E-commerce

The logo of e-commerce app Pinduoduo is displayed next to mobile phones displaying the app, in this illustration picture taken on 25 October 2023. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Pinduoduo's popularity a sign of Chinese consumption downgrading wave

Popular Chinese online shopping app Pinduoduo has done well in terms of profits, outdoing competitors such as Alibaba and JD.com. While a major factor is due to revenue from Pinduoduo's multinational e-commerce platform Temu, it may also be a sign that consumers in China are changing their spending habits and going for cost-effectiveness and value for money.
A person walks past a JD.com advertisement promoting the Singles' Day shopping festival, at a subway station in Beijing, China, on 26 October 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's weak domestic demand drags down Singles’ Day sales

Singles’ Day is known as the sales day of the year, but this year the buzz seems to have gone out of it, as people are choosing not to spend as much as before. As the event marks its 15th year, the general vibe is no longer excitement, but fatigue. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
An advertisement for the Singles' Day shopping event on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall e-commerce platform at a subway station in Shanghai, China, on 4 November 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Singles’ Day sales losing their shine in China: How long can e-commerce platforms keep reducing prices?

With the annual Singles’ Day sale coming around again, e-commerce platforms are once again preparing to fight for a slice of the consumer market, not just among themselves but now also with physical stores joining the mix. But as consumers become more prudent in their spending and less inclined to navigate complicated terms and conditions for discounts, what can e-commerce platforms do to survive?
An employee works on a large construction equipment at a factory in Haian, Jiangsu province, China, on 16 October 2023. (AFP)

China’s family-run businesses face succession issues

China's economic boom has driven the flourishing of private entrepreneurship and led to the emergence of tens of millions of family businesses in the country. But many of these businesses are facing a challenge now: who will be their successor? Caixin journalists tell us more.
A customer shops at a supermarket in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, on 13 October 2023. (AFP)

The struggle facing big-box supermarkets in China

A broader depression has been weighing on the country’s supermarket sector, especially for big-box retailers that are fighting the rising tide of competition from online shopping platforms and smaller physical stores.
Li fired back against netizens, stating: “Sometimes you should reflect on yourself to find out why your salary hasn’t gone up after years of work. Have you been working hard enough?” (Internet)

How China's 'lipstick king' lost 63,000 livestream followers overnight

A livestreamer’s comments over the cost of an eyebrow pencil recently brewed a public opinion storm in China. While the incident may be stirred by the livestreamer’s insensitive comments, it speaks to the public’s deeper discontent with the grim economic outlook and employment prospects. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
Cosplayers walk on a shopping street, in Shanghai, China, 31 July 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

[Big read] Young women are the driving force in China's consumer market

With the rise of e-commerce, traditional department stores are having a hard time attracting customers, especially following three years of the pandemic. While some stores have managed to re-style themselves to tap into the younger generation, others have struggled to move past the fashion of 20 or 30 years ago and are closing their doors as a result.
A woman poses in front of signage before the TikTok Southeast Asia Impact Forum 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15 June 2023. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP)

TikTok’s foray into Southeast Asian e-commerce is no slam dunk

TikTok is set to pour US$12.2 million over the next three years into supporting more than 120,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, as it pushes into the e-commerce business in the region. However, it will not be smooth sailing as TikTok will need to contend with regional e-commerce titans GoTo, Shopee and Lazada.
A livestreamer promotes coal during a livestreaming session on the Douyin app, in this illustration picture taken on 15 June 2023. (Florence Lo/Illustration/Reuters)

WeChat’s short video e-commerce drive suffers from a lack of customers

Tencent is pushing hard into the crowded social video market through its three-and-a-half-year-old Channels platform, a function embedded in WeChat. It has hopes of deriving associated revenue from livestreamed e-commerce. But how will this platform compare to frontrunners in the field such as Douyin and Kuaishou?