What happened: Leading news and information distribution platform Jinri Toutiao was found having launched a factory-to-store e-commerce platform Zhidian (值点). Zhidian offers products including home & living, clothing, kitchen utensils, food & beverage, and car products. Jinri Toutiao controls 100% of the e-commerce 100% stake. Prior to Zhidian, in 2017, Jinri Toutiao launched another shopping platform, Fangxin Gou, and upgraded its product lines this April. There is no public information on the two e-commerce platforms’ commercial performance.
Why it’s important: It’s widely suspected that Jinri Toutiao’s traffic advantage and popular distribution platform are key strategic tools the company wishes to leverage. These would allow the company to cut into the online retail competition and boost sales. However, it’s still too early to say whether Jinri Toutiao’s e-commerce project would finally grow to a new business model with a substantial contribution to Bytedance, the parent company of Jinri Toutiao’s content and data based product matrix. So far, there is no information signaling any potential merger of Zhidian and Fangxin Gou.