Pinduoduo is the fastest-growing social e-commerce app
in China with a distinctive business model. The platform offers its customers steep discounts up to 90 percent off on everyday items and food under one condition: the users must share Pinduoduo’s product information on social media
(WeChat and QQ) and invite enough friends to form a shopping team to order the products in bulk, directly from the manufacturer. This social aspect of the traditional online shopping process made the app a viral sensation in China.
Launched in Shanghai in September 2015, Pinduoduo grew to have almost 350 million active buyers by mid-2018, according to Coresight Research
. The number of its average monthly active users increased by 1,200 percent since the first quarter of 2017 and reached 195 million monthly users as of June 30, 2018. Meanwhile, Pinduoduo’s gross merchandise value grew more than tenfold from March 2017 to June 2018. It exceeded 100 billion yuan (around 14.4 billion U.S. dollars) in only 2.5 years, a hallmark that took five years to achieve for Taobao and ten years for JD.com – two main e-commerce players in China.