Source | iFeng Technology (ID : Ifeng_tech)

Author | Xue Xingxing Editor | Yu Hao


If it were n’t for the financial report on the same day as Pinduoduo, Ali ’s share price might not have fallen so much.

On the evening of yesterday (May 22) Beijing time, Alibaba and Pinduoduo released the financial report for the previous quarter. Ali, who has not announced the GMV for a long time, rarely emphasized his GMV in the financial report this year-the annual GMV exceeded 1 trillion US dollars and fulfilled his promise five years ago. “This is a historic milestone,” Zhang Yong said in the financial report.

But this news did not bring much confidence to the market. During the same period, the financial report released a lot, although it is still losing money, and it has set a new loss since Q3 2018, but the number of annual active buyers increased by 42% year-on-year, a net increase of 42.9 million in a single quarter, steadily crossed the 600 million mark, reaching 628 million . Compared with Ali’s 726 million in the domestic market, the difference is less than 100 million.

Market sentiment is reflected in the stock price. As of yesterday’s close of US stocks, Pinduoduo’s stock price soared 14.5%, its market value increased by 10 billion US dollars, and its total market value exceeded 80 billion US dollars. Ali fell 5.87%, and its market value evaporates over 30 billion US dollars.

Corresponding to the strong user growth momentum of Pinduoduo, in the Q1 quarter of the relatively low season of e-commerce, Pinduoduo ’s marketing and sales expenses still reached 7.297 billion yuan, which was nearly higher than its quarterly revenue of 6.541 billion yuan. 800 million yuan. This led to Pinduoduo’s net loss reaching 4.119 billion yuan in the quarter, far exceeding market expectations.

From Pinduoduo to nowJudging from the more than 40 billion yuan in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investment, ammunition is still sufficient. In a conference call after the release of the financial report, Huang Zheng, founder of Pinduoduo, said that in the future, he will continue to invest as in 2019 and start investing in other sectors.

“Increasing the rate is not an indicator of our management’s KPI.” Huang Zheng said. In other words, Pinduoduo will not consider profit at present, and the loss will continue.

The only question is, how can it maintain a high growth rate when Pinduoduo ’s annual number of active buyers is approaching Ali?

In Q4 of fiscal year 2020, Ali ’s total revenue was 114.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 22%, which was higher than previous market expectations. However, its net profit attributable to shareholders of ordinary shares fell steeply, only 3.162 billion yuan, a year-on-year decline of more than 80%, the lowest value in the past two years.

Ali explained in the financial report that the decline in net profit was due to the net investment loss caused by the decline in the trading price of its equity securities of listed companies invested in this quarter, and similar investments in the same period in 2019 generated revenue. Calculated by non-GAAP excluding investment losses and gains, the net profit was 22.287 billion yuan, an increase of 11% year-on-year.

Blindly setting up Alibaba, which has been established for 21 years and has a market capitalization of more than US $ 500 billion, is obviously inappropriate to compare with Pinduoduo, which has only been established for 5 years and is still losing money.

However, in terms of revenue structure alone, retail business is still the bulk of Ali ’s revenue, with revenue accounting for more than 80%, at RMB 938.65. Among them, the e-commerce sector composed of Taobao and Tmall is the core of the two, and the two contributed about 60% of the revenue. Compared with, which has a strong self-operated logistics system, Ali was significantly more severely affected by the epidemic. Its retail business revenue growth slowed to 19%, only half of the previous quarter.

Ali ’s retail revenue is charged by advertising and commissionPredominantly. The growth rate slowed in the quarter, partly due to the decrease in commission income, which offset the increase in customer management revenue. The combined growth of the two was only 1%. The other part was due to the impact of the epidemic, which resulted in a decrease in the number of paid clicks and the average unit price per click.

A quite bright spot in the earnings report is the cloud computing business, with revenue of 12.2 billion yuan in the quarter, an increase of 58% year-on-year, and has exceeded 10 billion yuan for two consecutive quarters. The market is quite optimistic about Alibaba Cloud, and Morgan Stanley has raised the valuation of Alibaba Cloud to USD 77 billion.

Alibaba proudly stated in its financial report that with the data released by Gartner in April this year, Alibaba Cloud has become the largest cloud computing service provider in the Asia-Pacific region. However, the revenue of this business accounted for only 11% of the total revenue, which was not enough to offset the negative impact of the epidemic on Ali.

The big entertainment segment represented by Youku is an “A Dou” that can’t be helped. The revenue growth rate in the quarter was only 5% year-on-year, at 5.944 billion yuan. In the same competition with iQiyi and Tencent Video, Youku also has no advantage. According to the QuestMobile Semi-Annual Report 2019 released last year by QuestMobile, Youku lags behind iQiyi and Tencent Video in terms of both the active rate of paid users and the retention rate of paid users on the 14th.


After many years, Alibaba finally listed the total GMV as the focus of the financial report. In FY 2020, the GMV of Alibaba’s digital economy reached 7.053 trillion yuan, surpassing 1 trillion US dollars, and achieved its goal set five years ago.

The background of Ali ’s reiteration of the total amount of GMV is obviously affected by the increasingly fierce growth of Pinduoduo. Looking at the growth rate of Tmall’s GMV, the year-on-year growth rate was only 10%. In comparison, the GMV of Pinduoduo once again exceeded one trillion, and the year-on-year growth rate remained above 100%.

Alibaba said in its financial report that during the epidemic, users ’demand for daily necessities surged, but this part of the growth was offset by negative growth in other categories, such as clothing accessories, home decoration and auto parts. And for a long time, clothing category has always been the bulk of Ali’s e-commerce business. “If there is no impact of the epidemic, I think our performance in March this quarter will be better.” Zhang Yong said in the earnings call.

In terms of user increments, Alibaba’s domestic annual active users in the quarter were 726 million, a quarterly increase of 15 million, and mobile monthly active users reached 846 million, a quarterly increase of 22 million. forIt has been difficult for Alibaba, which has been established for 19 years, to maintain tens of millions of growth.

However, “Houlang” is fierce. added more than 25 million annual active users in the current quarter, setting a new high in low-season user growth. Pinduoduo’s single-quarter net increase of 42.9 million was stronger than Ali.

“Alibaba’s cardinal number is there”, Meng Qingbin, a professor at Renmin University of China Business School, believes that the growth of Alibaba’s domestic users has almost reached the limit, and it can’t be simply compared with the competition in the high-speed growth period. He believes that Ali’s future user growth point may come from overseas, “India, Southeast Asia and other underdeveloped regions and Europe.”

In fact, before Pinduoduo appeared, Alibaba had set its sights overseas. Four years ago, it acquired Lazada, Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform for 1 billion US dollars. Last year, it also took over Koala, Netease’s cross-border e-commerce platform.

But after a lot of hard work rising from the sinking market, Ali had to retreat back to the country. Last year, it restarted the business that had become the edge of the group, and merged it with the Tiantian special sale and Taobao buying that originally belonged to the Taobao business group, and entered the subsidy war.

In March of this year, Taobao Special Edition was officially launched, focusing on C2M customization. It also launched Taoxiao shop, a shopping app similar to social e-commerce-each item is directed at a lot.

On the earnings call last night, the analyst ’s first question was about Ali ’s sinking market strategy in the coming year. Zhang Yong said that they are a comprehensive and three-dimensional strategy in the sinking market, and there is still potential for further user growth in the low-end market. In the past year, over 70% of Ali’s new domestic users came from the sinking market. Ali’s existing 780 million annual active users covered 45% of the people from the sinking market.


After many years of development, e-commerce platforms have long unconsciously turned subsidies into a business. When festivals are promoted, deposits are expanded, zero-point spikes, red envelopes, more and more means, the more rules The more complicated it is, the more difficult it is for consumers to enjoy real discounts.

Only if there is a lot of fighting in the middle of the game, and the brand is not played according to the routine, this company believes in simple business logic and high subsidies can only get high users. In June 2019, it shouted “10 billion subsidies” to re-introduce e-commerce platforms into a subsidy fight.

Duopinduo in the past 3 quartersAt least 20 billion yuan has been invested in subsidies and promotion. In the second quarter after the opening of 10 billion subsidies, Pinduoduo GMV exceeded one trillion. Even in the Q1 quarter, which was heavily affected by the epidemic, the GMV of Pinduoduo maintained a 108% year-on-year growth rate in the past 12 months, reaching 1157.2 billion yuan, nearly doubling in a single quarter.

The large increase in GMV during the epidemic caused frequent inquiries from analysts. Both CICC analysts and Morgan Stanley analysts asked about the increase in GMV during the quarter. Huang Zheng said that GMV growth reflects consumer recognition of Pinduoduo platforms and strategies. He explained that from February to March, consumer enthusiasm for consumption has recovered, and consumer desire has not been greatly affected by the epidemic.

“We have made a lot of promotional activities on the platform,” Huang Zheng said that since March, consumers have placed 50 million orders on Pinduoduo every day. “Based on the current frequency of purchases and purchase expenses of users, our GMV has increased significantly.”

There is no other reason, real gold and silver subsidies, only in exchange for a lot of beautiful data. In the Q1 quarter of 2020, Pinduoduo’s expenditure reached 7.297 billion yuan, nearly 800 million yuan higher than its quarterly revenue.

Now, Pinduoduo ’s annual active buyers have reached 628 million, which is within 100 million of Alibaba ’s 726 million. There are already bold media speculations in the market that Pinduoduo’s annual active buyers exceed Ali, which is no longer a luxury.

From the perspective of Huang Zheng on the earnings conference call, Pinduoduo will not consider profit in the future. The subsidies will continue and the losses will continue as before.

“Pinduoduo itself has been very clear about what it wants to do, which is to continue to expand the category through subsidies and open platform advantages, increase customer unit prices and user stickiness and repurchase rate, to maintain a steady increase in user size.” China E-commerce Association senior expert Zhuang Shuai analysis said.

But the problem is that the number of users cannot increase forever. Pinduoduo has approached Ali’s user scale. Where will the future growth point be? “This is probably the best financial report of Pinduoduo in terms of user growth,” Zhuang Shuai believes that Pinduoduo’s future user growth may slow.

At least for now, Pinduoduo is still changing. Since February this year, it has increased its investment in agricultural products on the platform. According to a survey report recently released by China Merchants Securities, the proportion of total sales of agricultural products on Pinduoduo platform has reached 15%, including white-label C2M customization, which will provide strong momentum for Pinduoduo’s long-term growth.