ByteDance’s international short video app TikTok is planning to roll out a livestream shopping feature in an effort to duplicate in the US the success of Chinese version Douyin. Troubled coffee chain Luckin filed for bankruptcy in the US. E-commerce site Vipshop.com was fined RMB 3 million for unfair competition. Didi Chuxing is raising $4 billion funding for its community-based grocery delivery unit.
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 Feb. 3 – 10.
TikTok bets on social shopping
TikTok, Beijing-based ByteDance’s short video app, is reportedly planning several new features for its e-commerce expansion in the US. The move builds on the success of a similar push from its Chinese version Douyin, now a major player in China’s livestream e-commerce market.
Livestream shopping has become widely popular in China. Another features allows TikTok users to share links to products and automatically earn a commission. The viral short video app piloted a shoppable experience with Walmart in December. (Financial Times)
Luckin Coffee filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on Friday to fend off US creditors during a liquidation process that is already underway in the Cayman Islands, where it is registered. The company will continue its China operations, “including paying suppliers, vendors, and employees.” The filing comes almost a year after the company admitted falsifying RMB 2.2 billion ($310 million) in 2019 sales. (TechNode)
Beijing has imposed a RMB 3 million fine on the operator of Vipshop.com for unfair competition, just a month after the flash sale online retailer was penalized RMB 500,000 for irregular pricing. (TechNode)
Didi boosts group-buy unit
Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to raise $4 billion for its community group-buying unit, doubling down on the rising sector to diversify its revenue streams amid slowing growth in its core business. Didi could chip in $3 billion while seeking about $1 billion from external investors. (Bloomberg)
Fresh produce e-commerce
Suning Logistics, part of omni-channel retailer Suning Group, rolled out Su Xian Da, a new fully linked cold chain solution from warehousing to distribution. The service offers cold-chain delivery service to consumers within 48 hours. Suning, along with a group of online sellers and delivery services, will continue its logistics and delivery services during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, generally a low season for China’s logistics industry. (Tencent, in Chinese)