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Amazon launches pop-up store on China’s Pinduoduo platform

By Hugh Wilson

The world’s largest online retailer has struggled to gain a foothold in the Chinese market

Amazon is to launch a pop-up store on Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo just months after closing its own Chinese marketplace.

The temporary shop will offer Chinese customers a selection of around 1,000 overseas products, and will run until the end of December. Amazon said the shop would combine “competitive prices, authenticity guarantee and convenient shipping.”

The store was offering everything from video game gear to baby goods as it launched on Monday, with brands including Champion, Waterpik, and Enfagrow. Goods are available from countries including Australia, Japan, the US and Germany.

Both Amazon and Pinduoduo have struggled recently to compete with local giants Alibaba and JD.com in a highly competitive online retail environment. While Amazon closed its Chinese third-party marketplace in July, Pinduoduo suffered a $11bn (£8.5bn, €9.9bn) crash in value last week after suffering bigger-than-expected quarterly losses.

Nevertheless, Pinduoduo has around 530 million users and has made inroads into rivals’ market share by competing on cost. The tie-in with Amazon is thought to be part of a strategy to reposition itself as a reliable source of high quality, authentic products, rather than simply a low price seller.

A spokeswoman for Pinduoduo said that the partnership would “offer equal opportunIties for our users to access global products.”

Online sales are booming in China, hitting 3.9 trillion yuan ($554bn) in the first half of 2019, up 17.8 per cent compared with the same period last year. Alibaba and JD.com boast a combined 84 per cent market share.

FURTHER READING: Alibaba's sales jumped 25% to $23bn during Singles' Day

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