Daily Management Review

Chinese online retailer Pinduoduo overtakes Alibaba in users number


Chinese online retailer Pinduoduo has published its financial statements for 2020 - the information that attracted the most attention from investors and the media was that the number of active users of the service reached 788.4 million people for the year. Thus, Pinduoduo overtook Internet giant Alibaba (779 million active users) and took first place by this indicator in China.

The company's revenue for the year rose 97% to 59.5 billion yuan ($9.1 billion), while its net loss was also slightly higher than in 2019: it rose 10.5% to 9.4 billion yuan ($1.4 billion). Revenue growth was even more significant in the fourth quarter, up 146%, with a net loss in that period falling compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Pinduoduo shares fell 7% on Wednesday, primarily due to another announcement made by the company - the resignation of service founder Colin Huang as head of the board. 

Mr. Huang stepped down from his other role at the company last July, as CEO. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr Huang's departure comes amid increasing pressure from Chinese authorities on the local technology sector, particularly online retailers. In early March, the Chinese regulator fined Pinduoduo along with a number of other retailers for violating antitrust rules.

The business model of Pinduoduo, founded by Mr Huang in 2015, differs from its rivals Alibaba and another online retailer, JD.com. Pinduoduo combines the process of shopping online with elements of a game: users can receive discounts both by shopping and by completing levels in online games in the app. 

Another feature of the service is the possibility of joint purchases, in which all participants receive a discount on the purchased goods. The company originally specialised in the sale of fruit and other agricultural produce, but later became like other online retailers, selling a wide range of goods, from groceries and convenience goods to appliances and furniture. Pinduoduo held an IPO on NASDAQ in 2018, raising $1.6 billion. One of the service's major shareholders is Chinese internet corporation Tencent.

source: bloomberg.com