Can China’s fastest growing e-commerce startup find similar success in Southeast Asia?

Editor’s note: This was contributed by Sheji Ho, the Group Chief Marketing Officer at aCommerce, an end-to-end e-commerce enabler in Southeast Asia. Currently based in Bangkok but having previously worked in China, Sheji writes about e-commerce, tech, the internet, and how Southeast Asia is the next China.

Pinduoduo, or PDD, is a social commerce app founded by Colin Huang, an ex-Google engineer, in September 2015. Only a couple of years old, PDD has become the fastest growing e-commerce company in China. It raised $100 million in 2017, is backed by China’s Banyan Capital and Tencent, and valued at a whopping $1.5 billion.

As of Feb 21, 2018, PDD ranks #3 overall in the Chinese iTunes app store ranking for free apps, after popular apps like Tik Tok (aka Douyin) and WeChat, and ahead of other shopping apps like Taobao. PDD went from 100 million yuan ($16 million) GMV a month in early 2016 to 4 billion yuan ($630 million) GMV a month by 2017, putting it in fourth place behind Alibaba, JD, and Vipshop.

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