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Amazon’s newest challenger is China’s on-line greenback retailer Pinduoduo • TechCrunch


The race to carry China-made items to Western customers by way of on-line shops is heating up. Pinduoduo, the Chinese language e-commerce big recognized for providing hard-to-believe offers, has rapidly gained momentum for its first worldwide endeavor within the U.S.

The corporate’s abroad procuring app, referred to as Temu, briefly claimed the highest spot of Android procuring apps within the U.S. in mid-September earlier than dipping to No. 15 this week, in response to app analytics platform Information.ai. The rankings point out new downloads, so it’s laborious to gauge the app’s consumer retention and activeness.

At a look, Temu doesn’t look a lot totally different from different e-commerce platforms exporting low cost items from China, like Amazon, Alibaba’s AliExpress, or Want. Its touchdown web page contains a dazzling assortment of competitively priced merchandise, from a $2.77 shirt to a $1.39 cleaning soap holder.

Pinduoduo is comparatively late to the cross-border e-commerce scene. In almost each main market outdoors China, one can discover a web based retailer importing items immediately from Chinese language distributors or producers. Alibaba-owned Lazada and Tencent-backed Shopee take pleasure in a powerful foothold in Southeast Asia. AliExpress is a well-liked choice in Russia. Shein, the quick trend e-commerce website with an increasing product class, is the go-to procuring app for kids throughout Europe and the U.S.

Temu’s edge over its opponents might be its in depth connections with factories in China. Based in 2015, Pinduoduo rapidly rose to problem the dominance of Alibaba, which began out greater than a decade earlier than it. The corporate’s meteoric rise has been credited to a intelligent technique of connecting producers immediately with customers, slicing out middlemen prices and finally permitting it to cost merchandise at a lot decrease costs than rivals reliant on layers of distributors.

It appears that evidently Pinduoduo will proceed to play to its energy because it goes abroad. Simply this week, the agency introduced that it’s going to make investments “tens of hundreds of thousands of RMB” in “cultivating 100 export-oriented manufacturers.” In doing so, the initiative goals to assist 10,000 home producers promote globally.

Temu has a head begin in sourcing merchandise due to Pinduoduo’s provide chain sources, but it surely would possibly battle to copy the success of the consumer acquisition technique that enabled Pinduoduo’s fast progress again residence. In its early years, Pinduoduo depended closely on its investor Tencent’s WeChat app the place customers shared offers with buddies to get product reductions.

The setup labored as a result of WeChat has morphed nicely past being a messenger app, with a built-in mini app ecosystem that integrates seamlessly with its social options, a consumer situation that’s lacking in Western equivalents resembling WhatsApp.

Temu may additionally face the identical set of challenges that bother Shein. The quick trend upstart has been repeatedly slammed for its opaque provide chain practices and accused of infringing on mental property. In 2019, the U.S. added Pinduoduo to its infamous blacklist over suspected counterfeits, although the corporate has pledged to crack down on counterfeits.

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