Chinese food delivery giant Meituan is mulling a secondary listing on the mainland. Alibaba is planning to invest $300 million in Farfetch, the UK-based online luxury retailer that has been expanding aggressively in the Chinese market. Singles Day got off to a strong start while regulators stepped in to reinforce market order. 

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China’s e-commerce and retail market offers a fire hose of products, choices, business models, rapidly changing content, and more. Here’s what you need to know about China’s online retail market for the week of Oct. 22 – Nov. 4.

 Another Meituan listing

  • Meituan, the Chinese food delivery and service platform, is considering a secondary listing on the mainland Chinese market, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The source said the debut could come as soon as next year. Chinese media outlet Caixin reported that the company is in preliminary discussions with several brokers including CITIC Securities, Huatai Securities, and Huajing securities. Caixin’s source said that Meituan is deliberating between Shanghai’s STAR Market and Shenzhen’s Chinext exchanges. The decision would depend on leniency toward profitability requirements for listed companies, according to the source. (Bloomberg)
  • Yatsen Holding, the parent company of Chinese online-first cosmetics brand Perfect Diary, on Friday filed for a listing in New York. The 4-year-old company also operates color cosmetics and skincare brands Little Ondine and Abby’s Choice. The three brands combined sold products to 23.4 million consumers in 2019. (SEC filing)
  • Chinese short video and livestreaming app Kuaishou is reportedly readying to file a prospectus for a listing in Hong Kong as early as this week, with both Tencent and Alibaba affiliates participating. (The Beijing News, in Chinese)

E-commerce M&A

  • Alibaba is reportedly in talks to invest nearly $300 million in Farfetch, the London-based online retailer of luxury goods. The two companies plan to set up a Chinese joint venture. Alibaba competitors JD.com and Tencent are both investors in the platform. (The Information)
  • Luo Yonghao, bankrupted founder of Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan who returned to prominence with e-commerce livestreams, entered a preliminary agreement to sell 35% to 51% of his livestreaming company to cable manufacturer Sunway Co. Luo, who is still on China’s debt blacklist, said in September that he had returned nearly RMB 400 million ($60 million) of the more than RMB 600 million he owes. (Chinanews, in Chinese)

Strong Singles Day start

  • JD’s whole-day sales for Monday, the first day of the Singles Day shopping festival, surged 90% year-on year. Dairy products, shampoos, and rice topped the fast-moving product category, while smartphones, washing machines, and televisions were the top three bestsellers for electronics. (Netease News, in Chinese) 
  • Hundreds of millions of consumers flooded to Taobao and Tmall to place orders and check out the 14 million discounted items at midnight on Monday. On Oct. 21, the first day of the presale, Tmall Global’s gross merchandise volume increased by more than 90% compared with the same day a year earlier, according to a company statement.

Regulators in the move

  • Five Beijing market regulators including the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Market Supervision and Administration and the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau summoned nine major Chinese e-commerce platforms including JD.com, Tmall, and Meituan. Authorities urged the sites to tighten control over various promotional campaigns during the Singles Day period. The move is to crack down on practices such as false advertising, order-brushing, and fraud. (Beijing Daily, in Chinese)
  • China’s banking and insurance regulator warned investors in a notice released on Oct. 28 about potential risks involved in purchasing financial products, such as cryptocurrency and foreign currencies, through livestreams. Some livestream operators are not qualified to sell financial products and may engage in fraud and misleading practices, it said. (Xinhua, in Chinese)

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.