Case Folio
Pinduoduo Inc.: Turning the Covid-19 Crisis into an Opportunity

Article Details
Pub. Date : Mar' 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Case Folio
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJCF20321
Author Name : Hadiya Faheem and Debapratim Purkayastha
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



The case is about Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo Inc.'s (PDD) strategy before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Founder Colin Huang Zheng (Colin) described PDD as a combination of Costco and Disney, i.e., the company combined bargain products with entertainment. China, being the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, witnessed a disruption in businesses and supply chains across the country through factory closures, roadblocks and mandatory quarantines. Farmers in China too faced difficulties selling their farm produce as large agricultural wholesale markets were closed down in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19. PDD took this as an opportunity and leveraged its strength of being one of the largest e-commerce online platforms for agricultural products in China. In February 2020, the company launched a 'Help the Farmers' campaign wherein it collected information about surplus agricultural products and connected farmers with consumers through its online platform, live-streaming the perishable stock. While PDD supported farmers, merchants, employees and consumers during the outbreak of Covid-19, it also offered business subsidies and medical supplies, and donated funds. Going forward, PDD aimed to digitize agriculture in a bid to capitalize on the rising demand from consumers for safe and reliable produce in the wake of the pandemic. The senior management team at PDD had the onerous task of tapping this opportunity to fuel post-Covid-19 growth.


In October 2020, Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo Inc. (PDD) announced that it aimed to take digital technology into the agricultural fields in a bid to capitalize on the rising demand from consumers for safe and reliable produce in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. David Liu (David), Vice-President of Strategy, PDD, said, "We think we are heading in the right direction, not only through our own effort but because the industry is becoming more acceptive of e-commerce in agriculture. Specifically for agriculture and fresh produce, I think people's acceptance for the convenience has increased, and this is particularly true with the younger generation, people born after the 1990s."ii

Pinduoduo was perfectly positioned for people being stuck at home.i

-Tom Ronk, CEO, Century Pacific Investments,1 in July 2020.

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