(Yicai Global) Dec. 29 — JD.Com’s shares fell in Hong Kong after the Chinese e-commerce giant’s board approved a 50 percent increase in its existing stock buyback plan.

JD.Com [HKG: 9618] closed 2.2 percent lower today at HKD255.20 (USD32.81). The shares are down 25 percent so far this year.

The Beijing-based company will spend as much as USD3 billion to repurchase its own shares, up from the USD2 billion announced in March last year, JD.Com said in a statement today. The buyback period was also extended by two years to March 17, 2024. It gave no reason for the increases.

Buybacks remove some of a publicly traded company’s shares from the stock market, with the aim of shoring up the price. 

JD.Com’s stock plunged in Hong Kong and New York after Tencent Holdings unveiled a surprise plan on Dec. 23 to distribute HKD127.7 billion (USD16.4 billion) of the online retailer’s shares among its investors in the form of a dividend.

Editor: Futura Costaglione