Pinduoduo to Build Cross-border E-commerce Platform, Poaches SHEIN Employees

Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo is preparing a cross-border e-commerce app, expected to be released initially for the US market in mid-September, LatePost reported earlier. On August 18, another media outlet, Jiemian News, obtained a cross-border platform investment pamphlet from insiders in Pinduoduo, which confirmed previous reports.

According to the pamphlet, only the North American market is currently being promoted with Chinese manufacturers being encouraged to explore overseas markets, but the specific name of the e-commerce platform is left out.

The specific policy to attract merchants is to settle in without paying any fees while also offering a lower threshold for merchants to settle in. This means that Pinduoduo will be responsible for specific product selection, pricing and logistics services, which is similar to the model employed by SHEIN, a fast fashion retailer founded in China in 2008.

In terms of talent reserve, Pinduoduo has had extensive contact with SHEIN employees in the preparatory stage, and many employees confirmed that they had received an invitation from Pinduoduo‘s human resource department. The company kept the specifics to a minimum and only revealed that their working place was in Guangzhou.

It can be seen from the pamphlet that Pinduoduo plans to start with categories that domestic e-commerce platforms are good at, including clothing and shoes, accessories, jewelry, maternal and child products, toys, sports, digital products and so on.

There are four main requirements for merchants who would like to settle in: having a team in place and the ability to develop, design, produce and shoot videos; factories or traders who can guarantee production capacity, product quality and stable inventory; experience in cross-border e-commerce platforms; and experience in North American markets.

It is not difficult to understand that Pinduoduo chose the North America market. The US is one of the countries with the largest consumption power in the world. According to Marketplacepulse, the spending of American consumers through e-commerce has approached nearly $1 trillion a year. The epidemic has also promoted the development of e-commerce. In the last three years, the US e-commerce market has reached a scale exceeding expectations by 25%.

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According to Pinduoduo‘s latest first-quarter financial report, as of March 31, 2022, the number of active buyers in Pinduoduo reached 881.9 million, a year-on-year increase of only 7%. The average monthly active users of Pinduoduo APP reached 751.3 million, up 4% year-on-year. Growth is still a clear anxiety point within the company as it has been difficult to come by lately.