A version of this article previously appeared on TechNode.
According to Chinese tech media outlet LatePost, Pinduoduo is currently seeking sellers for its new cross-border shopping app by offering fee waivers for small and medium-sized merchants to register on the platform.
To differentiate itself from Shein, which primarily focuses on fast fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products, Pinduoduo’s new platform will be a general marketplace for low-priced household products and other daily necessities; after all, the company has experience and a competitive advantage in these areas.
Pinduoduo has set up a team of 80 employees in Guangzhou, which is also where Shein is headquartered, and COO Gu Pingping is leading the project.
The move highlights a growing trend of Chinese technology companies considering going global, a trend partly accelerated by China’s regulatory crackdowns on the tech sector, as well as intense competition and weakening consumption in the domestic market.
According to a Bloomberg report, the number of Pinduoduo’s active buyers increased by only 10% to 868.7 million last year — lower than analysts’ expectations of 883.3 million. The company’s cross-border ecommerce launch in the U.S. can be seen as part of the company’s overall growth strategy.
Shein’s success in selling clothing products at super-cheap prices has prompted many Chinese tech firms to follow in its footsteps. Meanwhile, existing major players are making more of an effort to maintain their lead in the market.
Driven by the peak of summer sales, Shein surpassed Amazon as the most downloaded (6.8 million) ecommerce app in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2022.
Pinduoduo aside, other Chinese ecommerce platforms and tech giants have also launched, or started to build, similar international branches.
Cover image by Haedi Yue
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