Pinduoduo surpasses 800m users in record time, deepens push into agri- and food-tech

Pinduoduo cemented its position as China’s leading agriculture and grocery platform after surpassing 800 million annual active buyers in record time and first-quarter results beat market expectations.

Total revenues, excluding revenues from merchandise sales, rose 239% to 22.2 billion yuan in the three months ended March, the Nasdaq-listed company said in a statement. The number of annual active buyers rose to 823.8 million for the 12 months ended March, while MAU increased to 724.6 million, as Duo Duo Grocery drove customer engagement.

“Our overarching commitment to serving our users has helped us to put in yet another strong quarter,” said Chen Lei, Pinduoduo Chairman and CEO. “We continued to build trust and mindshare with our users, as can be seen in the continued increase in user activity on our platform.”

In amassing an unprecedented 823.8 million active customers, Chen said that the growing scale of the platform has endowed the company with greater capacity - and also responsibility - to drive change and deliver more benefits to society.

Chen highlighted agriculture as an area where the company is marshalling its resources to catalyze improvements. The direct access to hundreds of millions of consumers and over 8.6 million merchants has made Pinduoduo “uniquely well-positioned to bring top minds from around the world together to develop practical solutions to real-world problems that our users encounter every day,” he said.

Pinduoduo announced a research partnership with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to conduct a study examining the health impact of substituting animal proteins with novel plant-based proteins, in addition to an earlier project to develop a low-cost and portable way to test for pesticide residues announced last year.

Chen also highlighted logistics as an area where Pinduoduo can use its economies of scale to drive positive change and reduce food loss, energy waste and carbon emissions. Noting that parcels in China still mostly travel on circuitous routes to reach consumers, Chen said the company is working on point-to-point route planning and cold-chain logistics to optimize point-to-point delivery.

“Pinduoduo has some advantages in this area. We originate many parcels – over a third of daily parcels in China last year – and have expertise in complex system design,” Chen said. “As we continue to grow, I believe that we can use our scale for good.”


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