What is Pinduoduo?

Pinduoduo (拼多多) is the largest interactive e-commerce platform in China and in the world. It is the third-largest online marketplace behind Alibaba and JD.com in China.

It has pioneered several new trends that have revolutionized online shopping in China including:

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  • social e-commerce
  • team purchase
  • consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M)

Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo has become the fastest growing tech company in the world. In 2019 Pinduoduo has generated over RMB 1 trillion gross merchandise value (GMV), 585.2 million active buyers and an average daily order of 54 million parcels in 2019 and 628.1 million active buyers in 2020.

Recently Pinduoduo has implemented a series of initiatives to improve the agricultural sector in China.

Initiatives like:

  • The Smart Agricultural Competition
  • The Duo Duo Farm and its Agricultural Research Lab
  • PDD “Help the farmers” initiative

Let’s explore these interesting initiatives…

What is The PDD’s Smart Agriculture Competition?

The Smart Agriculture Competition is organized by Pinduoduo and the China Agricultural University, with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The competition, which has already attracted interest from almost 40 teams worldwide, has the aims to help the agriculture sector in the country embrace digitization by exploring the use of the latest technologies.

In order to better promote the implementation of these new models and technologies, Pinduoduo has created Duo Duo Farms in Yunnan to explore new agriculture models for the industry.

Duo Duo Farms aims to improve the economic livelihood of merchants:

  • It is a guide on how to sell on the Pinduoduo platform for farmers
  • It leads to jobs creation and talents development

As the importance of smart agricultural information technology has become increasingly evident, Pinduoduo established the Duo Duo Agricultural Research Lab, where the team explore smart agriculture applications together with agricultural experts.

Through this Smart Agriculture Competition, Pinduoduo’s team hopes to invite global experts to improve the economic benefits of agricultural production through smart agricultural information technology and to provide valuable suggestions for our Duo Duo Agricultural Research Lab.

Participating teams with experts from all over the world will compete in the cultivation of the best strawberries. Winners will be determined based on:

  • the economic value created,
  • the reliability,
  • scalability,
  • technical merit of the agritech solutions deployed.

How is going the PDD’s Smart Agricultural Competition?

The preliminary round started in June 15th where global teams are applying IoT and machine learning to grow strawberries remotely in PDD smart greenhouse. Then from July 1st till October 30th the battle for the finals takes place.

Currently, four teams have progressed into the finals, which will take place over on November 12 in the Yunnan highlands.

These four teams are experts in the fields of:

  1. crop nutrition,
  2. image recognition,
  3. environmental control,
  4. algorithm engineering.

Technology teams will compete with farmers who use traditional cultivation techniques to see who can get the maximum economic benefits from their assigned greenhouse space. The teams will also be assessed on the feasibility of implementing their intelligent agriculture proposals in Yunnan, taking into account factors such as local climate and costs.

The winners of the challenge will receive:

  • research funding,
  • implementation support at a Duo Duo Farm in Yunnan,
  • academic and commercial support from PDD.

This competition is PDD’s way of helping the agri-tech ecosystem in China and foster global learning and knowledge exchange.

PDD “Help the farmers” initiative in China

PDD had set up a “Help the Farmers” channel on Feb 10 to connect agricultural producers and consumers to alleviate supply-demand disruptions caused by anti-epidemic measures. It is an example of a company that is creating opportunities and streamlining the industry chain with innovative agri-tech tools to raise efficiency and reduce wastage and costs.

PDD continued to work to improve farmers’ livelihoods in poor regions of China through the use of e-commerce and “cloud agriculture”.

A report from the University of Tsinghua highlighted the three transformations of PDD as the key to the “cloud agriculture” model that improve:

  • information,
  • intelligence,
  • scale.

Its model allows demand and supply data to be digitized and to be better matched in real time, thus extending the short shelf life of agricultural products and increasing the geographical reach of rural businesses.

Through its “Help the Farmers” initiative:

  • PDD has helped more than 67,000 farmers from about 400 agricultural areas, including 230 poverty-stricken counties,
  • Nearly 1,500 metric tons of agricultural produce sold through special livestreaming program.

PDD quickly collected information on excess supplies of fresh products and recommended relevant products to our users, thus channeling increased demand in areas of oversupply. In addition, by exploiting the livestream he managed to accelerate sales.

PDD’s online channel helped farmers reach a new customer base, while consumers gained access to a much broader selection than that offered at their neighborhood outlets.

The Duo Duo farm initiative

As a B2B2C platform, PDD also played an important role in securing farmers with the agricultural supplies they needed for the spring sowing season, as well as receiving technical advice through streaming lessons with experts.

Thanks to the Duoduo farm initiative, PDD has also provided farmers and traders with e-commerce training such as basic accounting and online marketing techniques.

Through this training, farmers can sell their products directly on the Pinduoduo e-commerce platform. The platform connects farmers directly with consumers, without relying on layers of intermediaries in the traditional supply chain, allowing farmers to earn a better living and consumers to buy at lower prices.

In fact, the farmer is able to get a net profit from the entire transaction value chain because even after deducting the logistics costs, the packaging costs, he is still doing more than he would have done if he had sold the whole load to one of the offline distributors.

Seafood is one of the fastest-growing categories on PDD

Over the years, PDD has helped develop 86,000 new farmers and last year the value of products from poor counties sold through the platform increased by 130% to 37.3 billion yuan.

Now that COVID-19 is moving more grocery purchases online, in addition to new farmers, other grocery merchants are also benefiting. Seafood is one of the fastest growing categories on the PDD, as consumption outside the home decreases and more and more consumers are cooking at home and looking for fresh fish at lower prices.

Sales in the seafood category increased 60% in the first quarter of this year.

As mentioned previously, the platform is an excellent opportunity for merchants because they are able to earn a greater net profit than offline sales.

Specifically, compared to the traditional fish supply chain such as the hair tail, where supermarkets have to sell fish at a minimum of 13.30 yuan / kg to earn, instead, on the PDD platform, since they have no intermediaries in their chain of supply, they can sell them for 10 yuan / kg including the delivery fee, and still make a profit.

Do you want to know more about how to use PDD platform to boost sales? Contact GMA ecommerce a digital marketing agency, specialized in Chinese digital market.

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