.

Our results of operations are subject to quarterly fluctuations due to a number of factors that could adversely affect our business and the trading price of our ADSs.

        We experience seasonality in our business, reflecting a combination of seasonal fluctuations in Internet usage and traditional retail seasonality patterns. For example, we generally experience less user traffic and purchase orders during national holidays in China, particularly during the Chinese New Year holiday season in the first quarter of each year. Furthermore, sales in the traditional retail industry are significantly higher in the fourth quarter of each calendar year than in the preceding three quarters. Due to the foregoing factors, our financial condition and results of operations for future quarters may continue to fluctuate and our historical quarterly results may not be comparable to future quarters. As a result, the trading price of our ADSs may fluctuate from time to time due to seasonality.

Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry

Substantial uncertainties and restrictions exist with respect to the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations relating to online commerce and provision of Internet content in China. If the PRC government finds that the structure we have adopted for our business operations does not comply with PRC laws and regulations, we could be subject to severe penalties, including shut-down of our Vipshop Online Platform.

        Foreign ownership of Internet-based businesses is subject to significant restrictions under current PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government regulates Internet access, provision of online information, and operation of online commerce through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. These laws and regulations also include limitations on foreign ownership in PRC companies that provide value-added telecommunication services, including commercial Internet content services and online data processing and transaction processing (operating e-commerce) services. Specifically, foreign investors are not allowed to own more than 50% of the equity interests in any entity operating value-added telecommunication services (except for operating e-commerce), including commercial Internet content provision business. The PRC Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT, issued the Circular on Strengthening the Administration of Foreign Investment in and Operation of Value-added Telecommunications Business, or the MIIT Circular, in July 2006. The MIIT Circular reiterated the regulations on foreign investment in telecommunications businesses, which require foreign investors to set up foreign-invested enterprises, or FIEs, and obtain value-added telecommunication business operating licenses, or VATS Licenses, to operate any value-added telecommunications business in China. Because commercial Internet content provision is a value-added telecommunication business, FIEs that plan to engage in Internet content provision business must obtain VATS Licenses for Internet content provision business, or the ICP Licenses. Operators of domestic call centers are required to obtain VATS Licenses for operating domestic call center services. Meanwhile, the operators of online platforms that provide access to third-party merchants for sales of their products are also required to obtain VATS Licenses for online data processing and transaction

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processing (operating e-commerce) services, or the EDI Licenses. Under the MIIT Circular, a PRC domestic company that holds a VATS License, including the ICP License or EDI License, is prohibited from leasing, transferring, or selling the license to foreign investors in any form, and from providing any assistance, including providing resources, sites, or facilities, to foreign investors that operate value-added telecommunications business illegally in China.

        We are a Cayman Islands company, and our PRC subsidiary, namely Vipshop (China) Co., Ltd., or Vipshop China, is a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, or WFOE, under PRC law. To comply with PRC laws and regulations, we conduct our operations in China, including the operations of our Vipshop Online Platform, through contractual arrangements entered into by our respective consolidated affiliated entities, namely, Guangzhou Vipshop E-Commerce Co., Ltd., or Vipshop E-Commerce, Guangzhou Vipshop Information Technology Co., Ltd., or Vipshop Information, Pin Jun Tong Enterprise Management & Consulting Co., Ltd., or Pin Jun Tong, and Tianjin Pinjian E-Commerce Co., Ltd. (formerly known as "Shanghai Pinjian E-Commerce Co., Ltd."), or Tianjin Pinjian. Because all shareholders of our consolidated affiliated entities are PRC citizens, our consolidated affiliated entities are considered PRC domestic companies under PRC laws. As of the date of this annual report, Vipshop E-Commerce held an EDI License valid until December 2022, which is required for providing platform access to third-party merchants for their sales of products to further develop our business; Vipshop Information held a VATS License valid until July 2020 for domestic call center services. For a detailed description of these licenses and permits, see "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation." Each of our consolidated affiliated entities is a PRC limited liability company. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we exert control over our consolidated affiliated entities and consolidate their operating results in our financial statements under U.S. GAAP. For a detailed description of these contractual arrangements, see "Item 4.C. Information on the Company—Organizational Structure."

        In the opinion of our PRC counsel, Han Kun Law Offices, our current ownership structure, the ownership structure of our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities, each as described in this annual report, are in compliance with existing PRC laws, rules, and regulations, and the contractual arrangements among (a) Vipshop China, (b) Vipshop E-Commerce, and (c) shareholders of Vipshop E-Commerce as one set and the other three sets concerning our insignificant consolidated affiliated entities, each as described in this annual report, are not in violation of any existing PRC laws, rules, and regulations. There are, however, substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulations. See also "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry—Our business may be significantly affected by the newly enacted PRC Foreign Investment Law." Accordingly, we cannot assure you that PRC government authorities will not ultimately take a view contrary to or otherwise different from that of our PRC counsel.

        If our ownership structure, contractual arrangements, and businesses of our company, our PRC subsidiaries, or our consolidated affiliated entities are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, the relevant government authorities, including CSRC, would have broad discretion in dealing with such violation, including levying fines, confiscating our income or the income of our PRC subsidiaries or our consolidated affiliated entities, revoking the business licenses or operating licenses of our PRC subsidiaries or our consolidated affiliated entities, shutting down our servers or blocking our platform, discontinuing or placing restrictions or onerous conditions on our operations, requiring us to undergo a costly and disruptive restructuring, restricting or prohibiting our use of proceeds from any securities offerings outside China to finance our business and operations in China, and taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to our business. Any of these actions could cause significant disruption to our business operations and severely damage our reputation, which would in turn materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities and their respective shareholders for the operation of our business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership. If our consolidated affiliated entities and their respective shareholders fail to perform their obligations under these contractual arrangements, we may have to resort to arbitration or litigation to enforce our rights, which may be time-consuming, unpredictable, expensive, and damaging to our operations and reputation.

        Because of PRC restrictions on foreign ownership of Internet-based businesses in China, we depend on contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities, in which we have no ownership interest, through our PRC subsidiaries to partially conduct our operations. These contractual arrangements, governed by PRC laws, are intended to provide us with effective control over our consolidated affiliated entities and allow us to obtain economic benefits from them. Although we have been advised by our PRC counsel, Han Kun Law Offices, that these contractual arrangements are valid, binding, and enforceable under current PRC laws, these contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing control as direct ownership. For example, our consolidated affiliated entities and their respective shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to operate our online retail business in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. If we held controlling equity interest in our consolidated affiliated entities, we would be able to exercise our shareholder rights to effect changes to its board of directors, which in turn could implement changes at the management and operational level of the consolidated affiliated entities. However, under the current contractual arrangements, if our consolidated affiliated entities or their respective shareholders fail to perform their obligations under these contractual arrangements, we may have to incur substantial costs to enforce such arrangements, and rely on legal remedies, including arbitration and litigation, under PRC law, which may not be sufficient or effective. In particular, the contractual arrangements relating to Vipshop E-Commerce and the other three consolidated affiliated entities, namely Vipshop Information, Pin Jun Tong, and Tianjin Pinjian, provide that any dispute arising from these arrangements will be resolved by arbitration, and any ruling of such arbitration will be final and binding. The legal framework and system in China, particularly those relating to arbitration proceedings, is not as developed as other jurisdictions such as the United States. As a result, significant uncertainties relating to the enforcement of legal rights through arbitration, litigation, and other legal proceedings remain in China, which could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements and exert effective control over our consolidated affiliated entities. If we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delay or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, our business and operations could be severely disrupted, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and damage our reputation, and we may not be able to consolidate the financial results of our consolidated affiliated entities into our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us."

The shareholders of our significant consolidated affiliated entity have potential conflict of interest with us, which may adversely affect our business.

        Each shareholder of Vipshop E-Commerce is a shareholder and director of our company. In addition, these shareholders' equity interest in our company will be further diluted as a result of any future offering of equity securities. As a result, conflict of interest may arise as a result of the dual shareholding and governance structure.

        Each of these shareholders of Vipshop E-Commerce is also a director of our company, and has a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to our company and to our shareholders as a whole under Cayman Islands law. Under the contractual arrangements with Vipshop E-Commerce and its shareholders, (i) we may replace any such individual as a shareholder of Vipshop E-Commerce at our discretion, and (ii) each of these individuals has executed a power of attorney to appoint Vipshop China or its

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designated third party to vote on their behalf and exercise shareholder rights of Vipshop E-Commerce. However, we cannot assure you that these individuals will act in the best interests of our company should any conflict of interest arise, or that any conflict of interest will be resolved in our favor. These individuals may breach or cause Vipshop E-Commerce to breach the existing contractual arrangements. If we cannot resolve any conflict of interest or disputes between us and any of these individuals, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which may be expensive, time-consuming and disruptive to our operations. There is also substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

We may lose the ability to use and enjoy assets held by our consolidated affiliated entities that are important to the operation of our business if either such entity goes bankrupt or becomes subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

        As part of our contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities, some of these entities hold certain assets that are important to the operation of our business. If any of our consolidated affiliated entities goes bankrupt and all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, we may be unable to continue some or all of our business activities, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of our consolidated affiliated entities undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, the unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business may be significantly affected by the newly enacted PRC Foreign Investment Law.

        On March 15, 2019, the National People's Congress, or NPC, approved the PRC Foreign Investment Law, which will become effective on January 1, 2020 and replace the trio of existing laws regulating foreign investment in China, namely, the PRC Wholly Foreign-Invested Enterprise Law, the PRC Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law, and the PRC Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. The PRC Foreign Investment Law embodies an expected PRC regulatory trend to rationalize its foreign investment regulatory regime in line with prevailing international practice and the legislative efforts to unify the corporate legal requirements for both foreign and domestic investments. However, since it is newly enacted, there are substantial uncertainties relating to its interpretation and implementation. For example, the law adds a catch-all clause to the definition of "foreign investment," which includes investments made by foreign investors in China through other means defined by other laws or administrative regulations or provisions promulgated by the PRC State Council, without further elaboration on the scope of "other means." It is possible that future legislations promulgated by the PRC State Council may provide for contractual arrangements as a form of foreign investment and subject to foreign investment restrictions. It is therefore uncertain whether our corporate structure may be deemed as violating the foreign investment restrictions in China. Furthermore, if future legislations prescribed by the PRC State Council mandate further actions to be taken by companies with respect to existing contractual arrangement, we may face substantial uncertainties as to whether we can complete such actions in a timely manner, or at all. If we fail to take appropriate and timely measures to comply with any of these or similar regulatory compliance requirements, our current corporate structure, corporate governance, and business operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Our contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities may result in adverse tax consequences to us.

        We might be subject to adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities were to determine that the contracts between our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities were not entered into on an arm's length basis and therefore constitute favorable transfer pricing arrangements. If this

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occurs, the PRC tax authorities could request that our consolidated affiliated entities adjust its taxable income, if any, upward for PRC tax purposes. Such a pricing adjustment could adversely affect us by increasing our consolidated affiliated entities' tax expenses without reducing our tax expenses, which could subject our consolidated affiliated entities to late payment fees and other penalties for underpayment of taxes. The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, requires every enterprise in China to submit annual report of enterprise income tax, or EIT, together with a report on transactions with its related parties to the relevant tax authorities. The tax authorities may impose reasonable adjustments on taxation if they have identified any related party transactions that are inconsistent with arm's length principles. As a result, our contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities may result in adverse tax consequences to us.

If our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities fail to obtain and maintain the requisite assets, licenses, and approvals required under PRC laws, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

        Foreign investment and the Internet industry in China are highly regulated by the PRC government, and numerous regulatory authorities of the central PRC government are empowered to issue and implement regulations governing various aspects of the Internet industry. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation." Our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities are required to obtain and maintain certain assets relevant to their businesses as well as applicable licenses or approvals from different regulatory authorities in order to provide their current services. These assets and licenses are essential to the operation of our business and are generally subject to annual review by the relevant government authorities. Furthermore, our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities may be required to obtain additional licenses. For instance, as we have launched various Internet finance businesses, we are required to obtain and hold various licenses, permits, or approvals that are required for the provision of those Internet finance services, and we may be required to obtain additional licenses, permits, or approvals in case we further expand our Internet finance businesses in the future. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation—Regulation on Internet finance." However, we cannot assure you that we will obtain such licenses, permits, or approvals in a timely manner, or at all, due to complex procedural requirements and policies. If we fail to obtain or maintain any of the required, assets, licenses, or approvals, our continued business operations in the Internet industry may subject it to various penalties, such as confiscation of illegal net revenue, fines, and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations. Any such disruption in the business operations of our consolidated affiliated entities will materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Relating to Doing Business in China

Changes in China's economic, political, or social conditions or government policies could materially and adversely affect our business and operations.

        Substantially all of our assets and operations are located in China. Accordingly, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic, and social conditions in China generally and by continued yet slowing economic growth in China as a whole.

        The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the level of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange, and allocation of resources. Although the PRC government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets, and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government. In addition, the PRC

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government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China's economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

        While the Chinese economy has experienced significant growth over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy, and the rate of growth has been slowing since 2012. Any adverse changes in economic conditions in China, in the policies of the PRC government or in the laws and regulations in China could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China. Such developments could adversely affect our business and operating results, lead to reduction in demand for our services and adversely affect our competitive position. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall Chinese economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. In addition, in the past the PRC government has implemented certain measures, including interest rate adjustment, to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity in China, which may adversely affect our business and operating results.

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.

        We conduct our business primarily through our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities in China. Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. Our significant PRC subsidiary, Vipshop China, is an FIE subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China and, in particular, laws applicable to FIEs. The PRC legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike the common law system, prior court decisions under the civil law system may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value.

        In 1979, the PRC government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws and regulations governing economic matters in general. The overall effect of legislation over the past three decades has significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China. However, China has not developed a fully integrated legal system, and recently enacted laws and regulations may not sufficiently cover all aspects of economic activities in China. In particular, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties. Since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory provisions and contractual terms, it may be difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy. These uncertainties may affect our judgment on the relevance of legal requirements and our ability to enforce our contractual rights or tort claims. In addition, the regulatory uncertainties may be exploited through unmerited or frivolous legal actions or threats in attempts to extract payments or benefits from us.

        Furthermore, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all and may have retroactive effect. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of any of these policies and rules until some time after the violation. In addition, any administrative and court proceedings in China may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.

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We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties, and changes in PRC regulation of Internet-related businesses and companies.

        The PRC government extensively regulates the Internet industry, including foreign ownership of, and the licensing and permit requirements pertaining to, companies in the Internet industry. These Internet-related laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainty. As a result, in certain circumstances it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed to be in violations of applicable laws and regulations. Issues, risks, and uncertainties relating to PRC regulation of the Internet-related businesses include, but are not limited to, the following:

        The interpretation and application of existing PRC laws, regulations, and policies and possible new laws, regulations, or policies relating to the Internet industry have created substantial uncertainties regarding the legality of existing and future foreign investments in, and the businesses and activities of Internet businesses in China, including our business. We cannot assure you that we have obtained all the permits or licenses required for conducting our business in China or will be able to maintain our existing licenses or obtain any new licenses required under any new laws or regulations. There are also risks that we may be found to violate the existing or future laws and regulations given the uncertainty and complexity of China's regulation of Internet-related businesses.

Regulation and censorship of information disseminated over the Internet in China may adversely affect our business, and we may be liable for content that is displayed on our platforms.

        China has enacted laws and regulations governing Internet access and the distribution of products, services, news, information, audio-video programs, and other content through the Internet. The PRC government has prohibited the distribution of information through the Internet that it deems to be in violation of PRC laws and regulations. If any of our Internet content were deemed by the PRC government to violate any content restrictions, we would not be able to continue to display such content and could become subject to penalties, including confiscation of income, fines, suspension of business, and revocation of required licenses, which could materially and adversely affect our business,

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financial condition, and results of operations. We may also be subject to potential liability for any unlawful actions of our customers or users of our platforms or for content we distribute that is deemed inappropriate. It may be difficult to determine the type of content that may result in liability to us, and if we are found to be liable, we may be prevented from operating our platform in China.

The audit reports included in this annual report have been prepared by our independent registered public accounting firm whose work may not be inspected fully by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

        Our independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit reports included in our annual report filed with SEC, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards.

        Because we have substantial operations within China and, without the approval of PRC authorities, PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections of the work of our independent registered public accounting firm as it relates to those operations, our independent registered public accounting firm is not currently inspected fully by PCAOB. On December 7, 2018, SEC and PCAOB issued a joint statement highlighting continued challenges faced by the U.S. regulators in their oversight of financial statement audits of U.S.-listed companies with significant operations in China. The joint statement reflects a heightened interest in an issue that has vexed U.S. regulators in recent years. However, it remains unclear what further actions SEC and PCAOB will take to address the problem. This lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents PCAOB from regularly evaluating our independent registered public accounting firm's audits and its quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

        Inspections of other firms that PCAOB has conducted outside China have identified deficiencies in those firms' audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. The inability of PCAOB to conduct full inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our independent registered public accounting firm's audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

If the settlement reached between SEC and the "Big Four" China-based accounting firms, including the PRC affiliate of our independent registered public accounting firm, concerning the manner in which SEC may seek access to audit work papers from audits in China of U.S.-listed companies, is not or cannot be performed in a manner acceptable to authorities in China and the United States, we could be unable to timely file future financial statements in compliance with the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

        Starting in 2011 all PRC audit firms practicing before SEC, including the PRC affiliate of our independent registered public accounting firm and those of the other "Big Four" networks, were affected by a conflict between U.S. and PRC laws. Specifically, SEC and PCAOB sought to obtain from the PRC accounting firms access to their audit work papers and related documents from audits in China of the operations of certain U.S.-listed companies. The PRC accounting firms were, however, advised by their legal counsels and directed by the relevant PRC authorities that under PRC law they could not respond directly to the U.S. regulators on those requests, and that requests by foreign regulators for access to such papers in China had to be channeled through CSRC.

        In December 2012 SEC commenced administrative proceedings under Rule 102(e) of its Rules of Practice and also under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 against the PRC affiliates of the "Big Four" accounting firms, including the PRC affiliate of our independent registered public accounting firm.

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After the first hearing in July 2013, an administrative law judge issued an initial decision in January 2014 in favor of SEC and proposed penalties on the PRC accounting firms including a temporary suspension of their right to practice before SEC, which did not take effect pending review by SEC Commissioner. On February 6, 2015, before a review by SEC Commissioner had taken place, the PRC accounting firms reached a settlement with SEC whereby the proceedings were stayed. Under the settlement, SEC accepts that future requests by SEC for the production of documents will normally be made to CSRC. The PRC accounting firms will receive requests matching those under Section 106 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and are required to abide by a detailed set of procedures with respect to such requests, which in substance require them to facilitate production via CSRC. If they fail to meet specified criteria, SEC retains authority to impose a variety of additional remedial measures on the PRC accounting firms depending on the nature of the failure. Remedies for any future noncompliance could include, as appropriate, an automatic six-month bar on a single firm's performance of certain audit work, commencement of a new proceeding against a firm, or in extreme cases the resumption of the recently-stayed proceeding against all four firms. SEC also reserves the right to resume those proceedings in circumstances where, notwithstanding the accounting firms' compliance with the procedures in the settlement agreement, SEC does not receive a production of documents which it considers satisfactory (for example, due to action or inaction by the PRC authorities).

        If SEC restarts the administrative proceedings, depending upon the final outcome, U.S.-listed companies with major PRC operations may find it difficult or impossible to retain auditors in respect of their operations in China whose work could contribute to SEC filings, which could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, including possible delisting. Moreover, any negative news about any such future proceedings against these accounting firms may cause investor uncertainty regarding China-based, U.S.-listed companies and the market price of our ADSs may be adversely affected.

        If the PRC affiliate of our independent registered public accounting firm were denied, even temporarily, the ability to practice before SEC and we were unable to timely find another registered public accounting firm to audit and issue an opinion on our financial statements, our financial statements could be determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act. Such a determination could ultimately lead to the delisting of our ordinary shares from NYSE or deregistration from SEC, or both, which would substantially reduce or effectively terminate the trading of our ADSs in the United States.

Fluctuations in exchange rates may materially and adversely affect your investment.

        The value of Renminbi against U.S. dollars and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions in China and by China's foreign exchange policies. The conversion of Renminbi into foreign currencies, including U.S. dollars, has been based on rates set by the People's Bank of China. The PRC government allowed Renminbi to appreciate by over 20% against U.S. dollars between July 2005 and July 2008. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between Renminbi and U.S. dollars remained within a narrow band. As a consequence, Renminbi fluctuated significantly during that period against other freely traded currencies, in tandem with U.S. dollars. Since June 2010, Renminbi has fluctuated against U.S. dollars, at times significantly and unpredictably. On November 30, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the regular five-year review of the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right, or the SDR, and decided that with effect from October 1, 2016, Renminbi is determined to be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the U.S. dollars, the Euros, the Japanese yen and the British pounds. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Renminbi has depreciated significantly in the backdrop of a

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surging U.S. dollar and persistent capital outflows of China. This depreciation halted in 2017, and the Renminbi appreciated approximately 7% against the U.S. dollars during this one-year period. With the development of the foreign exchange market and progress toward interest rate liberalization and Renminbi internationalization, the PRC government may in the future announce further changes to the exchange rate system, and we cannot assure you that the Renminbi will not appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollars in the future. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between Renminbi and U.S. dollars in the future.

        All of our total net revenues and most of our expenses are denominated in Renminbi. Any significant revaluation of Renminbi may materially and adversely affect our revenues, earnings and financial position, and the value of, and any dividends payable on, our ADSs in U.S. dollars. For example, an appreciation of Renminbi against U.S. dollars would reduce the amount of Renminbi we would receive if we need to convert U.S. dollars into Renminbi. Conversely, a significant depreciation of Renminbi against U.S. dollars may significantly reduce the U.S. dollar equivalent of our earnings, which in turn could adversely affect the price of our ADSs.

        Limited hedging transactions are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. We did not enter into any hedging transactions to hedge our exposure to the risks relating to fluctuations in exchange rates. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedges may be limited, and we may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure at all. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by PRC exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currencies.

Governmental control of currency conversion may limit our ability to utilize our revenue effectively and affect the value of your investment.

        The PRC government imposes controls on the convertibility of Renminbi into foreign currencies and, in certain cases, the remittance of currency out of China. We receive substantially all of our revenue in Renminbi. Under our current corporate structure, our Cayman Islands holding company primarily relies on dividend payments from our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and trade- and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, by complying with certain procedural requirements. Specifically, under the existing exchange restrictions, without prior approval of SAFE, cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries in China may be used to pay dividends to our company. However, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currencies and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. As a result, we need to obtain SAFE approval to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities to pay off their respective debt in a currency other than Renminbi owed to entities outside China, or to make other capital expenditure payments outside China in a currency other than Renminbi. The PRC government may at its discretion restrict access to foreign currencies for current account transactions in the future. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currencies to satisfy our foreign currency demands, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs.

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We principally rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries to fund our cash and financing requirements, and any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to make payments to us could materially and adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.

        We are a Cayman Islands holding company and we rely principally on dividends and other distributions on equity from our PRC subsidiaries for our cash requirements, including for services of any debt we may incur. Our subsidiaries' ability to distribute dividends is based upon their distributable earnings which are mainly derived from the payments for products and services from our consolidated affiliated entities. Current PRC regulations permit our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to their respective shareholders only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, each of our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entities is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve until such reserve reaches 50% of its registered capital. Each of such entities in China may further set aside a portion of its after-tax profits to fund the employee welfare fund at the discretion of its board of directors. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends. If our PRC subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends or other payments to their respective shareholders could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our businesses, pay dividends or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

PRC regulation of loans to and direct investments in PRC entities by offshore holding companies may delay or prevent us from using the proceeds of our debt and equity offerings to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries in China.

        Any funds we transfer to our PRC subsidiaries, either as a shareholder loan or as an increase in registered capital, are subject to approval by or registration or filing with relevant government authorities in China. According to the relevant PRC regulations on FIEs, capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries are subject to the approval of or filing with the PRC Ministry of Commerce, or MOFCOM, or its local branches and registration with other government authorities in China. In addition, (i) any foreign loan procured by our PRC subsidiaries is required to be registered or filed with SAFE or its local branches, and (ii) each of our PRC subsidiaries may not procure loans which exceed the difference between its registered capital and its total investment amount and exceed certain limit based on its net assets pursuant to the Notice of the People's Bank of China on Matters Concerning the Macro-Prudential Management of Fully Covered Cross-Border Financing, or the PBOC Notice No. 9. Any medium- or long-term loan to be provided by us to our consolidated affiliated entities must be approved by the PRC National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, and SAFE or its local branches. We may not obtain these government approvals or complete such registrations on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future capital contributions or foreign loans by us to our PRC subsidiaries. If we fail to receive such approvals or complete such registration, our ability to use the proceeds of our debt and equity offerings and to capitalize our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business. Furthermore, pursuant to the PBOC Notice No. 9, after an one-year transition period following its promulgation, SAFE and the People's Bank of China, or PBOC, will determine the cross-border financing regulatory regime for FIEs after evaluating the overall implementation of PBOC Notice No. 9. As of the date of this annual report, neither SAFE nor PBOC had promulgated and made public any legislations in this regard. There are uncertainties relating to the future regime to be adopted and any limitation to be imposed on us when providing loans to our PRC subsidiaries. If a more stringent foreign debt regulatory regime would be imposed, our ability to provide loans to our PRC subsidiaries or our consolidated affiliated entities may be significantly limited, and our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be adversely affected.

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        Under the current SAFE rules as of the date of this annual report, we are required to apply Renminbi funds converted from the net proceeds we received from our public offerings of equity securities within the business scopes of our PRC subsidiaries. Although SAFE launched a nationwide reform of the administration of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of FIEs in 2015 to allow FIEs to settle their foreign exchange capital at their discretion and further relaxed its rules in 2016 to allow FIEs (excluding financial institutions) to go through foreign exchange settlement formalities for their foreign debts at their discretion, the current SAFE rules continue to prohibit FIEs from using Renminbi converted from their foreign exchange capitals for expenditure beyond their business scopes as approved by the PRC government authorities. Moreover, the current SAFE rules continue to prohibit FIEs from using Renminbi converted from their registered capitals to provide loans to persons other than affiliates unless otherwise permitted under its business scope. Any violations of such SAFE rules may result in severe monetary or other penalties. There can be no assurance that SAFE would further relax its rules on the settlement of foreign exchange capitals of FIEs, and our ability to transfer to and use in China the net proceeds from our public offerings of equity securities may continue to be significantly limited, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Foreign Currency Exchange."

Certain PRC regulations may make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions.

        Among other things, the Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. Such regulation requires, among other things, that MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor acquires control of a PRC domestic enterprise or a foreign company with substantial PRC operations, if certain thresholds under the Provisions on Thresholds for Prior Notification of Concentrations of Undertakings, issued by the PRC State Council on August 3, 2008 and amended in September 2018, were triggered. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of NPC, on August 30, 2007 and became effective on August 1, 2008, requires that transactions which are deemed concentrations and involve parties with specified turnover thresholds (for example, during the previous fiscal year, (i) the total global turnover of all operators participating in the transaction exceeds RMB10 billion and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China, or (ii) the total turnover within China of all the operators participating in the concentration exceeded RMB2 billion and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China) must be cleared by MOFCOM before they can be completed. We believe that the turnover of acquired business of Lefeng in 2013 is less than RMB400 million within China and have not sought clearance from MOFCOM, but we cannot assure you that MOFCOM will not take a view contrary to ours. In addition, the Circular of the General Office of the State Council on the Establishment of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors that became effective on March 3, 2011, and the Rules on Implementation of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors issued by MOFCOM that became effective on September 1, 2011, require acquisitions by foreign investors of PRC companies engaged in military-related or certain other industries that are crucial to national security be subject to security review before consummation of any such acquisition. We may pursue potential strategic acquisitions that are complementary to our business and operations. Complying with the requirements of these regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval or clearance from MOFCOM, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share.

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PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore holding companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries' ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us.

        On July 4, 2014, SAFE has promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents' Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, to replace the Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Residents' Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Offshore Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 75, which ceased to be effective upon the promulgation of SAFE Circular 37. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents (including PRC individuals and PRC corporate entities) to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct or indirect offshore investment activities. SAFE Circular 37 is applicable to our shareholders who are PRC residents and may be applicable to any offshore acquisitions that we make in the future.

        Under SAFE Circular 37, PRC residents who make, or have made prior to the implementation of SAFE Circular 37, direct or indirect investments in offshore special purpose vehicles, or SPVs, will be required to register such investments with SAFE or its local branches. In addition, any PRC resident who is a direct or indirect shareholder of an SPV, is required to update its filed registration with the local branch of SAFE with respect to that SPV, to reflect any material change. Moreover, any subsidiary of such SPV in China is required to urge the PRC resident shareholders to update their registration with the local branch of SAFE. If any PRC shareholder of such SPV fails to make the required registration or to update the previously filed registration, the subsidiary of such SPV in China may be prohibited from distributing its profits or the proceeds from any capital reduction, share transfer or liquidation to the SPV, and the SPV may also be prohibited from making additional capital contribution into its subsidiary in China. On February 28, 2015, SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015. Under SAFE Notice 13, applications for foreign exchange registration of inbound foreign direct investment and outbound overseas direct investment, including those required under SAFE Circular 37, will be filed with qualified banks instead of SAFE. The qualified banks will directly examine the applications and accept registrations under the supervision of SAFE.

        All of our shareholders that we are aware of being subject to the SAFE regulations have completed all necessary registrations with the local SAFE branch or qualified banks as required by SAFE Circular 37 by the end of 2018. We cannot assure you, however, that all of these individuals may continue to make required filings or updates on a timely manner, or at all. We can provide no assurance that we are or will in the future continue to be informed of identities of all PRC residents holding direct or indirect interest in our company. Any failure or inability by such individuals to comply with the SAFE regulations may subject us to fines or legal sanctions, such as restrictions on our cross-border investment activities or our PRC subsidiaries' ability to distribute dividends to, or obtain foreign exchange-denominated loans from, our company or prevent us from making distributions or paying dividends. As a result, our business operations and our ability to make distributions to you could be materially and adversely affected.

        Furthermore, as these foreign exchange regulations are still relatively new and their interpretation and implementation has been constantly evolving, it is unclear how these regulations, and any future regulation concerning offshore or cross-border transactions, will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant government authorities. For example, we may be subject to a more stringent review and approval process with respect to our foreign exchange activities, such as remittance of dividends and foreign-currency-denominated borrowings, which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if we decide to acquire a PRC domestic company, we

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cannot assure you that we or the owners of such company, as the case may be, will be able to obtain the necessary approvals or complete the necessary filings and registrations required by the foreign exchange regulations. This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.

Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee stock incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

        In December 2006, PBOC promulgated the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which set forth the respective requirements for foreign exchange transactions by individuals (both PRC or non-PRC citizens) under either the current account or the capital account. In January 2007, SAFE issued implementing rules for the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which, among other things, specified approval requirements for certain capital account transactions such as a PRC citizen's participation in the employee stock ownership plans or stock option plans of an overseas publicly-listed company. In February 2012, SAFE promulgated the Notices on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies, or the Stock Option Rules, which replaced the Application Procedures of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Employee Stock Ownership Plans or Stock Option Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies issued by SAFE in March 2007. Under these rules, PRC residents who participate in stock incentive plan in an overseas publicly-listed company are required to register with SAFE or its local branches and complete certain other procedures. Participants of a stock incentive plan who are PRC residents must retain a qualified PRC agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas publicly-listed company or another qualified institution selected by such PRC subsidiary, to conduct SAFE registration and other procedures with respect to the stock incentive plan on behalf of its participants. Such participants must also retain an overseas entrusted institution to handle matters in connection with their exercise of stock options, the purchase and sale of corresponding stocks or interests and fund transfers. In addition, the PRC agent is required to amend SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the stock incentive plan, the PRC agent or the overseas entrusted institution or other material changes.

        We and our PRC resident employees who participate in the employee stock incentive plans, which we adopted in March 2011, March 2012, and July 2014, respectively, have been subject to these regulations since our company became a publicly-listed company in the United States in March 2012. We have been assisting our PRC option grantees to complete the required registrations and procedures on a quarterly basis. If we or our PRC option grantees fail to comply with these regulations, we or our PRC option grantees may be subject to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Stock Incentive Plans."

We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.

        On February 3, 2015, SAT issued a Public Notice Regarding Certain Enterprise Income Tax Matters on Indirect Transfer of Properties by Non-Tax Resident Enterprises, or SAT Public Notice 7. In December 2017, Article 13 and Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of SAT Public Notice 7 were abolished. Pursuant to SAT Public Notice 7, as amended, in the event that a non-PRC resident enterprise indirectly transfers equities and other properties of a PRC resident enterprise to evade its obligation of paying EIT by implementing arrangements that are not for reasonable commercial purpose, such indirect transfer shall be re-identified and recognized as a direct transfer of equities and other properties of the PRC resident enterprise. Although SAT Public Notice 7 introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity through a public securities market, it brought challenges to both offshore transferor and transferee (or other person who is obligated to pay

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for the transfer) of taxable assets. Where a non-PRC resident enterprise transfers taxable assets indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an offshore holding company, which is an Indirect Transfer, the non-PRC resident enterprise as either transferor or transferee, or the PRC entity that directly owns the taxable assets, may report such Indirect Transfer to the relevant tax authority. Using a "substance over form" principle, the PRC tax authority may disregard the existence of the offshore holding company if it lacks a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of reducing, avoiding or deferring PRC tax. As a result, gains derived from such Indirect Transfer may be subject to EIT in China, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer is obligated to withhold applicable taxes currently at a rate of 10% for the transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise. Both the transferor and the transferee may be subject to penalties under PRC tax laws if the transferee fails to withhold the taxes and the transferor fails to pay the taxes.

        We face uncertainties as to the reporting and other implications of past and future private equity financing transactions, share exchange or other transactions involving transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, or sale or purchase of shares in other non-PRC resident companies or other taxable assets by us. Our company may be subject to filing obligations or taxed if our company is transferor in such transactions, and may be subject to withholding obligations if our company is transferee in such transactions, under SAT Public Notice 7. For transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing under SAT Public Notice 7. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Public Notice 7 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these circulars, or to establish that our company should not be taxed under these circulars, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

        Although it appears that SAT Public Notice 7 is not intended to apply to purchase and sale of shares of publicly traded companies in the open market, SAT Public Notice 7 may be determined by the tax authorities to be applicable to us in our acquisition of equity interests in companies such as Lefeng and Ovation, and our non-resident shareholders who acquired our shares outside of the open market and subsequently sell our shares in our private financing transactions or in the open market if any of such transactions were determined by the tax authorities to lack reasonable commercial purpose. As a result, we and our non-PRC resident investors may become at risk of being taxed under SAT Public Notice 7 and may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Public Notice 7 or to establish that we should not be taxed under SAT Public Notice 7, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations or such non-resident shareholders' investments in us.

It is unclear whether we will be considered a PRC "resident enterprise" under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and, depending on the determination of our PRC "resident enterprise" status, our global income may be subject to the 25% PRC enterprise income tax, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

        Under the EIT Law, which became effective in January 2008 and was amended on February 24, 2017 and December 29, 2018, and its implementation rules, an enterprise established outside of the PRC with a "de facto management body" within the PRC is considered a PRC resident enterprise and will be subject to EIT at the rate of 25% on its global income. The implementation rules of the EIT Law define the term "de facto management bodies" as "establishments that carry out substantial and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel, accounting, properties, etc., of an enterprise." On April 22, 2009, SAT issued the Notice Regarding the Determination of Chinese-Controlled Offshore Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprises on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or SAT Circular 82, which was partially amended by Announcement on Issues concerning the Determination of Resident Enterprises Based on

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the Standards of Actual Management Institutions issued by SAT on January 29, 2014, and further partially amended by Decision on Issuing the Lists of Invalid and Abolished Tax Departmental Rules and Taxation Normative Documents issued by SAT on December 29, 2017. SAT Circular 82, as amended, provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the "de facto management body" of a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise is located in China. Further, SAT Circular 82 states that certain Chinese-controlled enterprises will be classified as "resident enterprises" if the following are located or resident in China: senior management personnel and departments that are responsible for daily production, operation and management; financial and personnel decision making bodies; key properties, accounting books, company seal, and minutes of board meetings and shareholders' meetings; and half or more of the senior management or directors having voting rights. In addition, SAT issued the Bulletin on Promulgation of the Administrative Measures for Income Tax of Chinese-Controlled Offshore-Incorporated Resident Enterprises (Trial Implementation) on July 27, 2011, effective from September 1, 2011 and partially amended on April 17, 2015, June 28, 2016, and June 15, 2018, or SAT Bulletin 45, providing more guidance on the implementation of SAT Circular 82. SAT Bulletin 45 clarifies matters including resident status determination, post-determination administration and competent tax authorities. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Tax—PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and Individual Income Tax Law." Although both SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreigners, the determining criteria set forth in SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 may reflect SAT's general position on how the "de facto management body" test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of all offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises or individuals. In addition to the uncertainty regarding how the new resident enterprise classification may apply, it is also possible that the rules may change in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. Although we do not believe that our legal entities organized outside of the PRC constitute PRC resident enterprises, it is possible that the PRC tax authorities could reach a different conclusion. In such case, we may be considered a PRC resident enterprise and may therefore be subject to EIT at 25% on our global income as well as PRC EIT reporting obligations. If we are considered a PRC resident enterprise and earn income other than dividends from our PRC subsidiaries, a 25% EIT on our global income could significantly increase our tax burden and materially and adversely affect our cash flow and profitability.

Dividends and/or interest payable to our foreign investors and gains on the sale of our ADSs or ordinary shares or notes by our foreign investors may become subject to taxes under PRC tax laws.

        Under the EIT Law, as amended, and its implementation regulations issued by the PRC State Council, a 10% PRC withholding tax is applicable to dividends and/or interest payable to investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, which do not have an establishment or place of business in China or which have such establishment or place of business but the dividends and/or interest are not effectively connected with such establishment or place of business, to the extent such dividends and/or interest are derived from sources within China. Similarly, any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or ordinary shares or notes by such investors is also subject to PRC tax at a rate of 10%, subject to any reduction or exemption set forth in relevant tax treaties, if such gain is regarded as PRC-sourced income. If we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends and/or interest paid on our ordinary shares or ADSs or notes, and any gain realized from the transfer of our ordinary shares or ADSs or notes, would be treated as PRC-sourced income and would as a result be subject to PRC taxation. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Tax—PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and Individual Income Tax Law." Furthermore, if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends and/or interest payable to investors that are non-PRC individual investors and any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or ordinary shares or notes by investors may be subject to PRC tax at a rate of 20%, subject to any reduction or exemption set forth in applicable tax treaties. It is

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unclear whether, if we are considered a PRC resident enterprise, holders of our ADSs or ordinary shares or notes would be able to claim the benefit of income tax treaties or agreements entered into between China and other countries or areas (although we do not expect to withhold at treaty rates if any withholding is required). If dividends and/or interest payable to our non-PRC investors, or gains from the transfer of our ordinary shares or ADSs or notes by such investors are subject to PRC tax, the value of your investment in our ordinary shares or ADSs or notes may be adversely affected.

The enforcement of the Labor Contract Law and other labor-related regulations in China may adversely affect our business and our results of operations.

        On June 29, 2007, the Standing Committee of NPC enacted the Labor Contract Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008 and was amended on December 28, 2012. The Labor Contract Law introduces specific provisions related to fixed-term employment contracts, part-time employment, probation, consultation with labor union and employee assemblies, employment without a written contract, dismissal of employees, severance, and collective bargaining, which together represent enhanced enforcement of labor laws and regulations. According to the Labor Contract Law, an employer is obliged to sign a non-fixed-term labor contract with any employee who has worked for the employer for ten consecutive years. Further, if an employee requests or agrees to renew a fixed-term labor contract that has already been entered into twice consecutively, the resulting contract must have a non-fixed term, with certain exceptions. The employer must pay severance to an employee where a labor contract is terminated or expires, with certain exceptions. In addition, the government has continued to introduce various new labor-related regulations after the effectiveness of the Labor Contract Law. Among other things, it is required that that annual leave ranging from five to 15 days be made available to employees and that the employee be compensated for any untaken annual leave days in the amount of three times of the employee's daily salary, subject to certain exceptions. As a result of these new regulations designed to enhance labor protection and increasing labor costs in China, our labor costs are expected to increase. In addition, as the interpretation and implementation of these new regulations are still evolving, we cannot assure you that our employment practice will at all times be deemed in compliance with the new regulations. If we are subject to severe penalties or incur significant liabilities in connection with labor disputes or investigations, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Our failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by PRC regulations may subject us to penalties.

        Companies operating in China are required to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance, housing funds and other welfare-oriented payment obligations. We have not made adequate employee benefit payments as required under applicable PRC labor laws, but we have recorded accruals for the underpaid amounts in our consolidated financial statements. Our failure in making contributions to various employee benefit plans and in complying with applicable PRC labor-related laws may subject us to late payment penalties. If we are subject to such penalties in relation to the underpaid employee benefits, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

An occurrence of a widespread health epidemic or other outbreaks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

        Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, or the H1N1 virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, avian influenza or other epidemics or outbreaks on the economic and business climate. A prolonged outbreak of any of these illnesses or other adverse public health developments in China or elsewhere in the world could have a material adverse effect on our business operations. Such outbreaks could significantly impact the online retail

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industry and cause a temporary closure of the facilities we use for our operations. Such impact or closures would severely disrupt our operations and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our operations could be disrupted if any of our employees or employees of our partners were suspected of having the H1N1 virus, SARS or avian influenza, since this could require us or our partners to quarantine some or all of such employees or disinfect the facilities used for our operations and may deter our customers or potential customers from purchasing or accepting our products. In addition, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent that an outbreak harms the global or Chinese economy in general, such as wars, acts of terrorism, snowstorms, earthquakes, fire, floods, environmental accidents, power shortage or communication interruptions.

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares and ADSs

The market price for our ADSs has fluctuated and may be volatile.

        Since we first listed our ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, on March 23, 2012, the trading prices of our ADSs have been and may continue to be subject to wide fluctuations. In 2018, the trading prices of our ADSs on NYSE have ranged from US$4.31 to US$19.14 per ADS, and the last reported trading price on April 17, 2019 was US$7.82 per ADS.

        The market price for our ADSs is likely to be highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to factors including the following:

        In addition, the securities market has from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that are not related to the operating performance of any particular company. The securities of some China-based, U.S.-listed companies have experienced significant volatility since their initial public offerings, including, in some cases, substantial price declines in the trading prices of their securities. The trading performances of the securities of these companies after their offerings may affect the attitudes of investors toward China-based, U.S.-listed companies, which consequently may impact the trading performance of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance. Furthermore, some negative news and perceptions about inadequate corporate governance practices or fraudulent accounting, corporate structure including the use of variable interest entities or other

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matters of other China-based, U.S.-listed companies have negatively affected the attitudes of investors towards China-based, U.S.-listed companies, including us, in general in the past, regardless of whether we have engaged in any inappropriate activities, and any news or perceptions with a similar nature may continue to negatively affect us in the future. These market fluctuations may also materially and adversely affect the market price of our ADSs.

Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future, you must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on your investment.

        We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Therefore, you should not rely on an investment in our ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.

        Our board of directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends. Even if our board of directors decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on, among other things, our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Accordingly, the return on your investment in our ADSs will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of our ADSs. There is no assurance that our ADSs will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which you purchased the ADSs. You may not realize a return on your investment in our ADSs and you may even lose your entire investment in our ADSs.

Substantial future sales or perceived potential sales of our ADSs, ordinary shares, or other equity securities in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

        Sales of our ADSs, ordinary shares or other equity securities in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our ADSs to decline. As of the date of this annual report, we had 133,101,306 Class A and Class B ordinary shares outstanding, including 92,585,040 Class A ordinary shares represented by ADSs. All ADSs representing our Class A ordinary shares are freely transferable by persons other than our "affiliates" without restriction or additional registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.

        Certain holders of our Class A ordinary shares have the right to cause us to register under the Securities Act the sale of their shares. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in ADSs representing these shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act immediately upon the effectiveness of the registration. Sales of these registered shares in the form of ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

You may not have the same voting rights as the holders of our ordinary shares and may not receive voting materials in time to be able to exercise your right to vote.

        Except as described in this annual report and in the deposit agreement, holders of our ADSs will not be able to exercise voting rights attached to ordinary shares represented by our ADSs on an individual basis. Holders of our ADSs will appoint the depositary or its nominee as their representative to exercise the voting rights attached to ordinary shares represented by the ADSs. Upon receipt of your voting instructions, the depositary will vote the underlying ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. See "Item 10.B. Additional Information—Memorandum and Articles of Association—Ordinary Shares—Voting Rights."

        We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to instruct the depositary to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs, and it is possible that you, or persons who hold their ADSs through brokers, dealers or other third parties, will as a result not have the opportunity to

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exercise a right to vote. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. Although you may directly exercise your right to vote by withdrawing the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs, you may not be able to do so, on a timely basis or at all, to allow you to vote with respect to any specific matter.

Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings, and you may not receive cash dividends if it is impractical to make them available to you.

        We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register both the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. Under the deposit agreement, the depositary will not make rights available to you unless both the rights and the underlying securities to be distributed to ADS holders are either registered under the Securities Act or exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause a registration statement, if filed, to be declared effective. There might not be an exemption from registration under the Securities Act available to us for our rights offering. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

        The depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary may, at its discretion, decide that it is inequitable or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For example, the depositary may determine that it is not practicable to distribute certain property through the mail, or that the value of certain distributions may be less than the cost of mailing them. In these cases, the depositary may decide not to distribute such property to you.

You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.

        Your ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary deems it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or government body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

You may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through the U.S. federal courts may be limited because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law, we conduct substantially all of our operations in China and substantially all of our directors and officers reside outside the United States.

        We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands and conduct substantially all of our operations in China through our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities. Substantially all of our directors and officers reside outside the United States and a substantial portion of their assets are located outside of the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the Cayman Islands or in China in the event that you believe that your rights have been infringed under securities laws or otherwise. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands and China may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers. There is no statutory recognition in the Cayman Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, although the

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courts of the Cayman Islands will generally recognize and enforce a non-penal judgment of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction without retrial on the merits.

        Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, as amended and restated from time to time, and by the Companies Law (2018 Revision), or the Companies Law, and common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take legal action against us and our directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from English common law, which provides persuasive, but not binding, authority in a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States and provides significantly less protection to investors. In addition, shareholders in Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in U.S. federal courts.

        As a result, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests through actions against us, our management, our directors or our major shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States.

Our memorandum and articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions that could adversely affect the rights of holders of our ordinary shares and ADSs.

        Our currently effective amended and restated memorandum and articles of association contain certain provisions that could limit the ability of third parties to acquire control of our company, including a provision that grants authority to our board directors to establish from time to time one or more series of preferred shares without action by our shareholders and to determine, with respect to any series of preferred shares, the terms and rights of that series. The provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transactions.

Our dual-class voting structure will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could discourage others from pursuing any change of control transactions that holders of our Class A ordinary shares and ADSs may view as beneficial.

        Our co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, Mr. Eric Ya Shen, has considerable influence over important corporate matters. Our ordinary shares are divided into Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to ten votes on all matters that are subject to shareholder vote. Each Class B ordinary share is convertible into one Class A ordinary share at any time by the holder thereof, while Class A ordinary shares are not convertible into Class B ordinary shares under any circumstances. Due to the disparate voting powers associated with our two classes of ordinary shares, as of March 31, 2019, Mr. Eric Ya Shen beneficially owned approximately 58.7% of the aggregate voting power of our company. As a result, Mr. Eric Ya Shen has considerable influence over matters such as electing directors and approving material mergers, acquisitions or other business combination transactions, and he may take actions that are not in the best interest of us or our other shareholders. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could also discourage others from pursuing any potential merger, takeover or other change of control transactions, which could have the effect of depriving the holders of our Class A ordinary shares and our ADSs of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price.

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We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company for United States federal income tax purposes, which could subject United States investors in the ADSs or Class A ordinary shares to significant adverse United States income tax consequences.

        Depending upon the market price of our ADSs and the nature of our assets and income over time, we could be classified as a "passive foreign investment company," or PFIC, for United States federal income tax purposes. Although the law in this regard is unclear, we treat our consolidated affiliated entities (and their subsidiaries) as being owned by us for United States federal income tax purposes, not only because we control their management decisions but also because we are entitled to substantially all of the economic benefits associated with these entities, and, as a result, we combine these entities' operating results in our consolidated financial statements. If it were determined, however, that we are not the owner of any of our consolidated affiliated entities (or their subsidiaries) for United States federal income tax purposes, we would likely be treated as a PFIC for the current taxable year or any future taxable year.

        Assuming that we are the owner of our consolidated affiliated entities (and their subsidiaries) for United States federal income tax purposes, and based upon our income and assets and the market price of our ADSs, we do not believe that we were a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2018 and do not anticipate becoming a PFIC in the foreseeable future. While we do not expect to become a PFIC, if, among other matters, our market capitalization declines, we may be a PFIC for the current or future taxable years. The determination of whether we are or will be a PFIC will also depend, in part, on the composition of our income and assets, which will be affected by how, and how quickly, we use our liquid assets. Because there are uncertainties in the application of the relevant rules and PFIC status is a factual determination made annually after the close of each taxable year, including ascertaining the fair market value of our assets on a quarterly basis and the character of each item of income we earn, we can provide no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for the current taxable year or any future taxable year.

        If we were to be classified as a PFIC in any taxable year, a U.S. Holder (as defined in "Item 10.E. Additional Information—Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations") would be subject to special rules generally intended to reduce or eliminate any benefits from the deferral of United States federal income tax that a U.S. Holder could derive from investing in a non-United States corporation that does not distribute all of its earnings on a current basis. Further, if we are classified as a PFIC for any year during which a U.S. Holder holds our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares, we generally will continue to be treated as a PFIC for all succeeding years during which such U.S. Holder holds our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares. For more information see "Item 10.E. Additional Information—Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Investment Company Considerations."

As a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters. These practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with the NYSE corporate governance listing standards.

        As a non-U.S. company with ADSs listed on NYSE, we are subject to the NYSE corporate governance listing standards. However, Section 303A.11 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual permits a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of its home country. Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, may differ significantly from the NYSE rules. As we have chosen, and may from time to time to choose, to follow home country practice exemptions with respect to certain corporate matters, such as the requirement of shareholders' approval for adoption of an equity incentive plan, our shareholders may be afforded less protection under Cayman Islands law than they would under the NYSE rules applicable to U.S. domestic issuers. See "Item 16G. Corporate Governance."

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We incurred increased costs as a result of being a public company, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional future costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.

        As a public company, we have incurred significant accounting, legal and other expenses that we did not incur when we were a private company, including additional costs associated with our public company reporting obligations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules subsequently implemented by SEC and NYSE, requires significantly heightened corporate governance practices for public companies, including Section 404 relating to internal control over financial reporting. We ceased to be an "emerging growth company" pursuant to the JOBS Act in 2014, since which we have incurred significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward ensuring compliance with the requirements of Section 404 and the other rules and regulations of SEC.

        In the past, shareholders of a public company often brought securities class action suits against the company following periods of instability in the market price of that company's securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management's attention and other resources from our business and operations, which could harm our results of operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, any adverse outcome of such cases, including any plaintiff's appeal of a judgment in these lawsuits, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operation, cash flows and reputation. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that our insurance carriers will cover all or part of the defense costs, or any liabilities that may arise from these matters. We also may be subject to claims for indemnification related to these matters, and we cannot predict the impact that indemnification claims may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We were named as a defendant in two putative shareholder class action lawsuits filed in May and June 2015 respectively, which lawsuits were consolidated into one action and subsequently voluntarily dismissed without prejudice by the lead plaintiff on November 24, 2015. These putative shareholder class action lawsuits are described in "Item 8.A. Financial Information—Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Legal Proceedings—Litigation."

ITEM 4.    INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A.
History and Development of the Company

Our Company

        We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and conduct our business through our subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities in China. We started our operations in August 2008 when our founders established Vipshop Information in China. In order to facilitate foreign investment in our company, our founders incorporated Vipshop Holdings Limited, an offshore holding company in Cayman Islands, in August 2010. In October 2010, Vipshop Holdings Limited established Vipshop International Holdings Limited, or Vipshop HK, a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Hong Kong. Subsequently, Vipshop HK established a wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, Vipshop China, in January 2011. Along with the growth of our mobile active customers and mobile service offerings, Vipshop China formed Guangzhou Pinwei Software Co., Ltd., or Pinwei Software, in 2012 as a research and development center to focus on our mobile product and solutions.

        To support our regional business expansion, Vipshop China established a number of wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries that focus on warehousing and logistics as well as product procurement over the years since 2011. As of December 31, 2018, we mainly rely on the following six principal subsidiaries of Vipshop China to build up our regional logistics network:

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        Foreign ownership of Internet-based businesses is subject to significant restrictions under current PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government regulates Internet access, the distribution of online information, and the operation of online commerce through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. We, as a Cayman Islands company, and our PRC subsidiary, Vipshop China, as a WFOE, are both restricted from holding the licenses that are necessary for our online operation in China. To comply with these restrictions, our Vipshop Online Platform is operated by our consolidated affiliated entities in China. As part of our efforts to streamline our contractual arrangements among our consolidated affiliated entities during 2017 and 2018, Vipshop E-Commerce currently holds the primary licenses necessary to conduct our Internet-related operations of Vipshop Online Platform in China. We face risks associated with our corporate structure, as our control over Vipshop E-Commerce is based upon contractual arrangements rather than equity ownership. See "Item 4.C. Information on the Company—Organizational Structure" and "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry."

        See "Item 4.C. Information on the Company—Organizational Structure" for a diagram illustrating our corporate structure as of the date of this annual report.

        From time to time, we have selectively acquired or invested in businesses that complement our existing business, and may continue to do so in the future to expand and develop our business. See "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Strategic Investments and Acquisitions" for material strategic investments and acquisitions over the past three years.

        On December 29, 2017, we issued 3,955,473 Class A ordinary shares for approximately US$258.7 million to a JD.com subsidiary and 9,229,437 Class A ordinary shares for approximately US$603.6 million to a Tencent subsidiary, respectively.

        Our principal executive offices are located at No. 20 Huahai Street, Liwan District, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510370, People's Republic of China. Our telephone number at this address is +86 (20) 2233-0000. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at the office of International Corporation Services Ltd., P.O. Box 472, 2nd Floor, Harbour Place, 103 South Church Street, George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-1106, Cayman Islands. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc. located at 400 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10017. Our website is http://www.vip.com.

B.    Business Overview

Overview

        We are a leading online discount retailer for brands in China. We offer high-quality branded products to consumers in China through flash sales mainly on our Vipshop Online Platform. Flash sales represent an online retail format combining the advantages of e-commerce and discount sales through selling a finite quantity of discounted products or services online for a limited period of time. Since our inception in August 2008, we have attracted a large and growing number of consumers and popular brands. We had 331 million registered members and over 138 million cumulative customers, and promoted and sold products for over 29,000 popular domestic and international brands as of December 31, 2018.

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        Our business model provides a unique online shopping experience for our customers. We offer new sales events daily with a curated selection of popular branded products at deeply discounted prices in limited quantities during limited time periods, creating the element of "thrill and excitement" associated with our unique customer shopping experience. Our strong merchandizing expertise enables us to select the brand composition and product mix of our daily sales events that appeal to our customers, who mostly consist of urban and educated individuals in China who are seeking lifestyle enhancements. We have built a highly engaged and loyal customer base that contributes to our sales growth, while also enabling us to attract new customers primarily through word-of-mouth referrals. A majority of our customers have purchased products from us more than once. Our total number of repeat customers was 34.9 million, 41.2 million, and 46.1 million in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively, representing 67.1%, 71.3%, and 76.1%, respectively, of the total number of our active customers during the same periods. Orders placed by our repeat customers accounted for 93.6%, 95.1%, and 96.6%, respectively, of our total orders during the same periods.

        We are a preferred online flash sales channel in China for popular domestic and international brands. We believe that well-known and popular brands are attracted to our platform and services because of our ability to monetize large volumes of their inventory in short periods of time, increase consumer awareness of their brands and products, reach potential customers throughout China, and fulfill their demand for customer data analysis and inventory management. Among the brands that have promoted and sold products on our platform, substantially all of them have returned to pursue additional sales opportunities with us.

        We strive to optimize every aspect of our operations as we continue to grow our business. We generally have the right to return unsold items for most of our products to our brand partners. Our logistics operations and inventory management systems are specifically designed to support the frequent sales events on our Vipshop Online Platform and handle a large volume of inventory turnover. We primarily use our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and supplement with quality third-party delivery companies to ensure reliable and timely delivery. We offer consumer financing and supplier financing services to facilitate and refine shopping experience of our customers and strengthen cooperative relationship with our suppliers. We have developed our information technology (IT) infrastructure to support the surge of visitor traffic to our platform during the peak hours of our daily flash sales. We believe that our efficient operational and management systems combined with our robust IT infrastructure set a solid foundation for our continuing growth.

        In December 2017, we entered into strategic cooperation framework agreement and business cooperation framework agreement with a Tencent subsidiary and JD.com, respectively, to establish a cooperative relationship. Under these agreements, Tencent granted us an access interface on Weixin Wallet, and JD.com granted us access interfaces on JD.com's mobile application and JD.com's Weixin Discovery shopping application, to utilize the traffic from such platforms.

        We began our operations in August 2008 and have grown significantly since then. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we fulfilled approximately 269.8 million, 335.0 million, and 437.4 million customer orders, respectively, and we generated total net revenues of RMB56.59 billion, RMB72.91 billion, and RMB84.52 billion (US$12.29 billion), respectively. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we generated net income of RMB1.99 billion, RMB1.89 billion, and RMB2.13 billion (US$310.3 million), respectively. Our net income in 2016, 2017, and 2018 reflected non-cash share-based compensation expenses in an aggregate amount of RMB475.7 million, RMB667.1 million, and RMB671.2 million (US$97.6 million), respectively.

Our Flash Sales Model

        Flash sales embody characteristics of value, quality, and convenience that are well suited to brand-conscious consumers in China seeking quality goods at substantial discounts. Through our flash sales

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model, we sell limited quantities of deeply discounted branded products online for limited periods of time. We optimize the brand composition and product mix of our daily sales events based on our strong merchandizing expertise. As of December 31, 2018, we have offered diversified product offerings from over 29,000 popular domestic and international brands, including apparel for women, men, and children, handbags and shoes, cosmetics, maternal and baby products, consumer electronic products, home goods, and other lifestyle products. We carefully select well-known and popular mid-level to premium brands and products that appeal to a broad base of consumers with different purchasing powers throughout China. To foster customer confidence of purchasing quality products from our Vipshop Online Platform, we provide limited product quality insurance for our products.

        We offer new daily sales events twice a day starting at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Beijing time, respectively, and our Vipshop Online Platform experiences a surge of visitor traffic in the ensuing two hours as consumers are eager to purchase popular deals of the day before they are sold out. To provide our customers with a greater opportunity to purchase featured discounted products, each customer is only allowed to purchase limited pieces of the same item, depending on the categories. Unpaid items in the shopping cart will be automatically returned to the available products pool in 20 minutes. Consequently, customers must make quick purchase decisions within a limited period of time, adding to the thrill of the experience.

Our Vipshop Online Platform

        Through our user-friendly Vipshop Online Platform, we offer a curated selection of products and services for shoppers of varying age groups and income levels throughout China, so that they may shop branded products online with ease and pleasure. Our Vipshop Online Platform is represented by the Vipshop App and the vip.com website.

        As of the date of this annual report, our Vipshop App has surpassed our vip.com website and become our top portal of the Vipshop Online Platform in terms of the numbers of registered members, daily unique visitors and monthly unique visitors. In 2011, we launched Vipshop App for mainstream mobile operating systems including iOS and Android to increase our customer stickiness and to further enhance customer engagement through mobile devices. Since then we have been regularly upgrading Vipshop App, adding new features and engaging celebrities from time to time to promote our brands and Vipshop App. With the support of our big data and business intelligence system and our cloud computing infrastructure, we have been gradually developing features of our Vipshop App so as to provide our users with personalized recommendations, smarter and more timely replenishment of out-of-stock goods and efficient interface to enhance their shopping experience. As of December 31, 2018, revenues generated by our Vipshop App users accounted for over 90% of our total revenues. We believe that consumers' increasing reliance on mobile Internet through smartphones and other mobile devices presents opportunities for us to further enhance customer experience and increase customer stickiness.

        Our Vipshop Online Platform offers many user-friendly features that enhance customer experience and convenience:

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        To diversify our offerings of products and brands that cater to individual preferences, we launched a variety of channels on our Vipshop Online Platform such as a channel designated for promotion of chic and trendy branded products called Vipshop Beauty, a channel designed to sell furniture, upholstery, bed and bath, kitchen, home and consumer electronics products called Vipshop Home, a channel designed to sell maternity, infant and children's products called Vipshop Kids, a channel designated for direct purchase of overseas branded products called Vipshop International, and a channel designated for consumer financing called Vipshop Finance. We believe that the introduction of these channels provides brands meaningful alternatives to monetize their inventory quickly and to increase consumer awareness throughout China.

        In addition to our Vipshop Online Platform, we also operate some offline stores in China to supplement our growth strategy. In 2018, sales through these stores were immaterial to our business as a whole.

Our Brand Partners

        Since our inception in August 2008, we have attracted a broad and diverse group of brands enabling our Vipshop Online Platform to become the online shopping destination of choice for urban, fashion-oriented and value conscious consumers. Our brand partners include primarily brand owners, and to a lesser extent, brand distributors and resellers. As of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, we worked with over 10,000, 13,000, and 17,000 brand partners, respectively. None of the brands accounted for more than 2% of our total revenues in 2016, 2017, and 2018. To date, substantially all of our brand partners have sought to pursue new sales opportunities with us. We believe that our ability to assist brands in effectively selling their inventory and in fulfilling their demand for marketing, customer data analysis and inventory management will attract new brands and build stronger ties with our existing brand partners.

Brand Selection and Procurement

Brand Selection

        We have implemented a strict and methodical brand selection process. Our merchandizing team, which consisted of over 1,700 members as of December 31, 2018, is responsible for identifying potential qualified brands based on our selection guidelines. We carefully select prospective brand partners, choosing to work only with those that are well-known and offer high-quality or premium products that are popular among consumers in China, and that are willing to provide competitive prices and favorable payment credit and product return terms. We generally select brands that have an established network of stores in major department stores or shopping malls in China. We seek input from our customers in the brand selection process. Through our homepage, consumers can send us suggestions regarding the brands they would like to be able to purchase from us. Once a potential brand is

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identified, we conduct due diligence reviews on its qualifications, including whether it holds the proper business operation licenses and safety, sanitary and quality certifications, and trademark registration certificates and license agreements in relation to the branded products. This review process helps to ensure that we maintain a portfolio of brands with high-quality standards and good reputation that can meet our customers' expectations.

        We generally enter into supply agreements with brands based on our standard form. We regularly communicate with our brand partners to discuss the dates and specific product offerings for particular sales events, striving to achieve favorable results for all constituents. Due to the short-term nature of each flash sales event, for some brands, we enter into separate agreements for each flash sales event on our Vipshop Online Platform. For other brands with whom we have established long-term relationships, we often enter into supply agreements with them on an annual basis. As we continue to focus on building long-term relationships with our brand partners, we plan to implement framework agreements with our brand partners with supplemental supply orders for each flash sales event.

        In each supply agreement, a brand partner grants us authorization to market and sell products of a particular brand on our Vipshop Online Platform and provides us with the official description and logo of the brand. In addition, we require our brand partners that contract with us to observe our anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy.

Product Selection

        Our key management team members have extensive experience in the retail industry with insightful knowledge and understanding of consumers' needs and preferences. Before each flash sales event, we consider and analyze historical data, fashion trends, seasonality and customer feedback to project how many items of a particular product we should offer for the event. To maximize daily sales, we carefully plan our product mix to achieve a balanced and complementary product offering across different categories.

        We effectively gather, analyze and use customer behavior and transaction data through our customer relationship management and business intelligence systems. In addition to utilizing our customer data to strategize our upcoming flash sales event to enhance the timeliness and relevancy of our product offerings, we also provide some relevant portions of these data to our brand partners to help them optimize their product development and sales and marketing strategies and further promote additional sales opportunities with us.

Inventory Management

        For brands where we have established long-term relationships, we typically do not pay any deposit on the products we purchase. For other brands, however, we generally pay a deposit ranging from 10% to 100% of the total price for each purchase order.

        We generally have the right to return unsold items within a period after the end of a sales event. We typically pay for the purchase order in installments with the last installment paid upon full settlement of the unsold items or returned products we receive from customers. We typically do not have the right to return the unsold products to the brand partners of certain types of products, such as certain sporting goods, cosmetic beauty products and cross-border products. For these products, we have been able to utilize our strong marketing expertise regarding customer preferences to achieve quick inventory turnover.

        We have implemented an inventory management system to manage the information related to our procurement plan, quality control upon receipt, stock maintenance, stock deliveries, sales invoicing and sales recording. We use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to monitor and actively track

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sales data. This system helps us make timely adjustments to our procurement plan and minimize excess inventory.

Quality Control

        In addition to our brand selection process, we have adopted stringent quality assurance and control procedures for products delivered through our logistics network. We carefully inspect all products delivered to our logistics centers, rejecting or returning products that do not meet our quality standards or the purchase order specifications. We also inspect all products before shipment from our logistics centers to our customers. We believe that our strict brand selection process and quality control procedures enable us to ensure the high-quality level of products sold on our Vipshop Online Platform and increase customer satisfaction.

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Our Product and Service Offerings

Product Categories

        We offer a broad spectrum of apparel, fashion goods, cosmetics, home goods, and lifestyle products from popular domestic and international brands. The following table illustrates our current product categories:

Product Category
  Product Description

Womenswear

  Women's apparel, featuring a variety of apparel and styles for different age groups, including casual wear, jeans, dresses, outerwear, swimsuits, lingerie, pajamas, and maternity clothes.

Menswear

  Men's apparel, featuring a variety of apparel and styles for different age groups, including casual and smart-casual T-shirts, stylish polo shirts, jackets, pants, and underwear.

Footwear

  Shoes for women and men designed in a variety of styles, for both casual and formal occasions.

Accessories

  Fashion accessories in various styles and materials for women and men, including belts, fashionable jewelry, watches, and glasses complementing our apparel offerings.

Handbags

  Purses, satchels, duffel bags and wallets in many colors, styles, and materials.

Children

  Apparel, gear and accessories, furnishings and decor, toys and games for boys, girls, infants, and toddlers of all age groups.

Sportswear and sporting goods

  Sports apparel, sports gear and footwear for tennis, badminton, soccer, and swimming.

Consumer electronic products

  Consumer electronic products, covering a wide range of demands, including computers, mobile handsets, digital cameras, and major home appliances.

Cosmetics

  High-quality, affordable skin care and cosmetic products, including cleansers, lotions, face and body creams, face masks, sunscreen, foundations, lipsticks, eye shadows, and nail polish.

Home goods and other lifestyle products

  Home goods with an extensive selection of home furnishings, including bedding and bath product, home decor, dining and tabletop items, and small household appliances.

Luxury goods

  Internationally-known premium designer apparel, footwear, and accessories.

Gifts and miscellaneous

  Snacks, health supplements and occasion-based gifts, such as chocolates, moon-cakes, and tea.

        We pay close attention to every aspect of our services to enhance our customers' shopping experience. For each purchase, we arrange items neatly and thoughtfully within each delivery box. Unlike many in-store sales items which have been tried on numerous times, are on display for a lengthy period of time or may have minor defects, each item purchased from our Vipshop Online Platform is new, contains its original tag and packaging, and must pass our strict quality control inspection prior to shipping.

Pricing

        We price products on our Vipshop Online Platform at significant discounts, typically ranging from 20% to 90% off the original retail price, which is one of the key elements in the "thrill and excitement" shopping experience that we create. Our attractive pricing is made possible by cost savings

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achieved through volume discounts that we receive, in particular for off-season or slower-moving inventory, and the absence of physical retail space and related overhead costs. We typically negotiate with our brand partners for prices that are competitive with those offered to other discount sales channels.

Other Services

        The significant scale of our business allows us to provide a variety of services to create value for our business partners and ultimately benefit our customers. Our Internet finance offerings primarily include consumer financing and supplier financing services.

        Our consumer financing service went live during the fourth quarter of 2015, providing our customers with credit solutions to facilitate their shopping with us. Our customers may take advantage of the competitive installment payment options available under Weipin Spend ( GRAPHIC in Chinese), our installment plan.

        Our developing supplier financing business targets our suppliers' need of liquidity and facilitates our inventory procurement. Wei Yidai ( GRAPHIC in Chinese), our microcredit service, efficiently and conveniently provides secured and unsecured financing to our suppliers.

Payment, Fulfillment and Return

Payment

        We provide our customers with the flexibility to choose from a number of payment options. Our payment options include our Vipshop Payment service, cash on delivery, and payment through third-party online payment services, such as tenpay.com. In 2018, our fast-growing Vipshop Payment service was used to process a significant portion of our total orders, so that we continue to depend less on other payment options. Under the cash on delivery option, our in-house last mile delivery capabilities, supplemented by a few third-party delivery service providers, deliver products to customers' designated addresses and collect payment on site. As of December 31, 2018, we had built an extensive distribution network to deliver products and provide our cash-on-delivery payment option to customers in over 370 cities across China. This payment method not only provides our customers with a secure and convenient payment option, but also reduces our operating expenses and payment collection risk as we can combine payment and delivery services by using our in-house last mile delivery capabilities, without incurring additional fees.

Fulfillment

        We have established a logistics network and warehousing capacity with nationwide coverage. We have adopted a flexible logistics model supported by our robust and advanced warehouse management system. As of December 31, 2018, we delivered over 95% of our orders through our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities. Meanwhile, we use a mix of top delivery companies with nationwide coverage and quality regional or local couriers to ensure reliable and timely delivery.

        Our logistics network consists of regional logistics hubs and local distribution centers. Our regional logistics hubs are strategically located in Zhaoqing of Guangdong Province in Southern China, Kunshan of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China (which is within close proximity of Shanghai), Jianyang of Sichuan Province in Southwestern China, Tianjin in Northern China, Ezhou of Hubei Province in Central China, and Shenyang of Liaoning Province in Northeastern China. We maintain local distribution centers to facilitate distribution of standardized and frequently purchased products, and we have established several bonded warehouses in China to support our cross-border business.

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        Our warehouse management system enables us to closely monitor each step of the fulfillment process from the time a purchase order is confirmed with the brand partners and the product stocked in our logistics centers, up to when the product is packaged and picked up for shipment to a customer. Shipments from brand partners first arrive at one of our regional logistics hubs, depending on demand from each warehouse. At each logistics hub, inventory is bar-coded and tracked through our management information system, allowing real-time monitoring of inventory levels across our logistics network and item tracking at each logistics center. As we offer a curated selection of brands and products for each daily sales, our logistics centers and inventory management systems are specifically designed to support the frequent sales events on our flash sales platform and a large volume of inventory turnover. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we processed approximately 269.8 million, 335.0 million, and 437.4 million customer orders, respectively.

        Since 2013, we have been implementing innovative solutions to further enhance our logistics efficiency. The "just-in-time" method, or JIT, allows some of our suppliers to not load inventories to the warehouse before the relevant products are put up for sale. Instead, the suppliers will load inventories to our warehouses only within a period of time after being notified when orders have been generated. Compared to the traditional bulk load-in and bulk load-out method, JIT enables certain suppliers that have worked with us well to further increase turnover. Moreover, the "third-party logistics" method, or 3PL, allows some of our suppliers to lease vacant space of our warehouses to manage their supplies. The 3PL increases utilization of our warehouses while enabling certain suppliers to manage their supplies more efficiently. The combined JIT and 3PL have been implemented for the majority of our business.

Delivery Services

        We deliver orders placed on our Vipshop Online Platform to all areas in China primarily through our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and, to a lesser extent, through leading reputable third-party delivery companies with nationwide coverage and quality regional and local couriers. As of December 31, 2018, over 95% of our orders were delivered by our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities. For luxury goods orders, we deliver the products with an "anti-tampering lock" device to further enhance customer trust. For delivery to smaller cities, we use a combination of our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and third-party delivery companies to achieve greater operational efficiency and ensure timely delivery to our customers. We bundle packages for customers in smaller cities within a particular region and ship in bulk to be then delivered locally to our customers. Our use of reputable national delivery companies and regional and local couriers to supplement our invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities allows us to maintain operational flexibility and accommodate order demand, thereby ensuring high service quality.

        We leverage our large-scale operations, our strong invested and in-house last mile delivery capabilities and reputation to obtain favorable contractual terms from third-party delivery companies. To reduce the risk of reliance on any single delivery company, we typically contract with two or more regional delivery companies in each major city. We regularly monitor and review the delivery companies' performance and their compliance with our contractual terms. We typically negotiate and enter into logistics agreements on an annual basis.

Return Policy

        Due to the limited quantities of each featured flash sales product, we do not normally offer a product exchange service but customers may return products purchased from our platform. We currently offer our customers an unconditional right of return for a period of seven days on sales from our Vipshop Online Platform upon receipt of products. Our customers can return products purchased on our platform within seven days of receipt of the products as long as the products are unused, unwashed, unworn, undamaged and in their original packaging and in original condition. For return of luxury goods, the anti-tampering lock on the product must remain intact.

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        Once a customer submits a return application request online or by phone, our customer service representatives will review and process the request or contact the customer by email or by phone if there are any questions relating to the request. Upon our receipt of the returned product, we credit the customer's Vipshop member account or original payment method with the purchase price. We believe our hassle-free return policies help to increase customer spending and enhance customer loyalty.

Customer Service

        We believe that our emphasis on customer service enhances our ability to maintain a large and loyal customer base and create a positive customer experience, encouraging repeat visits and purchases. We have a dedicated customer service team responsible for handling general customer inquiries and requests, assisting customers with their ordering process, investigating the status of orders, shipments and payments, resolving customer complaints, and providing other after-sales services. Our customers can contact customer service representatives through our customer service e-mail, real-time online chat, or our customer service hotline 15 hours a day, seven days a week. As of December 31, 2018, our customer service center, located in our Guangzhou headquarters, had approximately 1,800 well-trained employees.

        We maintain service quality by carefully selecting personnel, providing our customer service representatives with extensive training, and regularly monitoring and evaluating the performance of each representative. Each new customer service representative is required to complete a mandatory training program in Guangzhou, conducted by experienced managers and covering product knowledge, complaint handling, service attitude and communication skills. To facilitate timely resolution of customer complaints, we also train and empower our customer service representatives to resolve complaints and remedy situations within a specified authorized amount determined based on their seniority without having to get approval from their supervisors. To maintain control over the quality of customer services, we do not outsource any of our e-mail, online live chat, or call center customer service operations.

Marketing

        Although historically we have not incurred substantial marketing expense and have been able to build a large base of loyal customers with relatively low customer acquisition cost primarily through word-of-mouth referrals and providing our customers with an enjoyable, satisfying, and rewarding shopping experience and using cost-effective marketing means, we intentionally reinvested our profits into marketing to gain market share starting in 2014. Since the second quarter of 2014, we have been increasing marketing expenses to strengthen our brand awareness, attract more mobile users, and expand market share especially within product categories such as apparel, cosmetics, maternal and baby products.

        We continued to improve and enhance the element of "thrill and excitement" associated with the customer shopping experience to promote word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customer visits to our Vipshop Online Platform. As part of our viral marketing strategy, we provide various incentives to our existing customers to increase their spending and loyalty. Our customers can earn reward points upon registration and for each purchase they make, and may exchange the reward points for coupons, gifts and lucky draw opportunities on our platform. Our customers may also earn reward points by introducing new members and customers to our platform. In addition, we encourage our customers to share their successful flash sales shopping experiences through social media in China. We offer an "easy-to-share" function that enables our customers to easily share their shopping experiences with us on social networking Internet platforms.

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Technology

        Our IT systems are designed to enhance efficiency and scalability, and play an important role in the success of our business. We rely on a combination of internally developed proprietary technologies and commercially available licensed technologies to improve our platform and management systems in order to optimize every aspect of our operations for the benefit of our customers and brand partners.

        We have adopted a service-oriented architecture supported by data processing technologies which consists of front-end and back-end modules. Our network infrastructure is built upon self-owned servers located in data centers operated by major PRC Internet data center providers. We are implementing enhanced cloud architecture and infrastructure for our core data processing system to augment our existing virtual private network as we continue to expand our operations in new geographic locations, enabling us to achieve significant internal efficiency through a virtual and centralized network platform.

        Our front-end modules, which refer to modules supporting the user-interfaces of our platform, mainly include product display, registered member account management, category browsing, online shopping cart, order processing functions and payment functions. Our front-end modules are supported by our proprietary content distribution network, dynamic and distributed cluster and a core database, providing our customers with quicker access to the product display they are interested in, and facilitating faster processing of their purchases. We have developed our IT systems to handle a surge of visitor traffic to our platform during the peak hours of our twice-per-day sales from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Beijing time, providing our customers with a smooth online shopping experience.

        Our back-end modules, which refer to modules supporting our business operations, mainly include customer service, ERP system, warehouse and logistics management, product information management, business intelligence and administration management systems. Our customer service system mainly consists of our customer relationship management system, our audio and online customer service system and our customer data analysis and membership management system. We believe that we are one of the few PRC e-commerce companies to implement an ERP system, which we have customized to integrate our management of brand partners, accounting and product distribution information. Our warehouse and logistics management system primarily consists of our warehouse management system and our track data storage and automated warehouse and logistics operations, which allow us to efficiently manage our inventories, track the products, and deliver the products to our customers on a timely basis. We have designed our product information management system to perform a variety of functions such as products filing, products photographing, products-information compiling, sample products management, online sales scheduling and other functions relating to on-line sales of goods. This system greatly enhances the efficiency of our operations.

        Our customer relationship management and business intelligence systems enable us to effectively gather, analyze and make use of internally generated customer behavior and proprietary transaction data. We regularly use this information in planning our marketing initiatives for upcoming flash sales and make profile-based personalized recommendations to enhance our users' shopping experience. We have been working to add more features to our personalized interfaces so that our customers may have unique experience when shopping with us. In addition, we also provide selected data to our brand partners to help them optimize their product development and sales and marketing strategies. Our business intelligence system is an intelligence system built with the proprietary cloud computing infrastructure, providing decision-making intelligence such as dashboards operation, operational analysis, market analysis, sales forecasts and products such as anti-fraud filters, precision marketing, personalized recommendations and other application-oriented intelligent products that facilitate data-driven decision-making and increase our product sales.

        Our research and development team has significantly enhanced our cybersecurity efforts against online and offline frauds, risk control and potential cyber-attacks, such as DDoS and spamming. For

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example, we have implemented a security response system to deal with online security breaches, as well as a multi-disciplinary risk control program to protect assets and fight against offline fraudulent issues.

        We have developed most of the key business modules through our internal IT department. We also license software from reputable third-party providers, such as Manhattan Information System and Oracle, and work closely with these third-party providers to customize the software for our operations. We have implemented a number of measures to protect against failure and data loss. We have developed a disaster tolerant system for our key business modules which includes real-time data mirroring, daily off-line data back-up and redundancy and load balancing.

        We believe that our module-based systems are highly scalable, which enable us to quickly expand system capacity and add new features and functionality to our systems in response to our business needs and evolving customers' demands without affecting the operation of existing modules. We have also adopted rigorous security policies and measures, including encryption technology, to protect our proprietary data and customer information.

Intellectual Property

        We regard our trademarks, service marks, domain names, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on trademark, copyright, and trade secret protection laws in China and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions with our employees, partners, service providers, suppliers, and other parties to protect our proprietary rights. As of December 31, 2018, we owned 1,401 registered trademarks, 149 copyrights (including copyrights to 115 software products developed by us relating to various aspects of our operations), and 301 registered domain names that are material to our business, including vip.com and vipshop.com.

Competition

        The online flash sales market, as one of the fast-growing categories of the e-commerce market in China, is rapidly competitive and rapidly evolving. Our primary competitors include major B2C e-commerce companies in China that sell a broad range of products and services online, such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo, and other online discount retail companies in China.

        We believe we compete primarily on the basis of:

        We believe that our early mover advantage and leading market position help us to compete efficiently against our competitors. However, some of our current and potential competitors may have longer operating histories, larger customer bases, better brand recognition, stronger platform management and fulfillment capabilities and greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—If we do not compete effectively against existing or new competitors, we may lose market share and customers."

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Strategic Investments and Acquisitions

        To maintain and strengthen our leading market position in China and to supplement our existing business, we constantly evaluate opportunities for strategic investments in, and acquisitions of, complementary businesses, assets, and technologies and have made such investments and acquisitions from time to time. We have made the following material strategic investments and acquisitions over the past three years.

        In February 2015, January 2016, and May 2016, we acquired an aggregate of 96.98% of equity interest in Feiyuan, for a total consideration of approximately RMB255.7 million, to boost our warehousing, transportation, and distribution capabilities in southeast China.

        In September 2016, we acquired 100% of equity interest in Zhejiang Ebatong Technology Co., Ltd., which is a third-party payment service provider, for a total consideration of RMB428.3 million. Zhejiang Ebatong Technology Co., Ltd. changed its name to Zhejiang Vipshop Payment Co., Ltd. following the completion of acquisition, and would develop our Internet payment channel.

        In March 2018, we agreed to invest in the capacity of a passive investor, up to US$250 million in a private equity fund, which focuses on technology-enabled consumer, retail, and related business. As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate amount of our committed capital to the fund was RMB126.1 million.

Regulation

        This section summarizes all of the significant laws and regulations that materially affect our business and operations and the key provisions of such laws and regulations.

Regulations on Foreign Investment

        On March 15, 2019, NPC approved the PRC Foreign Investment Law, which will become effective on January 1, 2020. The PRC Foreign Investment Law is considered to grant national treatment to FIEs, except that FIEs are subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions if they propose to operate in certain industries prescribed on a new version of "negative list" to be released by the PRC State Council. However, as the new version of "negative list" has yet to be issued, it is unclear whether it will differ from the Special Administrative Measures for Entrance of Foreign Investment.

        The Special Administrative Measures for Entrance of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (2018 Version), or the 2018 Negative List, which was promulgated jointly by MOFCOM and NDRC on June 28, 2018 and became effective on July 28, 2018, replaced and partially abolished the Guidance Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment (2017 Revision) regulating foreign investment in China. Pursuant to the 2018 Negative List, foreign investors should refrain from making investing in any of the prohibited sectors specified in the 2018 Negative List, and foreign investors are required to obtain permits for access to other sectors that are listed in the 2018 Negative List but not classified as "prohibited."

Regulations on Value-Added Telecommunications Services

        The PRC government extensively regulates the telecommunications industry, including the Internet sector. The PRC State Council, MIIT, MOFCOM, the State Administration for Market Regulation, or SAMR (established by merging the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or SAIC, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the China Food and

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Drug Administration according to the 2018 Institutional Reform Plan), National Radio and Television Administration, or NRTA, Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, or the Publicity Department of the CCCPC, and other relevant government authorities have promulgated an extensive regulatory scheme governing telecommunications, online sales, and e-commerce. However, China's telecommunications industry and Internet-related industry continue to develop and evolve. As a result, new laws and regulations may be adopted from time to time that will require us to obtain additional licenses and permits in addition to those that we currently have, and will require us to address new issues that arise from time to time. In addition, substantial uncertainties exist regarding the interpretation and implementation of current and any future PRC laws and regulations applicable to the telecommunications, online sales and e-commerce. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us."

        On September 25, 2000, the PRC Telecommunications Regulations, or the Telecom Regulations, were issued by the PRC State Council as the primary governing law on telecommunication services. The Telecom Regulations set out the general framework for the provision of telecommunication services by PRC companies. Under the Telecom Regulations, it is a requirement that telecommunications service providers procure operating licenses prior to their commencement of operations. The Telecom Regulations draw a distinction between "basic telecommunications services" and "value-added telecommunications services." A "Catalog of Telecommunications Business" was issued as an attachment to the Telecom Regulations to categorize telecommunications services as basic or value-added, and was updated to classify the information services such as content service, entertainment and online games services as value-added telecommunications services. The Telecom Regulations were amended in July 2014 in accordance with the Decision of State Council on Amending Certain Administrative Regulations (Order No. 653) and further amended in February 2016 in accordance with the Decision of State Council on Amending Certain Administrative Regulations (Order No.666). On December 28, 2015, MIIT released the Catalog of Telecommunication Business (2015 Revision), or the 2015 Telecom Catalog, which took effect on March 1, 2016. Under the 2015 Telecom Catalog, both the online data processing and transaction processing business (i.e. operating e-commerce) and Internet information business, continue to be categorized as value-added telecommunication services, and the Internet information business as defined under the 2015 Telecom Catalog includes information release and delivery services, information search and query services, information community platform services, information real-time interactive services, and information protection and processing services.

        On July 3, 2017, MIIT issued the Administrative Measures for Telecommunications Business Operating Permit, or the Telecom Permit Measures, which took effect on September 1, 2017, and replaced the administrative measures for telecommunication business operating permit promulgated on March 5, 2009. The Telecom Permit Measures confirm that there are two types of telecom operating licenses for operators in China, namely, licenses for basic telecommunications services and licenses for value-added telecommunications services. The operation scope of the license will detail the permitted activities of the enterprise to which it is granted. An approved telecommunication services operator shall conduct its business in accordance with the specifications recorded on its VATS License. In addition, a VATS License's holder is required to obtain approval from the original permit-issuing authority prior to any change to its shareholders. On February 24, 2015, the PRC State Council has issued the Decisions on Cancelling and Adjusting a Batch of Administrative Approval Items, which, among others, replaced the pre-registration approval requirement for telecommunications business with post-registration approval requirement.

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        On September 25, 2000, the PRC State Council promulgated the Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services, or the Internet Measures, which was amended in January 2011. Under the Internet Measures, commercial Internet information services operators shall obtain an ICP License, from the relevant government authorities before engaging in any commercial Internet information services operations within China. The ICP License has a term of five years and shall be renewed within 90 days before expiration.

        As of the date of this annual report, Vipshop E-Commerce held an EDI License valid until December 2022, which is required for providing platform access to third-party merchants for their sales of products to further develop our business; Vipshop E-Commerce was preparing to apply for an ICP License, which is required for providing commercial Internet information services; Vipshop Information held a VATS License valid until July 2020 for domestic call center services.

        Pursuant to the Provisions on Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises promulgated by the PRC State Council on December 11, 2001 and amended on September 10, 2008 and February 6, 2016, or the FITE Regulations, the ultimate foreign equity ownership in a value-added telecommunications services provider may not exceed 50%. Moreover, for a foreign investor to acquire any equity interest in a value-added telecommunication business in China, it must satisfy a number of stringent performance and operational experience requirements, including demonstrating good track records and experience in operating value-added telecommunication business overseas. Foreign investors that meet these requirements must obtain approvals from MIIT and MOFCOM or their authorized local counterparts, which retain considerable discretion in granting approvals. Pursuant to publicly available information, the PRC government has issued telecommunications business operating licenses to only a limited number of FIEs, most of which are Sino-foreign joint ventures engaging in the value-added telecommunication business. Under the 2018 Negative List, value-added telecommunications services continue to be categorized as restricted industry for foreign investment, and a foreign investor may not hold more than 50% of equity interest in an operator of value-added telecommunications services, except for e-commerce. On June 19, 2015, MIIT issued the Circular on Removing the Restrictions on Equity Ratio Held by Foreign Investors in Online Data Processing and Transaction Processing (Operating E-Commerce) Business to amend the relevant provisions in the FITE Regulations, allowing foreign investors to own more than 50% of equity interest in an operator of "operating e-commerce" business. However, foreign investors are still prohibited from holding more than 50% of equity interest in a provider of other subcategories of value-added telecommunications services.

        The MIIT Circular issued by MIIT in July 2006 reiterated the regulations on foreign investment in telecommunications businesses, which require foreign investors to set up FIEs and obtain the applicable VATS License to conduct any value-added telecommunications business in China. Under the MIIT Circular, a domestic company that holds a VATS License is prohibited from leasing, transferring or selling the license to foreign investors in any form, and from providing any assistance, including providing resources, sites or facilities, to foreign investors that conduct value-added telecommunications business illegally in China. Furthermore, the relevant trademarks and domain names that are used in the value-added telecommunications business must be owned by the local VATS License holder or its shareholders. The MIIT Circular further requires each VATS License holder to have the necessary facilities for its approved business operations and to maintain such facilities in the regions covered by its license. In addition, all value-added telecommunications service providers are required to maintain network and information security in accordance with the standards set forth under relevant PRC regulations.

        We are a Cayman Islands company, and our PRC subsidiary, Vipshop China, is our WFOE under PRC law and thus is restricted from providing value-added telecommunication services, including

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Internet information services, in China. To comply with the PRC regulations noted above, our Vipshop Online Platform is operated by our consolidated affiliated entities, each of which is currently owned by PRC citizens, namely, Mr. Eric Ya Shen and Mr. Arthur Xiaobo Hong. As part of our efforts to streamline our contractual arrangements among our consolidated affiliated entities during 2017 and 2018, Vipshop E-Commerce currently holds an EDI License to operate our platform in China, and it also has registered and holds all significant domain names.

        To conduct our business in China, our PRC subsidiaries have entered into four sets of contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities, namely, Vipshop Information, Tianjin Pinjian, Pin Jun Tong and Vipshop E-Commerce. For a detailed discussion of our contractual arrangements, please refer to "Item 4.C. Information on the Company—Organizational Structure."

Regulations on Internet Privacy

        The PRC Constitution states that PRC law protects the freedom and privacy of communications of citizens and prohibits infringement of these rights. In recent years, PRC government authorities have enacted legislation on Internet use to protect personal information from any unauthorized disclosure. The Internet Measures prohibit an ICP operator from humiliating or defaming a third party or infringing the lawful rights and interests of a third party. Furthermore, The Decision on Strengthening Network Information Protection promulgated by the Standing Committee of NPC in December 2012 provides that electronic information that is able to identify identities of citizens or is concerned with personal privacy of citizens is protected by law and shall not be unlawfully obtained or provided. ICP operators collecting or using personal electronic information of citizens shall specify purposes, manners and scopes of information collection and use, obtain consent of citizens concerned, and strictly keep confidential personal information collected. ICP operators are prohibited from disclosing, tampering with, damaging, selling or illegally providing others with personal information collected. Technical and other measures are required to be taken by ICP operators to prevent personal information collected from unauthorized disclosure, damage or being lost. ICP operators are subject to legal liability, including warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, revocation of licenses or filings, closing of websites concerned, public security administration punishment, criminal liabilities, or civil liabilities, if they violate relevant provisions on Internet privacy. Pursuant to the Order for the Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User Personal Information issued by the MIIT on July 16, 2013, any collection and use of users' personal information must be subject to the consent of the users, abide by the principles of legality, rationality and necessity and be within the specified purposes, methods and scopes. Pursuant to the Ninth Amendment to the Criminal Law issued by the Standing Committee of NPC in August 2015, which became effective in November 2015, any Internet service provider that fails to fulfill obligations to manage information and network security as required by applicable laws and refuses to rectify upon orders from government authorities, will be subject to criminal penalty if such failure (i) causes dissemination of illegal information in large scale; (ii) causes user information leaks resulting in severe consequences; (iii) causes serious loss of evidence to criminal investigations; or (iv) implicates other severe circumstances. Moreover, any individual or entity that (i) sells or provides personal information to others in violation of applicable laws, or (ii) steals or illegally obtains any personal information, in either case implicating severe circumstances, will be subject to criminal penalty. The PRC government, however, has the power and authority to order ICP operators to turn over personal information if an Internet user posts any prohibited content or engages in illegal activities on the Internet.

        To further regulate cyber security and privacy protection, the PRC Cyber Security Law, which was promulgated on November 7, 2016 and took effect on June 1, 2017, provides that: subject to certain exceptions, (i) to collect and use personal information, network operators must follow the principles of legitimacy, rightfulness, and necessity, disclose their rules of data collection and use, clearly express the purposes, means, and scope of collecting and using the information, and obtain the consent of the

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persons whose data is gathered; (ii) network operators can neither gather personal information unrelated to the services they provide, nor gather or use personal information in violation of the provisions of laws and administrative regulations or the scopes of consent given by the persons whose data is gathered, and must dispose of personal information they have saved in accordance with the provisions of laws and administrative regulations and agreements reached with users; (iii) network operators cannot divulge, tamper with, or damage the personal information they have collected, and cannot provide the personal information to others without the consent of the persons whose data is collected. According to the PRC Cyber Security Law, personal information refers to all kinds of information that is recorded electronically or that can otherwise be used to independently identify or be combined with other information to identify natural persons' personal information, including but not limited to natural persons' names, dates of birth, identification numbers, biologically identified personal information, addresses, and telephone numbers. Any Internet information services provider that violates these privacy protection requirements under the PRC Cyber Security Law and related laws and regulations may be ordered to turn in illegal gains generated from unlawful operations and pay a fine of no less than one but no more than ten times of the illegal gains, and may be ordered to cease the relevant business operations when the violation is serious. On May 8, 2017, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate issued the Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Handling of Criminal Cases Involving Infringement of Citizens' Personal Information, or the Personal Information Interpretations, which became effective on June 1, 2017. The Personal Information Interpretations provides more practical conviction and sentencing criteria for the infringement of citizens' personal information and mark a milestone for the criminal protection of citizens' personal information.

        On January 23, 2019, the PRC Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and other three authorities jointly issued the Circular on the Special Campaign of Correcting Unlawful Collection and Usage of Personal Information via Apps. Pursuant to this circular, (i) app operators are prohibited from collecting any personal information irrelevant to their services; (ii) information collection and usage policy should be presented in a simple and clear way, and such policy should be consented by the users voluntarily; and (iii) authorization from users should not be obtained by coercing users with default or bundling clauses or making consent a condition of a service. App operators violating these rules can be ordered by authorities to correct their noncompliance within a given period of time, be publicly reported, or ordered to quit its operation or cancel its business license or operational permits. Furthermore, the authorities issuing this circular will initiate a campaign to correct unlawful collection and usage of personal information via apps from January 2019 through December 2019.

Regulations Relating to Distribution of Books and Audio-Video Products

        We are also subject to regulations relating to the distribution of books and audio-video products. Under the latest Administrative Provisions for the Publication Market, which were jointly promulgated in May 2016 by State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and MOFCOM, and became effective in June 2016, any entity or individual engaging in the distribution of publications, including books, newspapers, periodicals, audio-video products and electronic publications, must obtain an approval from the competent press and publication administrative authority and receive the Publication Operation Permit. As of the date of this annual report, each of Vipshop E-Commerce, Vipshop China, Vipshop Jianyang, Vipshop Kunshan, Vipshop Tianjin, Vipshop Hubei, Vipshop Zhaoqing, Vipshop Chongqing, and Vipshop (Shenyang) E-Commerce Co., Ltd., or Vipshop Shenyang, had obtained Publication Operation Permits, valid until December 2021, March 2020, July 2021, March 2020, December 2023, May 2020, December 2020, April 2022, and March 2024, respectively.

        Furthermore, according to the Notice on Promoting the Healthy Development of Online Distribution of Publications issued by GAPP on December 7, 2010, any entities engaging in online

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publications distribution in China shall apply for the Publications Operation Permit with an "online distribution" notation. However, the Administrative Provisions for the Publication Market provides that an entity that maintains a valid Publication Operation Permit for the retail sale of publications is only required to file notice with a competent press and publication administrative authority within 15 days from starting online publications distribution business. As of the date of this annual report, Vipshop E-Commerce, Vipshop China, Vipshop Jianyang, Vipshop Kunshan, Vipshop Hubei, Vipshop Zhaoqing, Vipshop Chongqing, and Vipshop Shenyang are preparing to add the Publication Operation Permits obtained by these entities with "online distribution" notations. As of the date of this annual report, Vipshop E-Commerce, Vipshop Information, Vipshop Kunshan, Vipshop Zhuhai and Vipshop Zhaoqing had completed the notice filing with competent authorities.

Regulations on E-Commerce

        China's e-commerce industry is at an early stage of development and there are few PRC laws or regulations specifically regulating the e-commerce industry. In May 31, 2010, SAIC adopted the Interim Measures for the Administration of Online Commodities Trading and Relevant Services, or the Online Commodities Measures, which took effective on July 1, 2010. Under the Online Commodities Measures, enterprises or other operators which engage in online commodities trading and other services and have been registered with SAIC or its local branches must make available to the public the information stated in their business licenses or the link to their business licenses online on their websites. The online distributors must adopt measures to ensure safe online transactions, protect online shoppers' rights and prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. The information on trading of commodities released by online distributors shall be authentic, accurate, complete and sufficient. On January 26, 2014, SAIC adopted the Administrative Measures for Online Trading, or the Online Trading Measures, which took effective on March 15, 2014 and repeal the Online Commodities Measures from that day. Under the Online Trading Measures, the consumer is entitled to return the commodities within seven days from the date after receipt of the commodities without giving a reason, except for the following commodities: customized commodities; fresh and perishable commodities; audiovisual products downloaded online or unpackaged by consumers and computer software and other digital commodities; and newspapers and journals that have been delivered. The online commodity operators shall, within seven days upon receipt of the returned commodities, refund the prices paid by consumers for relevant commodities. In addition, operators shall not, by using contract terms or by other manners, set out the provisions that are not fair or rational to consumers such as those that exclude or restrain consumers' rights, relieve or exempt operators' responsibilities, and increase the consumers' responsibilities, and shall not, by using contract terms and by technical means, reach transactions in a forcible manner.

        On September 21, 2012, MOFCOM issued the Administrative Measures on Single Purpose Commercial Prepaid Cards (Tentative), or the Single Purpose Cards Measures, which took effect on November 1, 2012 and was amended by the Decision of MOFCOM on Repealing and Revising Certain Regulations and Regulatory Documents on August 18, 2016. Under the Single Purpose Card Measures, among other things and subject to implementing rules adopted by the local branch of MOFCOM, the issuer of single purpose commercial prepaid cards, or the Single Purpose Cards, which are defined as the prepaid cards that can only be redeemed by the card issuer, the group companies under the same ultimate control of the card issuer, or the franchise entities under one single brand same as the card issuer, shall (i) register its card issuance with MOFCOM or its local branches within 30 days, and (ii) adopt sufficient measures to control risks, by means of controlling the total balance of the Single Purpose Cards and providing advance deposit, guarantee insurance, bank guarantee or other commercial guarantee as required. Vipshop E-Commerce issues and sells the Single Purpose Cards to our customers. Vipshop E-Commerce has taken sufficient risk control measures as required and has completed the registration formalities with Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau.

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        To further regulate the e-commerce industry, on August 31, 2018, the Standing Committee of NPC promulgated the PRC E-Commerce Law, which took effect on January 1, 2019, providing that e-commerce operators must comply with the principles of voluntariness, equality, fairness, and good faith, abide by laws, observe business ethics, equally participate in market competition, perform obligations regarding the protection of consumers' rights and interests, environmental protection, intellectual property protection, and the protection of cyber security and personal information, take charge of the quality of products and services, and receive the supervision of the government and the general public. For example, an operator of an e-commerce platform must (i) comply with the requirements for protection of personal safety and property security and the requirements for environmental protection regarding its sales of goods or provisions of services; (ii) disclose information of goods or services fully, truthfully, accurately, and promptly, and protect consumers' right to know and right to choose; (iii) deliver goods or services to a consumer in accordance with the method and deadline committed or agreed with the consumer, and bear the risks and liability for transportation of goods, except where the consumer separately selects a courier service provider.

Regulation on Internet Finance

        We currently utilize our Vipshop Online Platform to provide various Internet finance services to our customers, and are subject to the regulations applicable to our provision of those services. On July 18, 2015, ten PRC government authorities, including PBOC, CSRC, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, or CIRC, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, or CBRC, the Ministry of Finance, or MOF; the Ministry of Public Security, MIIT, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, and the State Internet Information Office, jointly issued the Guidance on Promoting the Healthy Development of Internet Finance, or the Internet Finance Guidance. The Internet Finance Guidance refers to Internet finance as a new financial business model in which traditional financial institutions and Internet companies provide financing, payment, investment, and information intermediary services by using Internet technologies and information and communication technologies. In accordance with the Internet Finance Guidance, Internet finance is part of the finance sector, and Internet finance business operators are still required to comply with the regulations in relation to the provision of each sub-category of specific financial services they provide. On April 12, 2016, the General Office of the State Council issued the Notice on Issuing the Implementing Proposals for the Special Rectification of Internet Financial Risks. This notice aims to, among others, impose stricter market entry regulation on Internet finance, strengthen monitoring of funds, encourage whistleblowers with rewards and enhance penalties for violations, and curb unfair competition.

        We currently offer supplier financing in the form of microcredit services. In 2008, PBOC and CBRC jointly promulgated the Guidance on the Pilot Establishment of Microcredit Companies, which allowed provincial governments to approve the establishment of microcredit companies on a trial basis. Many government authorities at the provincial or equivalent level, including Guangdong and Shanghai, issued local implementing rules on the administration of microcredit companies pursuant to this guidance. The specific local authority that is in charge of supervision of microcredit business in each administrative region may vary, and usually is the financial office of the local government. Any entities intend to engage in microcredit business in certain administrative region must obtain an approval from the local authority that is in charge of supervision over the microcredit business in such administrative region, and a microcredit company is not permitted to conduct microcredit business outside the administrative region where it is approved to conduct the business. Both national and local level regulations also require, among the other things, the sources of funds of a microcredit company to be limited to the capital contributed by its shareholders, donated fund, and loans from no more than two banking financial institutions provided such loans do not exceed 50% of the net capital of such microcredit company. We currently are permitted to engage in microcredit businesses through two subsidiaries of Vipshop China in Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively.

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        We currently offer insurance products on behalf of insurance companies via our Vipshop Online Platform. Pursuant to the Provisions for the Supervision and Administration of Professional Insurance Agencies (Revised in 2015), or the Insurance Agency Provisions, promulgated by CIRC in 2015, only entities that satisfy the criteria specified by CIRC and hold an insurance agency business operating permit may be entrusted as the agents of the insurance companies to engage in insurance business to the extent authorized by the insurance companies and receive commissions from insurance companies. After obtaining the insurance agency business operation permits, the insurance agents are also required to purchase vocational liability insurance or deposit an amount equal to five percent of its registered capital as security deposit. In addition, all insurance agents are required to report to CIRC in relation to the changes in its name, registered address, name of its initiator and major shareholder, major shareholder, registered capital, shareholding structure, legal form, articles of association, and in relation to any merger or consolidation, or establishment or de-registration of any branches. The insurance agency business operating permit has a valid term of three years, and all insurance agents are required to apply for extension thirty days before the term of their respective permit expires. Pursuant to the Circular on Issuing the Interim Measures for the Supervision of Internet Insurance Business promulgated in July 2015 by CIRC, which became effective in October 2015, insurance institutions must manage and take charge of insurance operations of Internet insurance business including sales, underwriting, settlement of claims, surrender, complaints handling, and customer services. Where a third-party network platform operates and develops the foregoing insurance business, the operator thereof must have obtained the relevant qualifications for insurance business operation. We engage in insurance agency business through a subsidiary of Vipshop Information, which holds an insurance agency business operating permit that allows us to sell insurance products on behalf of issuance companies. Our insurance agency business operating permit is valid from January 7, 2019 until January 31, 2022.

        On June 14, 2010, PBOC issues the Administrative Measures for the Payment Services of Non-Financial Institutions, which became effective on September 1, 2010. Under these measures, a non-financial institution must obtain a payment business license, or Payment License, to provide payment services and qualifies as a paying institution. With the Payment License, a non-financial institution may serve as an intermediary between payees and payers and provide some or all of the following services: online payment, issuance and acceptance of prepaid card, bank card acceptance, and other payment services as specified by PBOC. As of the date of this annual report, we provide online payment services to our customers through a subsidiary of Vipshop Information in Zhejiang, which holds the Payment License valid until June 2022.

Regulation on Commercial Factoring Services

        MOFCOM issued the Notice on the Pilot Launch of Commercial Factoring in June 2012, launched a commercial factoring pilot program in the Shanghai Pudong New Area and the Tianjin Binhai New Area. The MOFCOM further expanded the list of commercial factoring pilot areas to include Guangzhou, Shenzhen in December 2012, and also Chongqing Liangjiang New Area and certain other areas in August 2013. Pursuant to the notices of MOFCOM, local government of those pilot areas promulgated its own rules to implement the pilot program. Under these notices and local implementing rules, commercial factoring companies may be established in these areas upon the approval of the local counterpart of MOFCOM or other competent authority. The business scope of a commercial factoring company may include the services of trade financing, management of sales ledgers, investigation and assessment of client credit standings, management and collection of accounts receivable and credit risk guarantee. A commercial factoring company is not allowed to conduct other financial business, such as

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taking deposits and lending loans, or to specialize in or carry out debt collection. Currently, we provide secured commercial factoring to our suppliers through one subsidiary of Vipshop China in Shanghai and one subsidiary of Vipshop Information in Guangzhou.

Regulation on Courier Services and Road Transportation Services

        The Ministry of Transport has promulgated the Administrative Measures for Courier Market in January 2013, and the Administrative Measures for Courier Service Operation Permit (2018 Revision) in October 2018. Pursuant to these provisions, any entity engaging in courier services must obtain a courier service operation permit from the State Post Bureau or its local counterpart and is subject to their supervision and regulation. The State Post Bureau accepts permit applications for operating courier services across multiple provinces, and provincial post bureaus accept permit applications for operating courier services within a province. An entity engaging in courier services that establishes a branch, business department, or any other non-corporate branch office must file with the relevant post bureaus where such branch is located and obtain the list of branches. The courier service business must be operated within the permitted scope and valid term of the courier service operation permit.

        The State Council promulgated the Regulations on Road Transportation in April 2004, which was subsequently amended in September 2012, February 2016 and March 2019. Pursuant to the Regulations on Road Transportation, the Ministry of Transport has promulgated the Provisions on Administration of Road Freight Transportation and Stations in June 2005 and amended subsequently in July 2008, April 2009, March 2012 and April 2016. According to these regulations, anyone engaging in the business of operating road transportation and stations must obtain a road transportation operation permit, and each vehicle used for shipping must have a road transportation certificate.

        We operate our national delivery and logistics network primarily through a subsidiary of Pin Jun Tong, namely Pinjun Holdings Co., Ltd., or Pinjun, and its subsidiaries and branches. Currently, most of the subsidiaries of Pinjun have all obtained courier service operation permits that allow us to operate an express delivery network across the county. Vipshop China, Pinjun and most of subsidiaries and branches of Pinjun have also all obtained road transaction operation permits that allow us to provide road freight transportation services.

Regulations on Sales of Food

        Sales of food in China must comply with laws and regulations regarding food hygiene and safety. The amended Food Safety Law implemented an administrative system of food industry, and the China Food and Drug Administration, or CFDA, became the authority in charge of supervision of all food-related business operations, including food production, food distribution and catering services, in China. On August 31, 2015, CFDA issued the Administrative Measures for Food Business Licensing, which was amended and took effect as of November 17, 2017, which, among others, requires an enterprise engaging in food business to obtain a food business operating permit with a term of five years. As of the date of this annual report, each of Vipshop China, Vipshop Information, Vipshop Jianyang, Vipshop Kunshan, Vipshop Tianjin, Vipshop Hubei, Vipshop Zhaoqing, Vipshop E-Commerce, Vipshop (Xi'an) E-Commerce Co., Ltd., and Vipshop Shenyang held a valid food business operating permit.

Regulations on Software Products

        The Computer Software Copyright Registration Procedures, which were issued by the State Copyright Bureau on February 20, 2002 to further implement the Computer Software Protection Regulations promulgated by the PRC State Council, as amended, apply to software copyright registration, license contract registration and transfer contract registration. As of December 31, 2018, we registered 149 copyrights, including 115 software programs in China.

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Regulations on Trademarks

        Trademarks are protected by the PRC Trademark Law which was adopted in 1982 and subsequently amended in 1993, 2001 and 2013 as well as the Implementation Regulation of the PRC Trademark Law adopted by the PRC State Council in 2002 and subsequently amended in 2014. The Trademark Office under SAMR handles trademark registrations and grants a term of ten years to registered trademarks which may be renewed for consecutive ten-year periods upon request by the trademark owner. Trademark license agreements must be filed with the Trademark Office for record. The PRC Trademark Law has adopted a "first-to-file" principle with respect to trademark registration. Where a trademark for which a registration has been made is identical or similar to another trademark which has already been registered or been subject to a preliminary examination and approval for use on the same kind of or similar commodities or services, the application for registration of such trademark may be rejected. Any person applying for the registration of a trademark may not prejudice the existing right first obtained by others, nor may any person register in advance a trademark that has already been used by another party and has already gained a "sufficient degree of reputation" through such party's use. We have registered 1,200 trademarks in China and 201 trademarks overseas as of December 31, 2018.

        Under PRC law, any of the following acts will be deemed as an infringement to the exclusive right to use a registered trademark: (i) use of a trademark that is the same as or similar to a registered trademark for identical or similar goods without the permission of the trademark registrant; (ii) sale of any goods that have infringed the exclusive right to use any registered trademark; (iii) counterfeit or unauthorized production of the label of another's registered trademark, or sale of any such label that is counterfeited or produced without authorization; (iv) change of any trademark of a registrant without the registrant's consent, and selling goods bearing such replaced trademark on the market; or (v) other acts that have caused any other damage to another's exclusive right to use a registered trademark.

        According to the PRC Trademark Law, in the event of any of the foregoing acts, the infringing party will be ordered to stop the infringement immediately and may be imposed a fine; the counterfeit goods will be confiscated. The infringing party may also be held liable for the right holder's damages, which will be equal to the losses suffered by the right holder as a result of the infringement, including reasonable expenses incurred by the right holder for stopping the infringement, or the gains obtained by the infringing party if the losses are difficult to be ascertained. If both gains and losses are difficult to be ascertained, the damages may be determined by referring to the amount of royalties for the license of such trademarks, which will be one to three times of the royalties in the case of any serious infringement with malicious intent. If the gains, losses and royalties are all difficult to be ascertained, the court may render a judgment awarding damages no more than RMB3 million. Notwithstanding the above, if a distributor does not know that the goods it sells infringe another's registered trademark, it will not be liable for infringement provided that the seller shall prove that the goods are lawfully obtained and identify its supplier. We source our products from both domestic and international suppliers. Although we have adopted measures in the course of sourcing such products to ensure their authenticity and to minimize potential liability of infringing third parties' rights, we can provide no assurance that such measures are effective. In the event that counterfeit products or products that otherwise infringe third parties' rights are sold on our platforms, we could face infringement claims and might not be able to prove we should be exempted from liabilities. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to our Business and Industry—We may incur liability for counterfeit or unauthorized products sold or information posted on our platforms."

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Regulations on Domain Names

        The domain names are protected under the Administrative Measures on the Internet Domain Names promulgated by MIIT on August 24, 2017 and became effective on November 1, 2017, which repealed and replaced the Administrative Measures on China Internet Domain Name promulgated on November 5, 2004. MIIT is the major regulatory body responsible for the administration of the PRC Internet domain names, under supervision of which China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC, is responsible for the daily administration of CN domain names and Chinese domain names. On September 25, 2002, CNNIC promulgated the CNNIC Implementation Rules of Registration of Domain Name, or the CNNIC Rules, which was renewed on June 5, 2009 and May 29, 2012, respectively. Pursuant to the Administrative Measures on the Internet Domain Names and the CNNIC Rules, the registration of domain names adopts the "first to file" principle and the registrant shall complete the registration via the domain name registration service institutions. In the event of a domain name dispute, the disputed parties may lodge a complaint to the designated domain name dispute resolution institution to trigger the domain name dispute resolution procedure in accordance with the CNNIC Measures on Resolution of the Domain Name Disputes, which was promulgated by CNNIC on May 28, 2012 and amended on September 1, 2014, file a suit to a people's court or initiate an arbitration procedure. We have registered vip.com and other domain names.

Regulations on Foreign Currency Exchange

        The principal regulations governing foreign currency exchange in China are the Foreign Exchange Administration Regulations, or the Foreign Exchange Regulations, as amended on August 5, 2008. Under the Foreign Exchange Regulations, Renminbi is freely convertible for current account items, including the distribution of dividends, interest payments, trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, but not for capital account items, such as direct investments, loans, repatriation of investments and investments in securities outside of China, unless the prior approval of SAFE is obtained and prior registration with SAFE is made. Though there are restrictions on the convertibility of Renminbi for capital account transactions, which principally include investments and loans, we generally follow the regulations and apply to obtain the approval of SAFE and other relevant PRC government authorities. However, we may not be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, if at all. If we fail to receive such registrations or approvals, our ability to provide loans or capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries and our PRC affiliated entity may be negatively affected, which could adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.

        On August 29, 2008, SAFE promulgated the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues Concerning the Improvement of the Administration of the Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 142, regulating the conversion by an FIE of foreign currency into Renminbi by restricting how the converted Renminbi may be used. SAFE Circular 142 requires that the registered capital of an FIE settled in Renminbi converted from foreign currencies may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable government authority and may not be used for equity investments within China. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight of the flow and use of the registered capital of an FIE settled in Renminbi converted from foreign currencies. The use of such Renminbi capital may not be changed without SAFE's approval, and may not in any case be used to repay Renminbi loans if the proceeds of such loans have not been used. On March 30, 2015, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming the Management Approach Regarding the Foreign Exchange Capital Settlement of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 19, which took effect as of June 1, 2015 and superseded SAFE Circular 142 on the same date. SAFE Circular 19 launched a nationwide reform of the administration of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of FIEs and allows FIEs to settle their foreign exchange capital at their discretion, but continues to prohibit FIEs from using the Renminbi converted from their foreign exchange capitals

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for expenditure beyond their business scopes. On June 9, 2016, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming and Regulating Policies on the Control over Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital Accounts, or SAFE Circular 16, which took effect on the same date. Pursuant to SAFE Circular 16, FIEs (excluding financial institutions) may go through foreign exchange settlement formalities for their foreign debts at their discretion. Violations of such SAFE circulars could result in severe monetary or other penalties. Our ability to transfer to and use in China the net proceeds from our public offerings of equity securities may continue to be significantly limited.

        On January 18, 2017, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Further Improving Reform of Foreign Exchange Administration and Optimizing Genuineness and Compliance Verification, which took effect on the same day. This circular sets out various measures to tighten genuineness and compliance verification of cross-border transactions and cross-border capital flow, which include without limitation requiring banks to verify board resolutions, tax filing form, and audited financial statements before wiring FIEs' foreign exchange distribution above US$50,000, and strengthening genuineness and compliance verification of foreign direct investments.

Regulations on Dividend Distribution

        Under our current corporate structure, our Cayman Islands holding company primarily relies on dividend payments from Vipshop China, which is a WFOE incorporated in China, to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have. The principal regulations governing distribution of dividends of FIEs include the Foreign-Invested Enterprise Law, as amended on October 31, 2000 and September 3, 2016, and the Implementation Rules of the Foreign-Invested Enterprise Law, as amended on April 12, 2001 and on February 19, 2014.

        Under these laws and regulations, WFOEs in China may pay dividends only out of their accumulated after-tax profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, WFOEs in China are required to allocate at least 10% of their respective accumulated profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds until these reserves have reached 50% of the registered capital of the enterprises. WFOEs may, at their discretion, allocate a portion of their after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to staff welfare and bonus funds. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends.

Regulations on Offshore Financing

        On July 4, 2014, SAFE issued SAFE Circular 37 to replace SAFE Circular 75 that ceased to be effective on the same date. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents (including PRC individuals and PRC corporate entities) to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct or indirect offshore investment activities.

        Under SAFE Circular 37, (i) an "SPV" refers to an offshore entity directly established or indirectly controlled by PRC residents for the purpose of seeking offshore equity financing or making offshore investment, using legitimate domestic or offshore assets or interests owned by such PRC residents; (ii) "round trip investment" refers to the direct investment in China by such PRC residents through the "SPV," including, without limitation, establishing FIEs and using such FIEs to purchase or control onshore assets through contractual arrangements; and (iii) "control" is broadly defined as the operation rights, beneficiary rights or decision-making rights acquired by the PRC residents in the offshore SPVs or PRC companies by such means as acquisition, trust, proxy, voting rights, repurchase, convertible bonds or other arrangements. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents to complete a foreign exchange registration of overseas investment with the competent local branches of SAFE before making capital contribution into an SPV. SAFE Circular 37 further requires filing of amendment to the registration in the event of any changes with respect to the SPV, including basic information changes such as changes in a PRC resident individual shareholder, name of SPV or operation period, and

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significant changes such as changes in the capital contributed by PRC residents, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. On February 28, 2015, SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015. After SAFE Notice 13 becomes effective, application for foreign exchange registration of inbound foreign direct investment and outbound overseas direct investment, including those required under the SAFE Circular 37, will be filed with qualified banks instead of SAFE. The qualified banks will directly examine the applications and accept registrations under the supervision of SAFE.

        Moreover, any PRC subsidiary of such SPV is required to urge the PRC resident shareholders of the SPV to update their registration with qualified banks. If any PRC resident shareholder of the SPV fails to make the required registration or to update the previously filed registration, the PRC subsidiaries of the SPV may be prohibited from distributing their profits or the proceeds from any capital reduction, share transfer or liquidation to the SPV, and the SPV also may be prohibited from making additional capital contribution into its PRC subsidiaries.

        All of our shareholders that we are aware of being subject to the SAFE regulations have completed all necessary registrations and amendments with the local SAFE branch or qualified banks as required by SAFE Circular 37 by the end of 2018. Please see "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry—PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore holding companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries' ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us."

Regulations on Stock Incentive Plans

        In December 2006, PBOC promulgated the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which became effective on February 1, 2007. In January 2007, SAFE issued implementing rules for the Administrative Measures of Foreign Exchange Matters for Individuals, which became effective on February 1, 2007 and was partially amended on May 29, 2016 and, among other things, specified approval requirements for certain capital account transactions such as a PRC citizen's participation in employee share ownership plans or share option plans of an overseas publicly-listed company.

        Pursuant to the Stock Option Rules, which was promulgated by SAFE in February 2012 and replaced the Application Procedures of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Employee Stock Ownership Plans or Stock Option Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies issued by SAFE in March 2007, PRC residents who are granted shares or stock options by companies listed on overseas stock exchanges based on the stock incentive plans are required to register with SAFE or its local branches. Pursuant to the Stock Option Rules, PRC residents participating in the stock incentive plans of overseas listed companies shall retain a qualified PRC agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas publicly-listed company or another qualified institution selected by such PRC subsidiary, to conduct SAFE registration and other procedures with respect to the stock incentive plans on behalf of these participants. Such participants must also retain an overseas entrusted institution to handle matters in connection with their exercise of stock options, purchase and sale of corresponding stocks or interests, and fund transfer. In addition, the PRC agents are required to amend the SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the stock incentive plan, the PRC agents or the overseas entrusted institution or other material changes. The PRC agents shall, on behalf of the PRC residents who have the right to exercise the employee share options, apply to SAFE or its local branches for an annual quota for the payment of foreign currencies in connection with the PRC residents' exercise of the employee share options. The foreign exchange proceeds received by the PRC residents from the sale of shares under

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the stock incentive plans granted and dividends distributed by the overseas listed companies must be remitted into the bank accounts in the PRC opened by the PRC agents before distribution to such PRC residents. In addition, the PRC agents shall file each quarter the form for record-filing of information of the Domestic Individuals Participating in the Stock Incentive Plans of Overseas Listed Companies with SAFE or its local branches.

        In March 2011, March 2012, and July 2014, our board of directors and shareholders adopted the 2011 Stock Incentive Plan, or the 2011 Plan, the 2012 Share Incentive Plan, or the 2012 Plan, and the 2014 Share Incentive Plan, or the 2014 Plan, respectively, pursuant to which we may issue stock options to our qualified employees and directors and consultants on a regular basis. After our initial public offering in March 2012, we advised our employees and directors participating in our stock incentive plans to handle foreign exchange matters in accordance with the Stock Option Rules. We have been assisting our PRC option grantees to complete the required registrations and procedures on a quarterly basis. However, we cannot assure you that our PRC individual beneficiary owners and the stock options holders can successfully register with SAFE or in full compliance with the Stock Option Rules. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee stock incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions."

        Further, a notice concerning the individual income tax on earnings from employee share options jointly issued by MOF and SAT and its implementing rules, provide that domestic companies that implement employee share option programs must (i) file the employee share option plans and other relevant documents to the PRC tax authorities having jurisdiction over them before implementing such employee share option plans; (ii) file share option exercise notices and other relevant documents with the PRC tax authorities having jurisdiction over them before exercise by the employees of the share options, and clarify whether the shares issuable under the employee share options mentioned in the notice are the shares of publicly listed companies; and (iii) withhold taxes from the PRC employees in connection with the PRC individual income tax. We have notified the relevant PRC tax authorities of our share incentive plans, and have also withheld and paid such taxes in connection with the PRC individual income tax.

Regulations on Tax

        The major PRC statutes governing EIT consist of the EIT Law promulgated by NPC on March 16, 2007, effective as of January 1, 2008, amended on February 24, 2017 and December 29, 2018, and its implementing rules promulgated by the State Council on December 6, 2007, effective as of January 1, 2008. Under the EIT Law, enterprises are classified as PRC resident enterprises and non-PRC resident enterprises. PRC resident enterprises typically pay an EIT at the rate of 25%. An enterprise established outside of China with its "de facto management bodies" located within China is considered a PRC "resident enterprise," meaning that it can be treated in a manner similar to a PRC domestic enterprise for EIT purposes. The implementing rules of the EIT Law define de facto management body as a managing body that in practice exercises "substantial and overall management and control over the production and operations, personnel, accounting, and properties" of the enterprise.

        SAT issued SAT Circular 82 on April 22, 2009, which was partially amended by Announcement on Issues concerning the Determination of Resident Enterprises Based on the Standards of Actual Management Institutions issued by SAT on January 29, 2014, and further partially amended by Decision on Issuing the Lists of Invalid and Abolished Tax Departmental Rules and Taxation Normative Documents issued by SAT on December 29, 2017. SAT Circular 82, as amended, provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the "de facto management body" of a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise is located in China, which include all of the following conditions:

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(i) the location where senior management members responsible for an enterprise's daily operations discharge their duties; (ii) the location where financial and human resource decisions are made or approved by organizations or persons; (iii) the location where the major assets and corporate documents are kept; and (iv) the location where more than half (inclusive) of all directors with voting rights or senior management have their habitual residence. SAT Circular 82 further clarifies that the identification of the "de facto management body" must follow the substance over form principle. In addition, SAT issued SAT Bulletin 45 on July 27, 2011, effective from September 1, 2011 and partially amended on April 17, 2015, June 28, 2016, and June 15, 2018, respectively, providing more guidance on the implementation of SAT Circular 82. SAT Bulletin 45 clarifies matters including resident status determination, post-determination administration and competent tax authorities. Although both SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreign individuals, the determining criteria set forth in SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 may reflect SAT's general position on how the "de facto management body" test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups or by PRC or foreign individuals.

        Due to the short history of the EIT Law and lack of applicable legal precedents, it remains unclear how the PRC tax authorities will determine the PRC tax resident treatment of a foreign company controlled by individuals like us. We do not believe Vipshop Holdings or Vipshop HK meet all the criteria provided by the implementing rules. As holding companies incorporated outside China, neither Vipshop Holdings nor Vipshop HK is controlled by a PRC enterprise or PRC enterprise groups. Their key assets and records, including the resolutions of their respective boards of directors and the resolutions of their respective shareholders, are located and maintained outside China. In addition, we are not aware of any offshore holding companies with a similar corporate structure as ours ever having been deemed a PRC "resident enterprise" by the PRC tax authorities. Therefore, we do not believe Vipshop Holdings or Vipshop HK is a PRC "resident enterprise." If, however, the PRC tax authorities determine that Vipshop Holdings or Vipshop HK is a PRC "resident enterprise" for EIT purposes, we would be subject to EIT at a rate of 25% on our worldwide taxable income as well as PRC EIT reporting obligations. We are actively monitoring the possibility of PRC "resident enterprise" treatment for the applicable tax years and are evaluating appropriate organizational changes to avoid this treatment, to the extent possible.

        The EIT Law and the implementation rules provide that an income tax rate of 10% will normally be applicable to dividends payable to investors that are "non-PRC resident enterprises," and gains derived by such investors, which (i) do not have an establishment or place of business in China or (ii) have an establishment or place of business in China, but the relevant income is not effectively connected with the establishment or place of business to the extent such dividends and gains are derived from sources within China. The PRC State Council or a tax treaty between China and the jurisdictions in which the non-PRC investors reside may reduce such income tax. Pursuant to an Arrangement Between the Mainland of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation on Income and other applicable PRC laws, if a Hong Kong resident enterprise is determined by the competent PRC tax authority to have satisfied the relevant conditions and requirements, the 10% withholding tax on the dividends the Hong Kong resident enterprise receives from a PRC resident enterprise may be reduced to 5%. However, based on the Notice on Certain Issues with Respect to the Enforcement of Dividend Provisions in Tax Treaties issued on February 20, 2009 by SAT, or SAT Circular 81, if the relevant PRC tax authorities determine, in their discretion, that a company benefits from such reduced income tax rate due to a structure or arrangement that is primarily tax-driven, such PRC tax authorities may adjust the preferential tax treatment. Based on the Circular on Issues concerning the "Beneficial Owner" in Tax Treaties, or SAT Circular 9, issued on February 3, 2018 by SAT, which became effective on April 1, 2018, a comprehensive analysis shall be conducted based on the factors set out in the present article and in

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combination with the actual conditions of specific cases, and certain factors which will negatively affect the determination of an applicant's status as a "beneficial owner" are provided, such as the business activities engaged in by the applicant do not constitute substantive business activities. In August 2015, SAT promulgated the Administrative Measures for Non-Resident Taxpayers to Enjoy Treatment under Tax Treaties, or SAT Circular 60, which became effective on November 1, 2015 and partially amended on June 15, 2018. SAT Circular 60 provides that non-PRC resident enterprises are not required to obtain pre-approval from the relevant tax authorities in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax. Instead, non-PRC resident enterprises and their withholding agents may, by self-assessment and on confirmation that the prescribed criteria to enjoy the tax treaty benefits are met, directly apply the reduced withholding tax rate, and include necessary forms and supporting documents in the tax filings, which will be subject to post-tax filing examinations by the relevant tax authorities.

        If we are considered a PRC resident enterprise and the competent PRC tax authorities consider dividends we pay with respect to our ADSs or ordinary shares and the gains realized from the transfer of our ADSs or ordinary shares income derived from sources within China, such dividends and gains earned by our non-PRC resident enterprise investors may be subject to EIT at a rate of 10% (or other applicable preferential tax rate if any such non-PRC resident enterprises' jurisdiction has a tax treaty with China that provides for a preferential tax rate or a tax exemption).

        Moreover, if we are considered a PRC resident enterprise and the competent PRC tax authorities consider dividends we pay with respect to our ADSs or ordinary shares and the gains realized from the transfer of our ADSs or ordinary shares income derived from sources within China, such dividends and gains earned by non-resident individuals may be subject to PRC individual income tax at a rate of 20% (or other applicable preferential tax rate if any such non-resident individuals' jurisdiction has a tax treaty with China that provides for a preferential tax rate or a tax exemption).

        On February 3, 2015, SAT issued a Public Notice Regarding Certain Enterprise Income Tax Matters on Indirect Transfer of Properties by Non-Tax Resident Enterprises, or SAT Public Notice 7. In December 2017, Article 13 and Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of SAT Public Notice 7 were abolished by Decision of the State Administration of Taxation on Issuing the Lists of Invalid and Abolished Tax Departmental Rules and Taxation Normative Documents effective on December 29, 2017 and the Circular on Issues concerning Withholding of Enterprise Income Tax for Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or the SAT Circular (2017) 37, effective on December 1,2017, respectively. By promulgating and implementing these notices, the PRC tax authorities have enhanced their scrutiny over the direct or indirect transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise by a non-PRC resident enterprise. Pursuant to the SAT Public Notice 7, as amended, in the event that a non-PRC resident enterprise indirectly transfers equities and other properties of a PRC resident enterprise to evade its obligation of paying EIT by implementing arrangements that are not for reasonable commercial purpose, such indirect transfer shall be re-identified and recognized as a direct transfer of equities and other properties of the PRC resident enterprise. The SAT Public Notice 7, as amended, provides clear criteria for assessment of reasonable commercial purposes and has introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity through a public securities market. SAT Public Notice 7 also brings challenges to both offshore transferor and transferee (or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer) of taxable assets. Where a non-PRC resident enterprise transfers taxable assets indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an offshore holding company, which is an Indirect Transfer, the non-PRC resident enterprise as either transferor or transferee, or the PRC entity that directly owns the taxable assets, may report such Indirect Transfer to the relevant tax authority. Using a "substance over form" principle, the PRC tax authority may disregard the existence of the offshore holding company if it lacks a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of reducing, avoiding or deferring PRC tax. As a result, gains derived from such Indirect Transfer may be subject to EIT, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer is obligated to withhold the applicable taxes, currently at a rate of 10% for the transfer of

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equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise. Both the transferor and the transferee may be subject to penalties under PRC tax laws if the transferee fails to withhold the taxes and the transferor fails to pay the taxes.

        On October 17, 2017, SAT promulgated the SAT Circular (2017) 37, effective on December 1, 2017. Issues concerning withholding of EIT of the China-sourced income, which refers to income obtained from sources within China by non-PRC resident enterprises that (a) do not have an establishment or place of business in China or (b) have an establishment or place of business in China, but the relevant income is not effectively connected with the establishment or place of business in China, shall be subject to the SAT Circular (2017) 37. China-sourced income includes income from equity investment such as dividend and bonus, income from interest, rental and royalties, income from property transfer, and other income. Pursuant to the SAT Circular (2017) 37, non-PRC resident enterprises shall pay EIT in relation to their China-sourced income, and the entities which have the direct obligation to make certain payments to a non-PRC resident enterprise shall be the relevant tax withholders for such non-PRC resident enterprise. The tax withholders shall, within seven days of the day on which the withholding obligation occurs, which is the day when the payment is made in fact or becomes due, declare and remit the withholding tax to the competent tax authority. When declaring and remitting the withholding tax payable, the tax withholders shall complete the Withholding Statement of the PRC for Enterprise Income Tax. In the event that the tax withholder fails to withhold and remit the taxable EIT for a non-PRC resident enterprise, or is unable to perform its obligation mentioned above, the non-PRC resident enterprise shall declare and pay the EIT to the competent tax authority, and complete the Withholding Statement of the PRC for Enterprise Income Tax.

        We face uncertainties as to the reporting and other implications of past and future private equity financing transactions, share exchange or other transactions involving transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, or sale or purchase of shares in other non-PRC resident companies or other taxable assets by us. Our company may be subject to filing obligations or taxed if our company is transferor in such transactions, and may be subject to withholding obligations if our company is transferee in such transactions, under SAT Public Notice 7. For transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing under SAT Public Notice 7. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Public Notice 7 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these circulars, or to establish that our company should not be taxed under these circulars, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

        Although it appears that SAT Public Notice 7 are not intended to apply to purchase and sale of shares of publicly traded companies in the open market, the PRC tax authorities may determine that SAT Public Notice 7 are applicable to us in our acquisition of equity interests in companies such as Lefeng and Ovation, and our non-resident shareholders who acquired our shares outside of the open market and subsequently sell our shares in our private financing transactions or in the open market if any of such transactions were determined by the tax authorities to lack reasonable commercial purpose, and we and our non-resident shareholders may be at risk of being required to file a return and being taxed under SAT Public Notice 7 and we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Public Notice 7 or to establish that we should not be taxed under SAT Public Notice 7.

        We conduct product promotional activities for certain brands on our Vipshop Online Platform. Prior to January 1, 2012, pursuant to Provisional Regulation of China on Business Tax which was abolished on November 19, 2017 and its implementing rules, any entity or individual rendering services in the PRC territory is generally subject to a business tax at the rate of 5% on the revenues generated from provision of such services. In November 2011, MOF and SAT jointly issued two circulars setting

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out the details of the VAT Pilot Program, which change business taxes to value-added taxes, or VAT, for certain industries, including, among others, transportation services, research and development and technical services, information technology services, and cultural and creative services. On March 23, 2016, MOF and SAT issued the Circular on Comprehensively Promoting the Pilot Program of the Collection of Value-Added Taxes in Lieu of Business Taxes, or the SAT Circular 36. Effective from May 1, 2016, the PRC tax authorities will collect VAT in lieu of business tax on a trial basis within the PRC territory, and in industries such as construction industries, real estate industries, financial industries, and living service industries. On November 19, 2017, the PRC State Council issued the Decision on Abolishing the Provisional Regulation of China on Business Taxes and Amending the Provisional Regulation of China on Value-Added Taxes, pursuant to which, PRC tax authorities will collect VAT in lieu of business taxes for all industries where business taxes should have been collected within the PRC territory. Pursuant to the Provisional Regulation of China on Value-Added Taxes, as amended in 2017, entities and individuals that sell goods, provide labor services of processing, repairs or maintenance, or sell services, intangible assets or real property in China, or import goods to China, are subject to VAT at a rate ranging from 6% to 17%.

        On April 4, 2018, MOF and SAT jointly promulgated the Circular of the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation on Adjustment of Value-Added Tax Rates, or Circular 32, which took effect on May 1, 2018 and was applicable to our company from May 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. According to Circular 32: (i) for VAT taxable sales or importation of goods originally subject to VAT rates of 17% and 11% respectively, tax rates are adjusted to 16% and 10%, respectively; (ii) for purchase of agricultural products originally subject to deduction rate of 11%, the deduction rate is adjusted to 10%; (iii) for purchase of agricultural products for the purpose of production and sales or consigned processing of goods subject to tax rate of 16%, the taxes are calculated at the deduction rate of 12%; (iv) for exported goods originally subject to tax rate of 17% and export tax refund rate of 17%, the export tax refund rate is adjusted to 16%; and (v) for exported goods and cross-border taxable acts originally subject to tax rate of 11% and export tax refund rate of 11%, the export tax refund rate is adjusted to 10%. To further reduce VAT, on March 30, 2019, MOF, SAT, and the General Administration of Customs jointly promulgated the Announcement on Relevant Policies for Deepening Value-Added Tax Reform, which took effect on April 1, 2019. According to the announcement: (i) for VAT taxable sales or importation of goods originally subject to VAT rates of 16% and 10%, tax rates are adjusted to 13% and 9%, respectively; (ii) for purchase of agricultural products originally subject to deduction rate of 10%, the deduction rate is adjusted to 9%; (iii) for purchase of agricultural products for the purpose of production and sales or consigned processing of goods subject to tax rate of 13%, the taxes are calculated at the deduction rate of 10%; (iv) for exported goods originally subject to tax rate of 16% and export tax refund rate of 16%, the export tax refund rate is adjusted to 13%; and (v) for exported goods and cross-border taxable acts originally subject to tax rate of 10% and export tax refund rate of 10%, the export tax refund rate is adjusted to 9%.

Employment Laws

        We are subject to laws and regulations governing our relationship with our employees, including wage and hour requirements, working and safety conditions, and social insurance, housing funds and other welfare. The compliance with these laws and regulations may require substantial resources.

        The PRC Labor Law, which became effective on January 1, 1995, and was amended on August 27, 2009 and December 29, 2018, and the PRC Labor Contract Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008 and was amended on December 28, 2012, permit workers in both state-owned and private enterprises in China to bargain collectively. The PRC Labor Law and the PRC Labor Contract Law provide for collective contracts to be developed through collaboration between the labor union (or worker representatives in the absence of a union) and management that specify such matters as working conditions, wage scales, and hours of work. The laws also permit workers and employers in all

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types of enterprises to sign individual contracts, which are to be drawn up in accordance with the collective contract. The PRC Labor Contract Law has enhanced rights for the nation's workers, including permitting open-ended labor contracts and severance payments. The legislation requires employers to provide written contracts to their workers, restricts the use of temporary labor and makes it harder for employers to lay off employees. It also requires that employees with fixed-term contracts be entitled to an indefinite-term contract after a fixed-term contract is renewed twice or the employee has worked for the employer for a consecutive ten-year period.

        On October 28, 2010, NPC promulgated the PRC Social Insurance Law, which became effective on July 1, 2011 and was amended on December 29, 2018. In accordance with the PRC Social Insurance Law and other relevant laws and regulations, China establishes a social insurance system including basic pension insurance, basic medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance. On January 19, 2017, the General Office of the State Council promulgated the Circular on Issuing the Pilot Program of Consolidating Maternity Insurance and Employees' Basic Medical Insurance, pursuant to which maternity insurance and basic medical insurance will be consolidated in certain pilot cities during the period of the pilot program. An employer must pay the social insurance for its employees in accordance with the rates provided under relevant regulations and must withhold the social insurance that should be assumed by the employees. The authorities in charge of social insurance may request an employer's compliance and impose sanctions if such employer fails to pay and withhold social insurance in a timely manner. Under the Regulations on the Administration of Housing Fund effective in 1999, as amended in 2002, PRC companies must register with applicable housing fund management centers and establish a special housing fund account in an entrusted bank. Both PRC companies and their employees are required to contribute to the housing funds.

        Companies operating in China are required to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance, housing funds and other welfare-oriented payment obligations. We have not made adequate employee benefit payments as required under applicable PRC labor laws, but we have recorded accruals for the underpaid amounts in our consolidated financial statements. We believe it is not probable for us to be exposed to any PRC government penalties in relation to the under-paid amount of our employee benefits. However, our failure in making contributions to various employee benefit plans and complying with applicable PRC labor-related laws may still subject us to late payment penalties. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Our failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by PRC regulations may subject us to penalties."

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C.
Organizational Structure

Corporate Structure

        The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure, including our principal subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entity as of the date of this annual report:

GRAPHIC


Notes:


(1)
Shareholders of Vipshop E-Commerce include our co-founders and shareholders Eric Ya Shen and Arthur Xiaobo Hong, holding 66.7% and 33.3% of the total equity interests in Vipshop E-Commerce, respectively.

(2)
A subsidiary primarily engaged in warehousing, logistics, product procurement, research and development, technology development, and consulting businesses.

(3)
Subsidiaries primarily engaged in product procurement business.

(4)
Subsidiaries primarily engaged in retail businesses in the cities of Jianyang, Kunshan, Tianjin, Zhaoqing, and Ezhou, and the regions around them.

(5)
A subsidiary primarily engaged in software development and information technology support.

        Foreign ownership of Internet-based businesses is subject to significant restrictions under current PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government regulates Internet access, the distribution of online information and the conduct of online commerce through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. We are a Cayman Islands company and our PRC subsidiaries, including Vipshop China, are WFOEs. As a WFOE, Vipshop China is restricted from holding the licenses that are necessary for our online operation in China. To comply with these restrictions, our Vipshop Online Platform is operated by our consolidated affiliated entities in China. Following our efforts to streamline

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our contractual arrangements among our consolidated affiliated entities during 2017 and 2018, we began to use Vipshop E-Commerce to operate our main businesses, which had been previously operated by Vipshop Information, without materially altering the substance of our operations. Vipshop E-Commerce currently holds the primary licenses necessary to conduct our Internet-related operations in China. Most of the business contracts relating to our Vipshop Online Platform previously entered into by Vipshop Information have been replaced with new business contracts entered into by Vipshop E-Commerce with relevant third parties. In addition, over 1,400 employees and all material fixed assets of Vipshop Information in connection with customer service have been transferred to Vipshop E-Commerce.

        Our PRC subsidiaries have entered into four sets of contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities and their respective shareholders. The one primary set of contractual arrangement that we currently rely on to conduct our main business is entered into by Vipshop China, Vipshop E-Commerce, and shareholders of Vipshop E-Commerce. The other three sets of contractual arrangements include: (i) one set entered into by Vipshop China, Vipshop Information, and shareholders of Vipshop Information; (ii) one set entered into by Vipshop China, Pin Jun Tong, and shareholders of Pin Jun Tong; and (iii) one set entered into by Lefeng (Shanghai) Information Technology Co., Ltd., Tianjin Pinjian, and shareholders of Tianjin Pinjian. Vipshop Information, Pin Jun Tong, and Tianjin Pinjian are currently insignificant to our business. The contractual arrangements enable us to:

        We do not have any equity interest in our consolidated affiliated entities. However, as a result of contractual arrangements, we are considered the primary beneficiary of our consolidated affiliated entities, and we treat them as our consolidated affiliated entities under U.S. GAAP. We have consolidated the financial results of our consolidated affiliated entities in our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

        We face risks with respect to the contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities and their shareholders. If our consolidated affiliated entities or their shareholders fail to perform their obligations under the contractual arrangements, our ability to enforce the contractual arrangements that give us effective control over the consolidated affiliated entities may be limited. If we are unable to maintain effective control over our consolidated affiliated entities, we would not be able to continue to consolidate their financial results. The revenues generated by our directly owned subsidiaries, apart from revenues earned in respect of the relevant contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities, are primarily derived from our product promotion activities for brands. In the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, our subsidiaries contributed in aggregate approximately 90.3%, 97.8%, and 97.1%, respectively, of our total consolidated net revenues, exclusive of revenues derived from our consolidated affiliated entities. As of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, our holding company and our subsidiaries accounted for an aggregate of 86.5%, 85.5%, and 86.3%, respectively, of our consolidated total assets (excluding assets attributable to transactions with our consolidated affiliated entities). For a detailed description of the regulatory environment that necessitates the adoption of our corporate structure, see "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation." For a detailed description of the risks associated with our corporate structure, see "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry."

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Contractual Arrangements Relating to Our Consolidated Affiliated Entities

        The following is a summary of the material provisions of the agreements for our four sets of contractual arrangements, each among our applicable WFOE, our applicable consolidated affiliated entity, and the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity.

        As of the date of this annual report, the equity holding structures of each of our consolidated affiliated entities are as follows:

Agreements that Provide Us Effective Control over Our Consolidated Affiliated Entities

        Equity Interest Pledge Agreements.    Under each equity interest pledge agreement among our applicable WFOE, our applicable consolidated affiliated entity, and the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity pledge all of their equity interests in the applicable consolidated affiliated entity to the applicable WFOE to guarantee the applicable consolidated affiliated entity's and its shareholders' performance of the relevant obligations under the exclusive business cooperation agreement, exclusive option agreement, and loan agreement. If any stipulated event of default occurs, including the failure by the applicable consolidated affiliated entity or its shareholders to perform relevant contractual obligations under the exclusive business cooperation agreement, exclusive option agreement, or loan agreement, the applicable WFOE, as pledgee, will be entitled to certain rights, including the right to dispose of the pledged equity interests. Without the applicable WFOE's prior written consent, shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity cannot transfer or otherwise dispose of, or create or allow the creation of, any encumbrance on the pledged equity interests. The equity interest pledge agreement will remain in full force and effect until all of the obligations of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity and its shareholders under the exclusive business cooperation agreement, exclusive option agreement, and loan agreement have been duly performed or terminated. Except for Tianjin Pinjian, we have completed registering the pledge of the equity interests in our consolidated affiliated entities with the local branches of SAMR.

        Exclusive Option Agreements.    Under each exclusive option agreement among our applicable WFOE, our applicable consolidated affiliated entity, and the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity grant the applicable WFOE an exclusive option to purchase, or designate one or more person(s) to purchase, all or part of their respective equity interests in the applicable consolidated affiliated entity at a purchase price equal to the higher of: (i) the amount of registered capital actually contributed by the shareholders; or (ii) a minimum price permitted by applicable PRC laws. The applicable WFOE may exercise the option by issuing a written notice to the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity. Without the applicable WFOE's written consent, the applicable consolidated affiliated entity and its shareholders may not transfer, sell, pledge, or otherwise dispose of, or create any encumbrance on, any assets, business, or equity or beneficiary interests of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity. This agreement will remain in full force and effect for a term of ten years from the date of execution, and may be extended for a period to be determined by the applicable WFOE.

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        Powers of Attorney.    Each shareholder of our consolidated affiliated entity has signed an irrevocable power of attorney. Under the powers of attorney, each shareholder of our consolidated affiliated entity has irrevocably appointed the applicable WFOE as his attorney-in-fact to act on his behalf and exercise all of his rights as a shareholder of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, including the right to attend shareholder meetings, to exercise voting rights, to appoint directors and senior management of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, and to effect transfers of all or part of their equity interests in the applicable consolidated affiliated entity pursuant to the equity interest pledge agreements and exclusive option agreements. The applicable WFOE has the right to appoint any individual or entity to exercise the power of attorney on its behalf. Each power of attorney will remain in full force and effect until the shareholder ceases to hold any equity interests in the applicable consolidated affiliated entity.

Agreements that Transfer Economic Benefits to Us

        Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreements.    Under each exclusive business cooperation agreement between the applicable WFOE and the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, the applicable consolidated affiliated entity agrees to engage the applicable WFOE as its exclusive provider of technical, consulting, and other services in relation to its business operations. In consideration of such services, the applicable consolidated affiliated entity will pay to the applicable WFOE service fees that amount to all of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity's net income. The service fees may be adjusted at the applicable WFOE's sole discretion based on the services rendered and the operational needs of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity. The applicable WFOE will exclusively own any intellectual property arising from the performance of the exclusive business cooperation agreement. The term of this agreement is ten years from the date of execution, and may be extended for a period to be determined by the applicable WFOE. The applicable WFOE may terminate this agreement at any time by giving 30 days' prior written notice. The applicable consolidated affiliated entity has no right to terminate this agreement unless the applicable WFOE commits gross negligence or fraud.

Loan Agreements

        Under each loan agreement between the applicable WFOE and the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity, the applicable WFOE provided loans to the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity solely for the purpose of contribution or increase of registered capital or working capital of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity. The applicable WFOE has the sole discretion to determine the method of repayment, including requiring the shareholders of the applicable consolidated affiliated entity to transfer their equity interests in the applicable consolidated affiliated entity to the applicable WFOE or its designated person.

        In the opinion of Han Kun Law Offices, our PRC legal counsel:

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        We have been advised by our PRC legal counsel, however, that there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations, and rules. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may in the future take a view that is contrary to the above opinion of our PRC legal counsel. We have been further advised by our PRC legal counsel that if the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our online commerce and the distribution of Internet content in China do not comply with relevant PRC government restrictions on foreign investment in value-added telecommunication, we could be subject to severe penalties, including being prohibited from continuing operations. See "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry—Substantial uncertainties and restrictions exist with respect to the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations relating to online commerce and provision of Internet content in China. If the PRC government finds that the structure we have adopted for our business operations does not comply with PRC laws and regulations, we could be subject to severe penalties, including shut-down of our Vipshop Online Platform." and "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us."

D.
Property, Plants and Equipment

        We are headquartered in Guangzhou and have approximately 76,000 square meters of office space, data centers, studio and customer service center. In the second half of 2015, we purchased land in Pazhou, Guangzhou for our new office headquarters, and started construction in 2016. We anticipate completion in 2020.

        As of December 31, 2018, we had approximately 3.0 million square meters of warehouse space, of which approximately 1.9 million square meters of warehouse space is owned by our company. Additionally, we had approximately 630,000 square meters of leased premises for transit stations and distribution stations, as we have been building out our last mile capability. We lease our premises under operating lease agreements from unrelated third parties. A summary of our owned and leased properties as of December 31, 2018 is shown below:

Location/Business
  Space   Usage of Property
 
  (in square meters)
   

Guangzhou

    54,089   Office space, data center, studio and customer service center

Beijing

    2,964   Office space

Shanghai

    18,495   Office space and data center

Hangzhou

    481   Office space

Sub-total

    76,029    

China Domestic—Owned(1)

    1,923,038   Logistics centers

China Domestic—Leased(1)

    925,483   Logistics centers

Cross Border(2)

    178,749   Logistics centers

Sub-total

    3,027,270    


Notes:


(1)
Excludes bonded warehouses under customs supervision in China.

(2)
Includes bonded warehouses under customs supervision in China and overseas warehouses for our cross-border business.

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        Our servers are hosted at leased Internet data centers owned by leading PRC telecommunications carriers. We typically enter into leasing and hosting service agreements that are renewable from year to year. We believe that our existing facilities are sufficient for our near term needs.

        Some of these lease agreements include terms of renewal for periods ranging from one to ten years upon expiry of their respective original lease terms, without purchase options or escalation clause. If these lease agreements are not renewed, we are obligated to remove the facilities constructed under certain of our warehouse space lease contracts, although we expect such related removal costs to be insignificant.

ITEM 4A.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

        Not applicable.

ITEM 5.    OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

        You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F. This discussion may contain forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors" or in other parts of this annual report on Form 20-F.

A.
Operating Results

        We began our operations in August 2008 and have grown significantly since then. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we fulfilled approximately 269.8 million, 335.0 million, and 437.4 million customer orders, respectively, and we generated total net revenues of RMB56.59 billion, RMB72.91 billion, and RMB84.52 billion (US$12.29 billion), respectively. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we generated net income of RMB1.99 billion, RMB1.89 billion, and RMB2.13 billion (US$310.3 million), respectively. Our net income in 2016, 2017, and 2018 reflected non-cash share-based compensation expenses in an aggregate amount of RMB475.7 million, RMB667.1 million, and RMB671.2 million (US$97.6 million), respectively.

        Our business and operating results are affected by general factors affecting the online retail market in China, including China's overall economic growth, the increase in per capita disposable income, the growth in consumer spending and retail industry and the expansion of Internet penetration. Unfavorable changes in any of these general factors could affect the demand for products we sell and could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

        Our results of operations are also affected by the regulations and industry policies related to the online retail market. Although we have generally benefited from the PRC government's policies to encourage economic growth, we are also affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in the PRC regulation of the Internet industry. Due to PRC legal restrictions on foreign equity ownership of and investment in the online retail sector in China, we rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated affiliated entities and their shareholders to conduct most of our business in China. We face risks associated with our control over our consolidated affiliated entities, as our control is based upon contractual arrangements rather than equity ownership. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see "Item 4.C. Information on the Company—Organizational Structure." For a detailed description of the regulatory environment that necessitates the adoption of our corporate structure, see "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation." For a detailed description of the risks associated with our corporate structure, see "Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure and Restrictions on Our Industry."

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        The major factors affecting our results of operations and financial condition are discussed below.

Net Revenues

        We derive revenues primarily from the sale of products offered on our Vipshop Online Platform. Generally, we offer our customers an unconditional right of returning products purchased for a period of seven days upon receipt of products. The associated revenues are recognized at the point of time when the goods have been accepted by the customers. Our net revenues are recorded net of VAT and related surcharges.

        The following table sets forth the key factors that directly affect our net revenues for the periods indicated:

 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  

Total net revenue (RMB in thousands)

    56,591,302     72,912,313     84,523,948  

Active customers (in thousands)

    52,100     57,800     60,500  

Average net revenues per active customer (RMB)

    1,086     1,261     1,397  

Total orders (in thousands)

    269,800     335,000     437,400  

Average orders per active customer

    5.2     5.8     7.2  

Cost of Revenues

        Our cost of revenues consists primarily of cost of merchandise sold and inventory write-down. We procure inventory from our brand partners and our inventory is recorded at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Cost of inventory is determined using the weighted average cost method.

Operating Expenses

        Our operating expenses consist of (i) fulfillment expenses, (ii) marketing expenses, (iii) technology and content expenses, and (iv) general and administrative expenses. The following table sets forth the components of our operating expenses both in absolute amount and as a percentage of total net revenues for the periods indicated:

 
  For the year ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   %   RMB'000   %   RMB'000   US$'000   %  

Fulfillment expenses

    4,904,526     8.7     6,899,654     9.5     7,489,393     1,089,287     8.8  

Marketing expenses

    2,837,680     5.0     2,978,621     4.1     3,240,450     471,304     3.8  

Technology and content expenses

    1,563,582     2.8     1,808,452     2.5     2,000,894     291,018     2.4  

General and administrative expenses

    1,941,146     3.4     2,447,724     3.3     2,674,179     388,943     3.2  

Total operating expenses

    11,246,934     19.9     14,134,451     19.4     15,404,916     2,240,552     18.2  

        Fulfillment expenses.    Fulfillment expenses primarily consist of shipping and handling expenses, packaging expenses, and logistics center rental expenses, as well as compensation and benefits of our logistics staff. Our shipping and handling expenses were RMB2.58 billion, RMB3.83 billion, and RMB4.50 billion (US$654.3 million) in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. Our fulfillment services utilize regional logistics hubs and rely on quality regional and local couriers. We expect to continue to invest in our logistics network and warehousing capacity to support our long-term growth. We expect our fulfillment expenses to continue to increase in absolute amount as a result of our continued business growth.

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        Marketing expenses.    Marketing expenses primarily represent advertising expenses incurred in connection with our brand promotional activities, as well as compensation and benefits of our marketing staff. As we enhance our brand awareness by engaging in additional brand promotional activities, we expect our marketing expenses to increase in the foreseeable future.

        Technology and content expenses.    Technology and content expenses primarily consist of the compensation and benefits of our IT staff, telecommunications expenses, and expenses incurred in creating content for our sales events on our platform, including model fees and professional photography expenses. As we continue to expand our IT capabilities to support our anticipated growth, we expect our technology and content expenses to continue to increase in the foreseeable future.

        General and administrative expenses.    General and administrative expenses primarily consist of compensation and benefits of our headquarters and administrative staff, rental expenses, costs for professional services, payment processing fees and other administrative and overhead expenses. As our business further grows and we continue to incur increased costs related to our ongoing compliance and reporting obligations under U.S. securities laws as a public company, we expect our general and administrative expenses to continue to increase in the foreseeable future.

Seasonality

        Our results of operations are subject to seasonal fluctuations. For example, our revenues are relatively lower during the holidays in China, particularly during the Chinese New Year period which occurs in the first quarter of the year, when customers tend to do less shopping, both online and offline. Furthermore, sales in the retail industry are typically significantly higher in the fourth quarter of the year than in the preceding three quarters. This seasonality of our business, however, was not apparent historically as each quarter had greater revenues than the prior quarter due to the rapid growth in sales that we experienced in recent years.

Taxation

Cayman Islands

        We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Under the current law of the Cayman Islands, we are not subject to income or capital gains tax in the Cayman Islands.

Hong Kong

        Our subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong is subject to the uniform tax rate of 16.5%. Under Hong Kong tax law, it is exempted from the Hong Kong income tax on its foreign-derived income and there are no withholding taxes in Hong Kong on the remittance of dividends. Hong Kong income tax was provided in our consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, as our Hong Kong subsidiary generated assessable income in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

PRC

        Our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities are companies incorporated under PRC law and, as such, are subject to EIT on their taxable income in accordance with the relevant PRC income tax laws. Under the EIT Law and its implementation rules, both of which became effective on January 1, 2008, a uniform 25% EIT rate is generally applicable to both FIEs and domestic enterprises, unless they qualify for certain exceptions. Our subsidiaries and the consolidated affiliated entities in the PRC are all subject to the EIT rate of 25% for the periods presented, except for certain subsidiaries, including Vipshop (Jianyang) E-Commerce Co., Ltd., or Vipshop Jianyang, Chongqing Vipshop E-Commerce Co., Ltd., or Vipshop Chongqing, Vipshop (Zhuhai) E-Commerce Co., Ltd., or Vipshop Zhuhai and Pinwei Software, that enjoyed the following preferential tax treatment on an annual

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renewal basis. Vipshop Jianyang and Vipshop Chongqing were classified as "encouraged enterprises in the western regions in an industry sector encouraged by the PRC government" and enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 15%. Vipshop Zhuhai also enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 15% similarly. The term "encouraged enterprise in an industry sector encouraged by the PRC government" as used herein refers to an enterprise incorporated in certain region whose primary business falls into the scopes of the encouraged industries stipulated in the existing related policies, including Catalogue of Encouraged Industries in the Western Region, Industrial Restructuring Guidance Catalogue (2011 Version), as amended in 2013, Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries, as amended in 2017 and partially abolished in 2018, Catalogue of Foreign-invested Advantage Industries in Central-Western Region, as amended in 2017, Circular of the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation on the Preferential Enterprise Income Tax Policies and Catalogue for Hengqin New Area of Guangdong Province, Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area of Fujian Province, and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen City. Pinwei Software was classified as a high and new technology enterprise and entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% pursuant to Article 28 of the EIT Law for the periods from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2017, Pinwei Software applied and was classified as "State Planning Key Software Enterprise" by the local tax authority and entitled to a preferential tax rate of 10% pursuant to Circular Caishui (2012) 27 starting from the beginning of 2018.

        We evaluate the level of authority for each uncertain tax position (including the potential application of interest and penalties) based on the technical merits, and measure the unrecognized benefits associated with the tax positions. As of December 31, 2017, and 2018, we did not have any unrecognized tax benefits. We do not anticipate any significant increase to our liability for unrecognized tax benefit within the next 12 months. We will classify interest and penalties related to income tax matters, if any, in income tax expense.

        Under the EIT Law and its implementation rules, dividends from Vipshop China are subject to a withholding tax of 10%, unless there is a tax treaty with China that provides for a different withholding arrangement.

        The amount of tax loss carry forwards of our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entity was RMB702.7 million, RMB1.09 billion, and RMB1.45 billion (US$210.6 million) as of December 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. We provided a valuation allowance for the deferred tax assets relating to the future benefit of net operating loss carry forwards and other deferred tax assets of certain subsidiaries as of December 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively, as our management is not able to conclude that the future realization of some of such net operating loss carry forwards is more likely than not.

        As of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, we had VAT recoverable of approximately RMB555.9 million, RMB791.2 million, and RMB770.9 million (US$112.1 million), respectively. VAT recoverable occurs due to timing difference on operation of certain entities, as we record the revenue and VAT output when goods are delivered, but VAT input invoice from suppliers may be delayed. We also had VAT tax payable of RMB258.2 million, RMB526.0 million, and RMB749.1 million (US$109.0 million), as of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively, included as tax payable. We do not net off VAT recoverable and payable from different entities within our group companies.

        For more information on PRC tax regulations, see "Item 4.B. Information on the Company—Regulation—Regulations on Tax" and "Item 10.E. Additional Information—Taxation—People's Republic of China Taxation."

Critical Accounting Policies

        We prepare our financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect our reported amount of assets and liabilities and the

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disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, and reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting periods. We continually evaluate these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, our own historical experience and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from our expectations as a result of changes in our estimates.

        A accounting policy is considered critical if it requires an accounting estimate to be made based on assumptions about matters that are highly uncertain at the time such estimate is made and if different accounting estimates that reasonably could have been used, or changes in the accounting estimates that are reasonably likely to occur, could materially impact the consolidated financial statements. We believe that the following accounting policies involve a higher degree of judgment and complexity in their application and require us to make significant accounting estimates. Significant accounting estimates reflected in our financial statements include inventory write-down, valuation of goodwill and intangible assets acquired in the business acquisitions, valuation of significant other investments impairment assessment and valuation of receivables from consumer financing. Changes in facts and circumstances may result in revised estimates. The following descriptions of critical accounting policies, judgments and estimates should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and other disclosures included in this annual report.

Revenue recognition

        On January 1, 2018, we adopted Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2014-09, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606)," which is the new comprehensive revenue recognition standard that supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Topic 605, "Revenue Recognition," and most industry-specific guidance. The core principle of the accounting guidance is that an entity should recognize revenue when it transfers promised goods or services to a customer in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The accounting guidance also requires additional disclosure regarding the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to obtain or fulfil a contract. We adopted ASU 2014-09 on January 1, 2018 for all revenue contracts with customers using the modified retrospective approach, while prior period amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historical accounting under Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 605.

        Following the adoption of ASU 2014-09 and the associated ASUs (collectively, "Topic 606") on January 1, 2018, we recognize revenue when our customer obtains control of promised goods or services in an amount that reflects the consideration that we expect to receive in exchange for those goods or services. To determine revenue recognition for the arrangements that we determine are within the scope of Topic 606, we perform the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when, or as, the entity satisfies a performance obligation.

        In periods prior to the adoption of Topic 606, our accounting policy was to recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, products are delivered, the price to the buyer is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured.

Product revenue recognition

        We derive a majority of our revenue from product revenue. We recognize revenue from the sale of apparel, fashion goods, cosmetics, home goods, and lifestyle products as well as other merchandise

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through our Vipshop Online Platform. We utilize in-house delivery capabilities and third-party delivery companies to deliver goods to our customers. We recognize revenue at the point of time when the goods have been accepted by the customers. The customers have the options to pay for the goods in advance, upon acceptance of the goods, or over an agreed-upon installment period. The delivery day estimate was determined based on the average delivery days for sales made during the last month of the reporting period, derived from customer locations and delivery reports. A one-day change in the estimated good in-transit period would result in an increase or decrease of approximately RMB239.0 million (US$34.8 million) to our total net revenues in 2018.

        Our revenue was recorded net of surcharges and VAT of gross sales. Surcharges are sales-related taxes representing the city maintenance and construction taxes and education surtaxes. Our revenues also include fees charged to customers for shipping and handling expenses. We incur expenses or pay fees to in-house delivery services and third-party delivery companies, respectively, and record such expenses and fees as shipping and handling expenses.

Return rights

        We offer customers with an unconditional right of return for a seven-day period upon receipt of the products on sales from our Vipshop Online Platform. We reduce product revenues by an estimate of expected customer merchandise returns, which is calculated based on historical return patterns and recorded as a refund liability included in accrued expenses and other current liabilities, and the estimated inventories in transit subject to those estimated returns are included in inventories on the consolidated balance sheets.

Principal versus agent accounting

        We record all product revenue on a gross basis. To determine whether we are a principal or an agent in the sale of products, we consider the following indicators: (i) whether we are primarily responsible for fulfilling the promise to provide the specified goods or services, (ii) whether we are subject to inventory risks before the specified goods or services have been transferred to a customer or after transfer of control to the customers, and (iii) whether we have discretion in establishing the price of the specified goods or services.

Membership reward program

        We grant Weipin Coins to customers when they purchase goods from our Vipshop Online Platform. Weipin Coins can be offset against payments when customers make their future purchases.

        Upon adoption of Topic 606, we consider Weipin Coins as a separate performance obligation and allocate the transaction price proportionally between the products sold and the Weipin Coins granted on a relative standalone selling price basis in consideration of the likelihood of future redemption and the equivalent value per Weipin Coin when it is redeemed. There is no significant impact upon adoption of Topic 606 other than that the deferred income recorded is considered a contract liability. As of December 31, 2018, we recorded deferred income related to Weipin Coins of RMB150,240.

        New members who register on our Vipshop Online Platform or existing members introducing new members to our Vipshop Online Platform will be granted free Weipin Coins. These Weipin Coins are not relating to prior sales and are recorded as reduction of revenue at the time of use.

        In June 2017, we launched a Super VIP Membership program, which allows our paying members to enjoy certain privileges. The revenue relating to the membership fee is recognized straight-line over the period of the membership.

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Other revenues

        Other revenues consist of commissions or income from (i) platform access, (ii) logistics services to external customers, (iii) promotional and advertising services, (iv) inventory and warehouse management services, and (v) interest income from microcredit and consumer financing.

        We charge fees to third-party merchants to access our platform for sales of their products. We are not primarily responsible for fulfilling the promised contracts, as we do not bear the inventory risk, nor have the discretion in establishing prices. Upon successful sales on our Vipshop Online Platform, we will charge third-party merchants commission fees. Commission fees are recognized on a net basis at the point of sales of products.

        Other revenue from providing logistics services to external customers are recognized upon the completion of the performance of services.

        Other revenue from promotional and advertising services and inventory and warehouse management services are recognized over the period during which the services are provided, net of VAT.

        In connection with our product revenues, certain approved customers have the option to pay for the goods over an installment period up to 24 months. Significant financing component exists in sales paid by installments. We elected the practical expedient not to adjust the promised amount of consideration for the effects of a significant financing component for all instances in which the period between payment and transfer of the goods will be one year or less. For the contracts with installment period over 12 months, the transaction price is adjusted for the effects of the time value of money equivalent to the amounts charged in separate financing transaction between we and our customers at contract inception. The revenues derived from the financing service is recognized straight-line over the installment period and included in other revenues.

Remaining performance obligations

        Remaining performance obligations represent the transaction price allocated to unsatisfied or partially unsatisfied performance obligations. As of December 31, 2018, we had RMB1.47 billion of unfulfilled performance obligations for product goods to be passed to customers, and RMB355.0 million of performance obligations relating to Weipin Coins granted to customers and Super VIP Membership fees. We expect to recognize revenue for the remaining performance obligations within the next year. The remaining performance obligations are accounted under advance from customers and deferred income.

        The remaining performance obligation in relation to the financing service represents the remaining period of financing benefit to the customer per the agreed-upon installment period.

Disaggregation of revenue

        We disaggregate our revenue from different types of contracts with customers by principal product categories, as we believe it best depicts the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of our revenue and cash flows.

Contract balances

        The estimated inventories in transit relating to estimated returns are contract assets included in inventories. As of January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, the balance of contract assets was RMB140,361 and RMB151,117, respectively.

        Our contract liabilities consist of prepayments from customers, unredeemed Weipin Coins, and Super VIP Membership program and estimated return. As of January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, the balance of the contract liabilities was RMB1.56 billion and RMB1.95 billion, respectively, included in advances from customers, deferred income, and accrued expenses and other current liabilities.

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        All contract liabilities as of January 1, 2018 were recognized as revenue during the year ended December 31, 2018 and all contract liabilities as of December 31, 2018 are expected to be realized in the following year.

Inventory write-down

        Inventory is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Cost of inventory is determined using the weighted average cost method. Net realizable value is the estimated selling prices in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of disposal and transportation. Adjustments are recorded to write-down the cost of inventory to the estimated net realizable value for slow-moving merchandise and damaged goods. The amount of write-down is also dependent upon factors such as whether the goods are returnable to vendors, inventory aging, historical and forecasted consumer demand, and promotional environment.

        We assess the inventory write-down based on different product categories and applies a certain percentages based on aging and quality. We classify all goods into the following two categories: non-returnable goods and returnable goods. Non-returnable goods cannot be returned to suppliers and general inventory write-down of different percentages are applied to these goods within the different aging categories. These percentages were developed based on historical write-down on these different types of goods. In addition to general write-down, specific write-down will also be applied to non-returnable goods if assessed to be needed based on the factors mentioned above. Returnable goods will have no general write-down based on aging and quality but specific write-down will be made at the end of each reporting periods based on forecast sales, conditions of the goods, and planned promotions.

        Write-down are recorded in cost of revenues in the consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income.

Accounts receivable from consumer financing business

        Accounts receivable from consumer financing are stated at the historical carrying amount net of allowance for uncollectible accounts. We establish an allowance for uncollectible accounts receivable based on our best estimates after considering our historical experience and other factors surrounding the credit risk of specific customers. Uncollectible accounts receivable are written off when a settlement is reached for an amount that is less than the outstanding historical balance or when we have determined that it is not probable for the balance to be collected.

        Judgement is required to determine the allowance amounts by reference to the aging analysis by past due date and whether such amounts are adequate to cover potential bad debts, and periodic reviews are performed to ensure such amounts continue to reflect the best estimates of the losses inherent in the outstanding portfolio of loans. We recorded the allowance for the uncollectible accounts receivable in the amount of RMB43.6 million, RMB121.8, and RMB113.8 million (US$16.6 million) in relation to receivables from consumer financing business as of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. If the conditions underlying these estimates change significantly in the future, the amount of the allowance for doubtful accounts will also change accordingly.

Intangible assets with indefinite lives

        Intangible assets with indefinite lives represent the purchase price of the payment license in a business combination in 2016. The payment license was determined to have an indefinite life. In determining its indefinite life, we considered the following: (i) the expected use of the intangible, (ii) the longevity of the license, (iii) the legal, regulatory, and contractual provisions that affect their maximum useful life, (iv) our ability to renew or extend the asset's legal or contractual life without substantial costs, (v) effects of the regulatory environment, (vi) maintenance expenditures required to

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obtain the expected future cash flows from the asset, and (vii) considerations for obsolescence, demand, competition, and other economic factors.

        Intangible assets with indefinite lives is not amortized but is tested for impairment on an annual basis as of December 31, and in between annual tests when an event occurs or circumstances change that could indicate that the asset might be impaired.

        In 2016, 2017 and 2018, we have conducted the qualitative impairment test and the qualitative assessment indicated that it was more likely than not that our indefinite lived intangible assets are not impaired.

Goodwill

        Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the identifiable assets and liabilities acquired in a business combination.

        Goodwill is not depreciated or amortized but is tested for impairment as of December 31 on an annual basis, and in between annual tests when an event occurs or circumstances change that could indicate that the asset might be impaired. In accordance with ASC 350-20 "Goodwill," we first have the option to assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If we determine, as a result of our qualitative assessment, that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, the performance of the two-step quantitative impairment test is mandatory. Otherwise, no further testing is required. The quantitative impairment test compares the fair value of each reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the carrying amount of each reporting unit exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss equal to the difference between the implied fair value of the reporting unit's goodwill and the carrying amount of goodwill will be recorded.

        Application of a goodwill impairment test requires significant management judgment, including identifying reporting units, assigning assets, liabilities, and goodwill to each reporting unit, assigning goodwill to reporting units, and determining the fair value of each reporting unit. The fair value of each reporting unit is determined by analysis of discounted cash flows. The significant assumptions regarding the reporting unit's future operating performance are revenue growth rates, costs of goods and operating expenses growth rates, discount rates, and terminal values. Changes in these estimates and assumptions could materially affect the determination of fair value for each reporting unit.

        In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we have conducted the qualitative impairment test to compare the carrying value of the reporting units, including assigned goodwill, to its respective fair value. Based on the qualitative impairment assessment, it was determined that it is more likely than not the fair values of the reporting units tested exceeded their carrying amounts and, therefore a quantitative impairment test for goodwill was not required. We concluded that goodwill was not impaired as of December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

        In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, "Leases (Topic 842)," and associated ASUs relating to Topic 842, which requires organizations that lease assets to recognize on the balance sheet the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by these leases. The new guidance requires that a lessee recognize assets and liabilities for leases, and recognition, presentation, and measurement in the financial statements will depend on its classification as a finance or operating lease. In addition, the new guidance will require disclosures to help investors and other financial statement users better understand the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. Lessor accounting remains largely unchanged from current U.S. GAAP but does contain some targeted

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improvements to align with Topic 606, the new revenue recognition guidance issued in 2014. The new standard is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within these fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018, and early adoption is permitted.

        The ASU 2016-02 requires a modified retrospective transition approach, applying the new standard to all leases existing at the date of initial adoption. An entity may choose to use either (i) the effective date or (ii) the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements at the date of initial application. We have elected to apply the transition requirements on the January 1, 2019 effective date rather than at the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented. This approach allows a cumulative effect adjustment in the period of adoption, and prior periods will not be restated. In addition, we have elected the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance, which does not require reassessment of prior conclusions related to contracts containing a lease, lease classification, and initial direct lease costs. As an accounting policy election, we will exclude short-term leases (with terms of 12 months or less) from the balance sheet presentation and will account for non-lease and lease components in a contract as a single lease component for all asset classes.

        We analyzed the impact of ASU 2016-02 across all lease arrangements to evaluate and implement the new standard and we have substantially completed the implementation of system updates to facilitate compliance with accounting and reporting requirements. We continue to enhance accounting systems and update business processes and controls relating to the new guidance for leases. Collectively, these activities are expected to enable us to meet the new accounting and disclosure requirements upon adoption on January 1, 2019. We have finalized the evaluation of the impact upon adoption and estimated an increase of lease-related assets and liabilities of approximately RMB451.4 million in the consolidated balance sheets. We do not expect the impact on our consolidated statements of income and consolidated statements of cash flows to be material.

        In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, "Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments," which is intended to improve financial reporting by requiring timelier recording of credit losses on loans and other financial instruments held by financial institutions and other organizations. The ASU requires the measurement of all expected credit losses for financial assets held at the reporting date based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. Financial institutions and other organizations will now use forward-looking information to better inform their credit loss estimates. Many of the loss estimation techniques applied today will still be permitted, although the inputs to those techniques will change to reflect the full amount of expected credit losses. Organizations will continue to use judgment to determine which loss estimation method is appropriate for their circumstances. The ASU requires enhanced disclosures to help investors and other financial statement users better understand significant estimates and judgments used in estimating credit losses, as well as the credit quality and underwriting standards of an organization's portfolio. These disclosures include qualitative and quantitative requirements that provide additional information about the amounts recorded in the financial statements. In addition, ASU 2016-13 amends the accounting for credit losses on available-for-sale debt securities and purchased financial assets with credit deterioration. ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019. Based on our financial instruments and risk management policies as of December 31, 2018, application of ASU 2016-13 in the future may have impact on the measurement of our financial assets. The expected credit loss model may result in earlier provision of credit losses which are not yet incurred in relation to our financial assets measured at amortized cost. It should be noted that the above assessments were made based on an analysis of our financial assets and financial liabilities as of December 31, 2018 on the basis of the facts and circumstances that existed at that date. As facts and circumstances may

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change during the period leading up to the initial date of application of ASU 2016-13, the assessment of the potential impact is subject to change.

        In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, "Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment." The update simplifies the subsequent measurement of goodwill by eliminating Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. The annual, or interim, goodwill impairment test is performed by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An impairment charge should be recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit's fair value. The update also eliminates the requirements for any reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount to perform a qualitative assessment and, if it fails that qualitative test, to perform Step 2 of the goodwill impairment test. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative assessment for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. The update should be applied on a prospective basis. The nature of and reason for the change in accounting principle should be disclosed upon transition. The update is effective for any annual or interim goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted for interim or annual goodwill impairment tests performed on testing dates after January 1, 2017. The guidance should be applied prospectively upon its effective date. We do not anticipate that the adoption of ASU 2017-04 will have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements.

        In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, "Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework—Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement," which is part of the FASB disclosure framework project to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in the notes to the financial statements. The amendments in the new guidance remove, modify, and add certain disclosure requirements related to fair value measurements covered in Topic 820, "Fair Value Measurement." The new standard is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted for either the entire standard or only the requirements that modify or eliminate the disclosure requirements, with certain requirements applied prospectively, and all other requirements applied retrospectively to all periods presented. We do not anticipate that the adoption of ASU 2018-13 will have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements.

        In October 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-17, "Consolidation: Targeted Improvements to Related Party Guidance for Variable Interest Entities," which modifies the guidance related to indirect interests held through related parties under common control for determining whether fees paid to decision makers and service providers are variable interest. ASU 2018-17 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019 and early adoption is permitted. We do not anticipate that the adoption of ASU 2018-17 will have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements.

Inflation

        Inflation in China has not historically materially impacted our results of operations. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the year-over-year percent changes in the consumer price index for December 2016, 2017, and 2018 in China were increases of 2.1%, 1.8%, and 1.9%, respectively. Although we have not been materially affected by inflation since our inception, we cannot assure you that we will not be affected in the future by higher rates of inflation in China.

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Results of Operations

        The following table sets forth a summary of our consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated, both in absolute amounts and as percentages of our net revenues. This information should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this annual report. The results of operations in any period are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period.

 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   %   RMB'000   %   RMB'000   US$'000   %  

Product revenues

    55,281,900     97.7     71,171,653     97.6     81,510,275     11,855,178     96.4  

Other revenues

    1,309,402     2.3     1,740,660     2.4     3,013,673     438,321     3.6  

Total net revenues

    56,591,302     100.0     72,912,313     100.0     84,523,948     12,293,499     100.0  

Cost of revenues(1)

    (42,994,688 )   (76.0 )   (56,618,471 )   (77.7 )   (67,454,981 )   (9,810,920 )   (79.8 )

Gross profit

    13,596,614     24.0     16,293,842     22.3     17,068,967     2,482,579     20.2  

Operating expenses(2)

                                           

—Fulfillment expenses(3)

    (4,904,526 )   (8.7 )   (6,899,654 )   (9.5 )   (7,489,393 )   (1,089,287 )   (8.8 )

—Marketing expenses

    (2,837,680 )   (5.0 )   (2,978,621 )   (4.1 )   (3,240,450 )   (471,304 )   (3.8 )

—Technology and content expenses

    (1,563,582 )   (2.8 )   (1,808,452 )   (2.5 )   (2,000,894 )   (291,018 )   (2.4 )

—General and administrative expenses

    (1,941,146 )   (3.4 )   (2,447,724 )   (3.3 )   (2,674,179 )   (388,943 )   (3.2 )

Total operating expenses

    (11,246,934 )   (19.9 )   (14,134,451 )   (19.4 )   (15,404,916 )   (2,240,552 )   (18.2 )

Other operating income

    358,029     0.6     531,055     0.8     757,062     110,110     (0.9 )

Income from operations

    2,707,709     4.8     2,690,446     3.7     2,421,113     352,137     2.9  

Impairment loss of investments

    (114,574 )   (0.2 )   (133,026 )   (0.2 )   (20,073 )   (2,919 )   (0.0 )

Interest expense

    (85,195 )   (0.2 )   (82,435 )   (0.1 )   (159,744 )   (23,234 )   (0.2 )

Interest income

    107,044     0.2     101,125     0.1     242,872     35,324     0.3  

Exchange gain/(loss)

    51,100     0.1     (90,872 )   (0.1 )   71,065     10,336     0.1  

Gain on disposal or revaluation of investments

            55,615     0.1     191,842     27,902     0.2  

Income before income tax and share of equity method investees

    2,666,084     4.7     2,540,853     3.5     2,747,075     399,546     3.3  

Income tax expense

    (601,828 )   (1.1 )   (626,140 )   (0.9 )   (566,604 )   (82,409 )   (0.7 )

Share of loss of equity method investees

    (71,489 )   (0.1 )   (22,280 )   (0.0 )   (46,999 )   (6,836 )   (0.1 )

Net income

    1,992,767     3.5     1,892,433     2.6     2,133,472     310,301     2.5  

Net loss/(income) attributable to non-controlling interests

    44,050     0.1     57,222     0.1     (4,685 )   (681 )   (0.0 )

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders

    2,036,817     3.6     1,949,655     2.7     2,128,787     309,620     2.5  

Notes:

(1)
Excludes shipping and handling expenses, and includes inventory write-down which amounted to RMB303.2 million, RMB206.7 million, and RMB440.8 million (US$64.1 million) in the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

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(2)
Include share-based compensation expenses as set forth below:
 
  For the year ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   RMB'000   RMB'000   US$'000  

Allocation of Share-based Compensation Expenses*

                         

Fulfillment expenses

    (38,428 )   (73,235 )   (73,151 )   (10,639 )

Marketing expenses

    (38,459 )   (40,364 )   (41,063 )   (5,972 )

Technology and content expenses

    (183,122 )   (206,073 )   (203,594 )   (29,612 )

General and administrative expenses

    (215,644 )   (347,426 )   (353,402 )   (51,400 )

Total

    (475,653 )   (667,098 )   (671,210 )   (97,623 )

*
The share-based compensation expenses for 2016 included RMB475.7 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB243 thousand and RMB1.24 billion, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 0.25 years and 4 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2016, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2017 included RMB667.1 million share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB162.9 million and RMB1.43 billion, and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 3 years and 2.72 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2017, respectively. The share-based compensation expenses for 2018 included RMB671.2 million (US$97.6 million) share-based compensation expenses in connection with share options and non-vested shares granted to our executive officers, independent directors, and employees. The unrecognized share-based compensation expenses relating to share options and non-vested shares were RMB131.4 million (US$19.1 million) and RMB1.20 billion (US$175.0 million), and were expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 2 years and 2.32 years on a straight-line basis as of December 31, 2018, respectively. See "Item 5.A. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Operating Results—Critical Accounting Policies—Share-based compensation" for details.
(3)
Include shipping and handling expenses, which amounted to RMB2.58 billion, RMB3.83 billion, and RMB4.50 million (US$654.3 million) in the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

Segment Information

        We historically had only one reporting segment. In 2017, we adjusted our reporting segmentation in light of the development of our Internet finance business. We currently report our results of operations in two segments, namely Vip.com and Internet finance business. Vip.com represents our e-commerce business, while the Internet finance businesses mainly include consumer financing, supplier financing services and microcredit services. Accordingly, we updated the presentation of the reportable segments for preceding years to conform to the presentation of the current year.

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        The following table sets forth our segment operating results for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB   RMB   RMB  

Segment Net Revenues

                   

Vip.com

    56,567,945     72,875,234     84,159,609  

Internet finance business

    114,735     249,726     753,752  

Inter-segment revenues(1)

    (91,378 )   (212,647 )   (389,413 )

Total

    56,591,302     72,912,313     84,523,948  

Segment Income/(Loss) from Operations

                   

Vip.com

    3,665,649     4,063,238     3,353,658  

Internet finance business

    (172,750 )   (366,025 )   (215,459 )

Unallocated expenses(2)

    (785,190 )   (1,006,767 )   (717,086 )

Total

    2,707,709     2,690,446     2,421,113  

    Notes:

(1)
Inter-segment revenues mainly consist of payment processing and financing services provided by the Internet finance business to Vip.com and promotion services provided by Vip.com to Internet finance business.

(2)
Unallocated expenses include share-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets resulting from business acquisitions, which are not allocated to segments.

        The following table sets forth interest income and interest expenses (included in the measurement of segment profit or loss) for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

 
  For the Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2016   2017   2018  
 
  RMB   RMB   RMB  

Segment Interest Income

                   

Vip.com

    105,495     192,052     232,494  

Internet finance business

    29,931     4,252     36,946  

Inter-segment interest income

    (28,382 )   (95,179 )   (26,568 )

Total

    107,044     101.125     242,872  

Segment Interest Expense

                   

Vip.com

    (84,151 )   (55,821 )   (103,504 )

Internet finance business

    (29,426 )   (121,793 )   (82,808 )

inter-segment interest expense

    28,382     95,179     26,568  

Total

    (85,195 )   (82,435 )   (159,744 )

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        The following table sets forth assets information in the Internet finance segment reviewed by our management.

 
  For the Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
  2017   2018  
 
  RMB  

Segment Assets

             

Vip.com

    30,158,119     34,867,619  

Internet finance business

    7,824,701     8,695,044  

Total

    37,982,820     43,562,663  

        The results of operations of our Internet finance business are summarized as follows.

        Net Revenues.    Net revenues from our Internet finance business increased from RMB114.7 million in 2016 to RMB249.7 million and RMB753.8 million (US$109.6 million) in 2017 and 2018, respectively, primarily due to an increase in our sales volume with payment processing and financing services provided by the Internet finance business, and our developing consumer financing and supplier financing business.

        Operating expenses.    Operating expenses mainly consist of compensation and benefits of our staff, provision for allowance for consumer financing, and interest expense. Our compensation and benefits increased from RMB116.5 million in 2016 to RMB221.0 million and RMB348.9 million (US$50.7 million) in 2017 and 2018, respectively, primarily due to the expansion of the Internet finance and increasing staffing demand. Provision for allowance for consumer financing increased from RMB43.6 million in 2016 to RMB121.8 million and RMB113.8 million (US$16.6 million) in 2017 and 2018, respectively, which is in line with the expansion of consumer financing business. Interest expense increased from RMB29.4 million in 2016 to RMB121.8 million and RMB82.8 million (US$12.0 million) in 2017 and 2018, respectively, primarily due to an increase in intra-group funding to support the Internet financing business.

        Our Vip.com segment contributes to a significant majority of our results of operations, which are compared and analyzed on a year-on-year basis as follows.

Comparison of 2017 and 2018

        Net Revenues.    Our total net revenues increased from RMB72.91 billion in 2017 to RMB84.52 billion (US$12.29 billion) in 2018, primarily due to an increase in the number of active customers and total orders. The number of our active customers increased from 57.8 million in 2017 to 60.5million in 2018. The number of our total orders increased from 335.0 million in 2017 to 437.4 million in 2018, primarily due to an increase in the number of active customers and increased shopping frequency during the period, which in turn was primarily due to overall growth in the industry, our further optimized product selection, and enhancement of our warehousing capabilities, merchandising, and IT infrastructures. Through our six regional logistics hubs, we were able to continue tailoring our product offerings to regional customer demographics and offer additional sales events and SKUs in 2018. 96.6% of the total orders we fulfilled in 2018 were placed by repeat customers, as compared to 95.1% in 2017.

        Cost of Revenues.    Our cost of revenues increased from RMB56.62 billion in 2017 to RMB67.45 billion (US$9.81 billion) in 2018, primarily due to a significant increase in products procured from our brand partners in line with our significantly higher sales volume.

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        We recorded RMB206.7 million and RMB440.8 million (US$64.1 million) in inventory write-down in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In addition, inventory write-down as a percentage of costs of goods sold, was 0.4% in 2017 and 0.7% in 2018. Such write-down primarily reflected the estimated net realizable value of damaged or obsolete inventory. The increase in write-down from 2017 to 2018 was due to intense market competition and the special sales promotions we took that are more likely to result in write-down attributable to the significant discounts offered.

        The amount we write down is calculated based on factors such as whether the goods are returnable to vendors, inventory aging, damages, historical and forecast consumer demand, and the promotional environment. We assess the inventory write-down based on different product categories and apply a certain percentage based on aging and quality. We classify all goods into the following two categories:

        Gross Profit and Gross Margin.    As a result of the foregoing, our gross profit increased from RMB16.29 billion in 2017 to RMB17.07 billion (US$2.48 billion) in 2018. Our gross margin decreased from 22.3% in 2017 to 20.2% in 2018, primarily due to the increasing promotional activities and sales to drive growth of users and orders via our platform.

        Operating Expenses.    Our operating expenses increased from RMB14.13 billion in 2017 to RMB15.40 billion (US$2.24 billion) in 2018, primarily due to the following factors:

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        Other Operating Income.    Our other operating income amounted to RMB757.1 million (US$110.1 million) in 2018, as compared to RMB531.1 million in 2017. Our other operating income in 2018 was primarily due to income derived from government grants and tax rebates.

        Impairment Loss of Investments.    We incurred RMB20.1 million (US$2.9 million) impairment loss of investments in 2018, as compared to RMB133.0 million in 2017, which was primarily due to loss of investees. We review the investments for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the investments may not be recoverable. Certain of our investments are in development stage companies whose success depends on factors including the ability of the investee companies to raise additional funds in financial markets that can be volatile and other key business factors, any of which may impact our ability to recover the investment. The other than temporary impairment recorded in 2018 in the amounts of RMB20.1 million (US$2.9 million) on the available-for-sale investments was due to sustained depression of either in the market price or the respective investees' expected result of operation.

        Interest Expenses.    We incurred RMB159.7 million (US$23.2 million) interest expenses in 2018, as compared to RMB82.4 million in 2017, primarily due to the net effect of the increase in interest expenses for the securitization debt and the short term loans and decrease in amortization of debt issuance cost of our convertible senior notes.

        Interest Income.    Our interest income increased from RMB101.1 million in 2017 to RMB242.9 million (US$35.3 million) in 2018 primarily due to the increase of interest bearing investments, such as the deposits and held-to-maturity investments in the banks.

        Share of Loss of Equity Method Investees.    Our share of loss of equity method investees increased from RMB22.3 million in 2017 to RMB47.0 milion (US$6.8 million), which was primarily due to our share of losses in Shenzhen Tencent Puhe Limited Partnership.

        Net Income.    As a result of the foregoing, we recorded a net income of RMB2.13 billion (US$310.3 million) in 2018, as compared to a net income of RMB1.89 billion in 2017.

        Net Income Attributable to Non-controlling Interests.    We recorded net income attributable to non-controlling interests of RMB4.7 million (US$0.7 million) in 2018, as compared to net loss attributable to non-controlling interests of RMB57.2 million in 2017, which was primarily due to the income attributable to non-controlling shareholders of Pinjun.

Comparison of 2016 and 2017

        Net Revenues.    Our total net revenues increased from RMB56.59 billion in 2016 to RMB72.91 billion in 2017, primarily due to an increase in the number of active customers and total orders. The number of our active customers increased significantly from 52.1 million in 2016 to 57.8 million in 2017. The number of our total orders increased from 269.8 million in 2016 to 335.0 million in 2017, primarily due to an increase in the number of active customers during the period, which in turn was primarily due to overall growth in the industry, our further optimized product

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selection, and enhancement of our warehousing capabilities, merchandising, and IT infrastructures. Through our five regional logistics hubs, we were able to continue tailoring our product offerings to regional customer demographics and offer additional sales events and SKUs in 2017. 95.1% of the total orders we fulfilled in 2017 were placed by repeat customers, as compared to 93.6% in 2016.

        Cost of Revenues.    Our cost of revenues increased from RMB42.99 billion in 2016 to RMB56.62 billion, primarily due to a significant increase in products procured from our brand partners in line with our significantly higher sales volume.

        We recorded RMB303.2 million and RMB206.7 million in inventory write-down in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In addition, inventory write-down as a percentage of costs of goods sold, was 0.7% in 2016 and 0.4% in 2017. Such write-down primarily reflected the estimated net realizable value of damaged or obsolete inventory. The decrease in write-down from 2016 to 2017 was as a result of improving inventory management. The primary reason for the decrease in percentage of costs of goods sold was the significant increase in our sales volume.

        The amount we write down is calculated based on factors such as whether the goods are returnable to vendors, inventory aging, damages, historical and forecast consumer demand, and the promotional environment. We assess the inventory write-down based on different product categories and apply a certain percentage based on aging. We classify all goods into the following two categories:

        Gross Profit and Gross Margin.    As a result of the foregoing, our gross profit increased from RMB13.60 billion in 2016 to RMB16.29 billion in 2017. Our gross margin decreased from 24.0% in 2016 to 22.3% in 2017, primarily due to the increasing promotional activities and sales to drive growth of users and orders via our platform.

        Operating Expenses.    Our operating expenses increased from RMB11.25 billion in 2016 to RMB14.13 billion in 2017, primarily due to the following factors:

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        Other Operating Income.    Our other operating income amounted to RMB531.1 million in 2017, as compared to RMB358.0 million in 2016. Our other operating income in 2017 was primarily due to income derived from government grants, tax rebates and ADR reimbursements.

        Impairment Loss of Investments.    We incurred RMB133.0 million impairment loss of investments in 2017, as compared to RMB114.6 million in 2016, which was primarily due to the loss of an available for sale investee and the loss of several cost method investees. We review the investments for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the investments may not be recoverable. Certain of our investments are in development stage companies whose success depends on factors including the ability of the investee companies to raise additional funds in financial markets that can be volatile and other key business factors, any of which may impact our ability to recover the investment. The other than temporary impairment recorded in 2017 in the amounts of RMB15.0 million and RMB118.0 million on the available-for-sale investments and cost method investments were due to sustained depression of either in the market price or the respective investees' expected result of operation.

        Interest Expenses.    We incurred RMB82.4 million interest expenses in 2017, as compared to RMB85.2 million in 2016, primarily due to the net effect of the increase in interest expenses for the securitization debt and the short term loans and decrease in amortization of debt issuance cost of our convertible senior notes.

        Interest Income.    Our interest income decreased from RMB107.0 million in 2016 to RMB101.1 million in 2017 primarily due to the decrease of interest bearing investments, such as the deposits and held-to-maturity investments in the banks.

        Share of Loss of Equity Method Investees.    Our share of loss of equity method investees decreased from RMB71.5 million in 2016 to RMB22.3 million, which was primarily due to the decrease of our share of losses of equity interest in Ovation from the amortization adjustment of basis difference between our investment cost and underlying equity in net assets of Ovation from the date of acquisition in February 2014.

        Net Income.    As a result of the foregoing, we recorded a net income of RMB1.89 billion in 2017, as compared to a net income of RMB1.99 billion in 2016.

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        Net Loss Attributable to Non-controlling Interests. Our net loss attributable to non-controlling interests increased from RMB44.1 million in 2016 to RMB57.2 million in 2017, which was primarily due to the decline in profitability for the non-wholly-owned logistic subsidiaries.

B.    Liquidity and Capital Resources

        As of December 31, 2017 and 2018, we had RMB10.22 billion and RMB10.04 billion (US$1.46 billion), respectively, in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash. We had short-term investments with an aggregate outstanding amount of RMB2.3 billion (US$337.6 million) as of December 31, 2018. Our cash and cash equivalents primarily consist of cash on hand, short-term bank demand deposits and highly liquid investments with maturities of less than three months. One of our subsidiaries operating our Internet finance business offered an aggregate amount of RMB800.0 million ABSs in 2017, and an aggregate amount of RMB500.0 million ABSs in 2018, both listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange in China. In 2018, we also offered an aggregate amount of RMB520.0 million ABNs listed on Shanghai Clearing House in China. In 2018, we repaid RMB760.0 million of ABSs. We plan to use this and any future ABS and ABN offerings in China to alleviate the dependence of our Internet finance business on our own cash flow. We also procured several bank borrowings and other borrowings in an aggregate amount of RMB1.34 billion (US$195.4 million) and had unutilized banking facilities in an amount of RMB450.0 million (US$65.4 million) as of December 31, 2018. We believe that our current cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and our anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our anticipated working capital requirements and capital expenditures for the next 12 months. However, we may need additional capital in the future to fund our continued operations.

        As of December 31, 2017 and 2018, our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments are held in the following currency denominations and jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries domiciled:

 
  As of December 31,  
 
  2017   2018  
Currency
Denomination
  Subsidiaries in
PRC(1)
RMB'000
  Subsidiaries in
HK
RMB'000
  Subsidiary
in USA
RMB'000
  Total
RMB'000
  Subsidiaries
in PRC(1)
RMB'000
  Subsidiaries
in HK
RMB'000
  Subsidiary
in USA
RMB'000
  Total
RMB'000
 

RMB

    4,531,293     2,588         4,533,881     7,419,634     107,609         7,527,243  

US$

    31,871     5,815,441     16,522     5,863,834     54,912     4,724,836     15,522     4,795,270  

Others

    4,322     65,936         70,258     7,396     29,807         37,203  

Total

    4,567,486     5,883,965     16,522     10,467,973     7,481,942     4,862,252     15,522     12,359,716  

Note:

(1)
Also include our consolidated affiliated entities in China.

        As of December 31, 2017 and 2018, our cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash held by our consolidated affiliated entities and subsidiaries in China are as follows:

 
  As of December 31,  
 
  2017   2018  
 
  RMB'000   RMB'000   US$'000  

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash

                   

Consolidated affiliated entities

    2,953,989     2,583,412     375,742  

Subsidiaries in China

    1,367,516     3,976,639     578,378