Pinduoduo: From Zero to $23B in Three Years | TechBuzz China by Pandaily | SupChina

Ep. 17: Pinduoduo: From Zero to $23B in Three Years

In this episode of TechBuzz China, co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma tell the story of ecommerce company Pinduoduo, the fastest-growing app in the history of the Chinese internet, from its founding in 2015 to its recent listing on the Nasdaq. What does the company’s IPO prospectus reveal about the intentions and vision of its founder, Colin Huang? In what ways is the app a combination of “Costco and Disneyland” — or not? The episode concludes by revisiting the insights of Mark Pols, currently Corporate Development at Facebook and previously an investor with GGV Capital, whose comments were originally played in Episode 2, in which Pinduoduo was briefly covered.

Few in the West realize that Pinduoduo started as two parallel entities: Pinduoduo, which was a marketplace, and Pinhaohuo, which sold fruit and other perishable items via direct sales. The former was intended to be a side project, with the purpose of testing which items would be best for group-buying, but ended up generating 99.8 percent of the company’s revenues by 2017. Indeed, in the last twelve months, Pinduoduo has sold $41.8 billion worth of goods across 7.5 billion orders, with 344 million active buyers — more users than JD’s 302 million, but behind Alibaba’s 552 million. However, how valuable are these juxtapositions, given that Pinduoduo is comparatively just a “3-year-old child”?

Listen to the newest episode of TechBuzz China and learn about what Pinduoduo actually does, how it works, and how it’s gained success. Decide for yourself: how will the backlash and lawsuits around counterfeit goods affect Pinduoduo’s long-term success? Just how sticky and sustainable are the app’s viral user acquisition efforts? And more importantly, what can the rest of the world learn from this incredible domestic growth story?

As always, you can find these stories and more at Let us know what you think of the show by leaving us an iTunes review, like our Facebook page, and don’t forget to tweet at us at @techbuzzchina to win some swag!

Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu

Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu are both entrepreneurs and China-watchers who lived and worked in the technology space in China for many years. Rui Ma is also an angel investor. Together they host the TechBuzz China podcast by Pandaily, a tech media startup reporting on everything about China's innovation.