Last week, China’s market regulator rolled out a set of new rules addressing newer innovations in the e-commerce market. Two of China’s largest “sharing economy” firms filed for public listings in the US. Online housing firm Beike posted its first profitable year, while the parent company of budget cosmetics brand Perfect Diary reported fourth quarter losses despite a jump in revenue.


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. 11 – 17.

More discipline for China e-commerce

China’s market regulator introduced on Monday a set of e-commerce laws pertaining to recent developments in the ever-evolving sector, including livestreamed sales, user data privacy, and forced exclusivity. (TechNode)

Sharing economy giants head for IPO

  • Energy Monster, the Softbank-backed Chinese power bank rental company, has filed for an initial public offering in the US. A February IFR report said the company aims to raise $300 million. The prospectus showed that the firm had received a D round exceeding $200 million led by Alibaba’s Taobao China and CMC Moonlight Holdings, followed by CGI and Hillhouse Capital. The company’s total 2020 revenues increased 38.9% year on year to RMB 2.8 billion ($430.6 million) from RMB 2.0 billion in 2019. However, its net income more than halved to RMB 75.4 million in 2020 from RMB 166.6 million in 2019 as people spent less time in public places during the pandemic. (SEC filing)
  • Bike rental firm Hello Inc. filed confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange  Commission for an IPO in the US market, according to sources cited by Bloomberg. (TechNode)

Earnings season

  • Chinese online housing firm Beike announced Monday that its fourth quarter revenue rose 57.6% year over year to RMB 22.7 billion, and it booked net profits of RMB 1.1 billion compared with RMB 3.1 billion in losses the same period in 2019. Gross transaction value improved 65.4% year on year for the reporting period. The company posted net income of RMB 2.8 million for the fiscal year ended December, the first profitable year since its public debut in August. (Beike)
  • Yatsen Holding Ltd., parent of budget cosmetics brand Perfect Diary, reported a fourth quarter net loss of RMB 1.5 billion compared with net profit of RMB 46.2 million the same period a year earlier, driven by rocketing marketing expenses. Its revenue during the quarter increased 71.7% year on year to RMB 1.9 billion thanks to user base growth. (Caixin)

Livestream e-commerce

The value of China’s livestream e-commerce market jumped 121.5% year on year to RMB 961.0 billion in 2020, up from RMB 433.8 billion in 2019, while growth decelerated from 226.2%. The number of shoppers who make purchases via livestream is expected to rise 8.2% to 635 million in 2021, up from 587 million in 2020.  (Iimedia Research, in Chinese)

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.