When it comes to e-commerce in the US, Amazon is hands down the biggest player. It has nearly 38% of the overall market, with Walmart coming in second at just over 6% of the roughly US$768 billion industry.
But Chinese company Pinduoduo (PDD) is coming to challenge Amazon’s presence in the industry, according to people familiar with the plans. The company had so far mainly been operating in China, where it broke through by incorporating e-commerce retail sales with social media platforms like WhatsApp, where people could share coupons with their friends for mutual benefits. It has also managed to withstand hardship, growing 2.5% during the same period that Alibaba, which runs AliExpress internationally, contracted.
This is a big deal because it challenges Amazon on its home turf, but it also changes the way PDD could be handling its share-trading structure. So far, the company has been trading only in the US market. But as tensions have been rising between the two countries over audit practices, there has been some speculation that PDD might begin trading on the Hong Kong exchange instead.
Either way, Amazon might be losing ground in the US since Chinese clothing retailer Shein also just passed Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in the world.
“While Amazon’s core business is still a major force in the retail space, recent macroeconomic events have presented some headwinds,” wrote Jeff Santoro for the Motley Fool.
“The Shanghai-based company is looking for new growth avenues at a time when its domestic economy is sputtering and will follow in the footsteps of successful international ventures like Shein and AliExpress,” Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources close to the effort to bring PDD to the US market.