Pinduoduo Posts Revenue Growth in Q1, Shows Support for Small Merchants During COVID-19

Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD) has reported a 44% year-on-year growth with total revenue reaching 6.54 billion yuan ($923.8 million) in the first quarter of 2020.

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There were 628.1 active buyers on the platform in the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020, a year-on-year increase of 42% from 443.3 million in the same quarter of last year.

“Despite the unprecedented challenges in the first quarter, Pinduoduo has grown and now serves more than 600 million active buyers,” said Colin Huang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pinduoduo in the press release on Friday. “We’re encouraged to see our next generation of leaders stepping up and shouldering the responsibilities of serving our users.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, stay-at-home orders have boosted demand as people shopped on the company’s e-commerce platform. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) reached 1.16 trillion yuan ($163.4 billion) in the first quarter, an increase of 108% from the same period last year.

As COVID-19 forced farmers and small and medium-sized business owners to dump produce they can’t sell, Pinduoduo adopted numerous measures to support them, offering them lower advertising rates and providing daily necessities that were in high demand during the pandemic.

“We supported our merchants, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, by offering them lower effective advertising rates,” David Liu, the Vice President of Strategy of the company said. “We also directed traffic that we could have otherwise monetized to dedicated channels for medical supplies, household staples and other necessities in high demand.”

The company collaborated with local governments in Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Shandong provinces where the country’s key production centers are located to promote locally produced specialties through livestreaming events.

“As of April 30, total order number originating from these events reached 49 million,” Liu said. “We have signed strategic cooperation agreements with these local governments to continue our support for high-quality local manufacturers and merchants, who we believe can become strong partners for our C2M initiatives over the long term.”

The company also announced its plan to invest 50 billion yuan over the next five years to build up infrastructure to assist farmers to sell online products. Agricultural products contributed to 13.6% of Pinduoduo’s GMV in 2019.