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23 March 2021
Pinduoduo plans to become grocer to the world
E-commerce & mobile retailOnline retailSocial media planning & buying
Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo has emerged as the first real challenger to Alibaba and JD.com’s domination of the online space, thanks to a focus on linking farmers with consumers.
Why it matters
Pinduoduo, with its mix of good-value products plus entertainment, epitomizes Chinese consumers’ delight in social e-commerce, which turns shopping into an event, even a game. With 788.4 million active users last year, a 35% increase, Pinduoduo is now the most popular e-commerce platform in China, while revenues of $9.1 billion last year were almost double those of 2019. Some 12 million farmers – more than half of them women – now sell their produce through the platform.
When food supplies were hit by COVID-19 last year, Pinduoduo ran livestreaming sessions with poorer farming communities allowing them to market their products, and created a dedicated “Help the Farmers” channel. Other initiatives include promoting more efficient approaches to joining up the processes of growing, moving and selling food.
Its approach has the central government’s stamp of approval – Beijing recognized Pinduoduo last year as one of three tech companies that had provided outstanding contributions to helping alleviate poverty.
“Together we’ve produced a minor miracle. We’ve changed Chinese e-commerce and even the structure of the Chinese internet,” – Colin Huang, Pinduoduo’s founder and an ex-Google engineer, in a speech to staff.