Business Strategy and Outlook| Chelsey Tam |
Pinduoduo is a social e-commerce platform that encourages users to enjoy lower prices by teaming up to make purchases. Easier sharing of PDD deals with social contacts through Tencent’s social network lead to lower traffic acquisition costs versus peers. The firm focused on low-tier cities and white-label merchants, followed by the CNY 10 Billion Program launched in 2019 to subsidize consumers for higher-priced products such as Moutai, Apple iPhones, and agricultural products. PDD aims to offer good value across a wide range of categories and price points. To increase average revenue per user, PDD uses subsidies to induce consumers to make purchases in categories they haven't purchased in before. PDD's active buyers in the year ended March were 882 million, likely higher than that of Alibaba, though we estimate its spending per active user was 37% of Alibaba. CEO Chen Lei expressed his goal in March 2021 to continue subsidies so as to replace Alibaba as the shopping platform of choice for the 1 billion consumers in China.