China’s next Pingdouduo for apparel is on fire

The kaleidoscopic ecosystem of current Wechat e-commerce can be perfectly summarized in below picture:

Among all the players, Pingduoduo is the ultimate bonanza as this 3 years old startup is already on its way of going IPO with the valuation of at least USD 20 billion. Its success leverages two pillar ideas:

  • cheap as hell under the concept of group buying or bordering on the grey area of selling fake products
  • the mass distribution channel of Wechat mini-program

Pingduoduo’s rise is also fueled by Tencent’s investment which takes its 18.5% stake. Now Tencent is looking for the next Pingduoduo in the making…introduce Haoyiku, focusing on apparel.

Established in December 2017, the founder is the former general manager at Alibaba’s bargain deal site Juhuasuan. In June, it raised US$15 million series A from IDG Capital. This week, Tencent led series B worth at least several hundred millions of RMB.

The mechanism is facilitating every individual become a Wechat vendor selling apparels at ease. You register the service, buy the products from Haoyiku at discounted prices and sell them to all your connections either via WeChat groups or moment. You even get a bonus if reaching a certain sale target. See video demo:

Haoyiku claims it partners with brands like Nike, Addidas, Li-Ning, to help them reduce their inventories. More than 60% of the products on Haoyiku are apparels, which would be at least 30% cheaper compared with Tmall or other e-commerce channels, specifically targeting at consumers in 3rd or even lower tier cities whose spending behavior is often below RMB1000 (if using mini-program user behavior as the benchmark).

Many research papers suggest even though traffic contribution of mini-program is relatively small for top e-commerce players, it has been growing very quickly. It is said Tencent intends to throw massive capitals to build up the scale of Wechat social shopping, in order to compete with Alibaba’s Tmall/Taobao empire. Tencent is constantly seeking to nurture the next Pingdouduo, and its money acts like hot iron to mark the endorsement on the body of Haoyiku.

By: Cecilia Wu