Business & Economy

Pinduoduo, from ‘start-up’ to challenging Alibaba

Shanghai, China, 1 May (EFE).- Chinese start-up Pinduoduo is setting its sights on becoming the world’s largest platform for agricultural products after storming into China’s e-commerce industry six years ago, managing to overtake giants such as Alibaba on some metrics.

“We provide a platform where merchants can sell their products directly to consumers. We serve almost 800 million users,” Andre Zhu, vice president of the company told Efe.

In 2020, the company counted 788.4 million active annual users who make at least one order, above Alibaba’s 779 million.

Although still far below Alibaba’s valuation of $635 billion, Pinduoduo completed a $1.7 billion IPO in New York in 2018 and already has a market capitalization of about $170 billion.

“We put the right idea into practice in the right place at the right time,” Zhu said when asked about the secret behind the company’s success.

In the middle of the last decade, there was “a perfect opportunity” to promote platforms such as Pinduoduo, available only via a phone app.

Back then, China was immersed in a transition to mobile internet and mobile payment was gaining momentum.

Agriculture products, Pinduoduo’s main focus, have also been uncharted territory in e-commerce.

Amidst the pandemic, a new service, Duoduo Grocery, has emerged to offer a virtual supermarket for fresh vegetables and fruits across 300 cities.

“More than 12 million farmers already sell directly to consumers” through Pinduoduo, Zhu said.

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