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How PDD, Temu’s Parent, Surpassed Alibaba as China’s Top E-Commerce Giant

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 30, 2024

How PDD, Temu’s Parent, Surpassed Alibaba as China’s Top E-Commerce Giant

PDD Holdings‘ value-for-money strategy and the rapid growth of its Temu marketplace have propelled the tech giant to the forefront of China’s e-commerce market, making it the most valuable company in the segment, according to analysts.

On Wednesday, PDD Holdings reported stellar first-quarter results, driving its shares up by as much as 7.5% and pushing its market capitalization beyond that of its rival, Alibaba Group. PDD shares have more than doubled in value over the past year, rising by 109% according to LSEG data.

PDD, which owns the Chinese discount shopping app Pinduoduo, now boasts a market capitalization of approximately $208 billion, compared to Alibaba’s $196 billion. trails behind with a market capitalization of $48 billion.

Analysts are optimistic about PDD’s future growth. “We think Temu’s profitability will improve faster than previously estimated due to its introduction of the half consignment model, under which logistics costs will be borne by merchants,” Morningstar said in a note on Thursday.

Morningstar analyst Chelsey Tam added, “We also believe PDD’s domestic platform will be able to defend its position given the strong consumer perception of its value-for-money positioning.” She noted that PDD tops their preferences, with and Alibaba in second and third spots, respectively.

Goldman Sachs also raised PDD’s rating to “buy” from “neutral” on Friday, citing the company’s ongoing growth in advertising revenue and the potential of its Temu platform. “The upgrade comes on the back of its adtech capabilities combined with China’s cost-competitive suppliers, merchants, supply chains, and favorable risk-reward, with the current market cap implying no valuation ascribed to Temu,” Goldman Sachs analyst Ronald Keung said.

PDD’s impressive financial performance underscores its dominant position. On Wednesday, the company reported that its net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the March quarter surged by 246% to $3.87 billion (27.99 billion Chinese yuan) from a year earlier, far exceeding LSEG’s estimate of 12.86 billion yuan.

Revenue from transaction services, also known as merchant fees, increased by 327% from the same period last year, reaching $6.14 billion.

“We proactively responded to the consumption promotion policies and launched a series of promotional activities to meet users’ shopping needs during the spring festival and other seasonal events,” PDD stated during its earnings call. “We are confident in the consumer market in China.”

Despite its strong performance, PDD faces stiff competition. It had briefly overtaken Alibaba’s market capitalization in the fourth quarter of last year but lost the top spot in the first quarter of this year, according to LSEG data.

PDD’s first major push overseas came with the launch of Temu in September 2022. Temu’s popularity soared after it aired a Super Bowl ad in 2023 that invited customers to shop “like a billionaire.” The platform has since become a favorite among bargain-hungry Americans and has expanded aggressively into Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

In a report earlier this month, BofA noted that Temu, TikTok, and AliExpress are “leveraging the experience” of their parent and sister companies. BofA considers Temu to be “relatively better placed” among these platforms.

CompanyMarket CapitalizationNet Income Q1 2024 (CNY)Revenue from Merchant Fees (USD)
PDD Holdings$208 billion27.99 billion$6.14 billion
Alibaba Group$196 billion3.3 billionNot specified$48 billionNot specifiedNot specified
  • PDD’s Market Leadership: PDD Holdings is now the most valuable company in China’s e-commerce segment.
  • Stellar Financial Performance: PDD’s net income surged by 246% in the first quarter.
  • Growth of Temu: The Temu marketplace has expanded rapidly, gaining popularity in the U.S. and other international markets.
  • Analyst Upgrades: Both Morningstar and Goldman Sachs have provided optimistic forecasts and ratings for PDD.

PDD’s strategy of offering value-for-money has resonated well with consumers, enabling it to maintain a strong position in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Its proactive approach to consumption promotion policies and seasonal events has also contributed significantly to its financial success.

PDD Holdings’ impressive growth trajectory, bolstered by its strategic value-for-money positioning and the expansion of its Temu marketplace, has firmly established it as the leader in China’s e-commerce market. As the company continues to leverage its strengths and explore new opportunities, it is well-positioned to maintain its competitive edge and achieve sustained growth in the future.

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Featured Image courtesy of Tech Wire Asia

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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