Last week, China fined five community group-buy platforms for price dumping. The “she economy” is on the rise as consumption from Chinese women grows. Cross-border e-commerce site Ymatou and coffee chain Manner Coffee receive new funding.

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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 Mar. 4 – 10.

Curbing community group-buy

China’s top market regulator levied fines totaling RMB 6.5 million (around $1 million) on five community group-buy platforms for price dumping, reinforcing Beijing’s efforts to regulate the red hot industry.

The companies subject to the penalty are Didi’s Chengxin Youxuan, Pinduoduo’s Duoduo Maicai, Meituan’s Meituan Youxuan, Alibaba-backed Nicetuan, and Wuhan-based Shixianghui. (TechNode)

Female consumers power growth

  • Chinese female shoppers make household purchasing decisions in 75% of homes, according to a report released by online retailer JD.com, and are spending increasingly more on themselves as a proportion to the household. The report was released on International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. Women are driving growth in a diverse range of categories such as cosmetics, baby products, luxury goods, alcohol, cars, and mobile gaming, the report said citing Meha Verghese, executive at agency MediaCom. (JD)
  • A Pinduoduo consumption report identified the same trend, saying that the female users are spending more on products and services to “please themselves.” The sale of lipstick, skincare products, and apparel top the sales growth chart, according to the report. (Tencent Tech, in Chinese)
  • A total of 2.72 million female drivers work for Didi across Asia, Latin America, Russia, and Australia, according to a report from the ride-hailing giant. China accounts for 2.37 million of the total. Many women, who are often also caregivers and homemakers, turned to gig economy apps due to economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the report said. (Ifeng, in Chinese)

Earnings season

  • Chinese online grocer JD Daojia reported RMB 2.02 billion ($308.62 million) in revenue during the fourth quarter, an increase of 69.9% year on year. The revenue missed the $309.18 million average estimate compiled by Yahoo Finance. The company’s full-year net revenues in 2020 amounted to RMB 5.74 billion, a year-over-year increase of 85.2%. Total gross merchandise volume for the year of RMB 25.3 billion more than doubled compared with 2019. (Ebrun, in Chinese)
  • Fourth quarter revenue for China’s online travel platform Trip.com dropped 40% year on year to RMB 5 billion, which the company attributed to the pandemic. The decline in revenue slowed compared with 48% year-on-year drop in Q3 and 64% in Q2, signaling a gradual recovery of domestic travel market. (KrAsia)

This week in funding

  • Ymatou, the Chinese cross-border e-commerce site backed by microblogging platform Weibo, has closed a Series D Plus worth hundreds of millions of RMB from Prosperity Investment, local media reported. (36kr, in Chinese)
  • Chinese beverage chain Manner Coffee received investment from investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings at a valuation of $1.3 billion. The Luckin rival operates more than 100 stores across the country, mostly located in Shanghai. (Ebrun, 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.