China’s Pinduoduo Revenue Disappoints as Pandemic-Led Shopping Boom Wanes

Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc posted quarterly revenue that missed market estimates on Friday as the appetite for online shopping diminished with vaccinations and relaxed curbs aiding the reopening of the economy.

Shares of the Shanghai-based company, down nearly 54 percent this year, fell nearly 12 percent in premarket trading.

With more shoppers returning to brick-and-mortar stores, online sales have slowed down after a boom at the start of the pandemic. Chinese authorities have also increasingly clamped down on large tech companies to keep a check on monopolistic practices.

“We are placing more focus on investments in R&D, away from the previous emphasis on sales and marketing in our first five years,” Pinduoduo chief executive officer Lei Chen said in a statement.

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Chinese shoppers have also become more cautious about spending as Covid-19 outbreak clusters, as well as supply disruptions, hampered the country’s economic growth in the third quarter.

US-listed shares of rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , which slashed its annual revenue outlook earlier this month, were down 2.7 percent, while those of Inc fell 3.5 percent before the bell.

Meanwhile, Chinese food delivery giant Meituan reported a fourth consecutive quarterly loss on Friday, as it plowed more investments into expanding its various businesses.

For Pinduoduo, total revenue was 21.51 billion yuan ($3.37 billion) in the third quarter, below analysts’ average estimate of 26.59 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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Average monthly active users during the quarter grew 15 percent to 741.5 million.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was 1.64 billion yuan during the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 784.71 million yuan a year earlier.

By Tiyashi Datta and Sophie Yu; Editors: Vinay Dwivedi and Ramakrishnan M.

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