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[July 5-18th] Summer bi-mensual Panda Review #11 China digital news


🛍️ E-commerce & Co.

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DAO INSIGHTS – July 16, 2021

Archrivals Alibaba and Tencent look into removing barriers between platforms

As part of the changes, WeChat users could be able to access Alibaba’s services on the platform’s Mini-Programs, or share Alibaba’s e-commerce listings through the app. In return, consumers could be allowed to use WeChat Pay on Alibaba’s platforms. The move from China’s two largest tech companies is thought to be a response to the tighter stance being taken by Chinese regulators, as evident in the recent crackdown on Didi and overseas listings.

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Pinduoduo Inc: Fast-Growing E-Commerce Company Most Americans Have Never Heard Of

In the first quarter of 2019, Pinduoduo had 289.7 million MAUs. By the first quarter of this year, the number had surged to 724.6 million, marking a total increase of more than 150%. In 2020, Pinduoduo’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) grew by 66% year-over-year to RMB1.7 trillion ($255.6 billion). In the first quarter of this year, the company generated RMB22.2 billion ($3.4 billion) in total revenue, up by 239% year-over-year.

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GLOBAL TIMES – July 14, 2021

JD become ‘more amicable’ to seep into regulatory changes

A recent subtle logo change for’s app, together with the company’s latest announcement that it will raise workers’ wages have sparked speculation that the leading Chinese e-commerce platform is seeking to nurture a more compliant, low-profile image and shoulder more social responsibility amid the nation’s drive to tighten industry regulation. 

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ALIZILA – July 8, 2021

Secondhand Trading Takes Off in China as Apps such as Alibaba’s Idle Fish Make Recycling Easier

In 2014, Alibaba’s leading e-commerce marketplace Taobao took on the idea of re-commerce and launched Idle Fish to nurture a circular e-commerce economy in China. The two apps are interlinked so shoppers can browse through their purchase history on Taobao and select any item for reselling with just one click on Idle Fish. China’s re-commerce market will generate over RMB500 billion (US$77 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) on the app by the end of this year. Up from RMB200 billion last year.

🤳 Digital Marketing, KOL 

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JING DAILY – July 16, 2021

Louis Vuitton Pre-Launches Fall 2021 Menswear At Shanghai Popup

As the first luxury house to kick off a large-scale physical runway show in China after the pandemic, Louis Vuitton is now a veteran of leveraging event marketing. On July 8, Louis Vuitton unveiled a pop-up store dedicated to its Fall 2021 menswear collection in Shanghai — stocked with ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, and shoes — in advance of local boutiques. The space is open to the public between July 9 and 15. Over 28000 posts featuring store visiting experiences were shared on Little Red Book over a week.

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RADII – July 16, 2021

This Popular Chinese Social Media Startup Has Suspended Its US IPO

Just two weeks after ride-hailing giant Didi was taken off Chinese app stores for breaching user privacy laws after a high-profile US initial price offering, one of China’s most popular social media and ecommerce platforms Xiaohongshu (aka Red, or 小红书 in Chinese) has shelved its own US listing plans. The news comes as more and more Chinese startups are weighing up the ramifications of their US IPO plans, amidst the country’s recent regulatory crackdown on tech companies.



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JING DAILY – July 16, 2021

How Weibo Is Fueling Social Capital For Luxury Brands In China

China’s Twitter equivalent, Weibo, has become a major conduit where luxury brands can communicate with Chinese consumers. On July 15, Weibo hosted a panel titled: Empowering Luxury Innovation and Expanding Brand Influence. With Weibo’s edge in social listening and data tracking, the social media giant explored social interaction opportunities for its luxury partners.



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JING DAILY – July 16, 2021

Burberry Sales Rebound After Chinese Boycotts

Despite coming under fire in China for its stance against Xinjiang cotton — losing two of its star ambassadors and a much-anticipated Honor of Kings partnership in the process — Burberry has emerged relatively unscathed. On July 16, the British luxury house stated that the issue had “relatively limited impact” on the business, with sales in the mainland actually surpassing pre-pandemic levels by over 55 percent in the three months to June 26. 

✈️ Travel Retail, tourism 

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How China Tourism Group Duty Free Is Capitalizing On A Domestic Duty-Free Boom

China Tourism Group Duty Free (CTGDF) is planning a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and hopes to raise $7 to 10 billion. It signals CTGDF’s confidence even as its domestic market is becoming more competitive. If successful, it will likely herald a push to capture more of the globe’s duty-free shopping business, which would include Chinese tourists traveling internationally. 

👀 New Technologies

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KRASIA – July 19, 2021

Xiaomi surpasses Apple to become world’s second largest smartphone brand

Xiaomi became the world’s second largest smartphone vendor behind Samsung, surpassing Apple in Q2 2021, as its shipments jumped 83% year-on-year to hit a 17% global market share during the quarter, per data from Canalys. Xiaomi’s boost came as Huawei slashed its smartphone business, especially in overseas markets, under pressure from US sanctions. Proceeds from overseas markets accounted for half of Xiaomi’s total revenue, founder Lei Jun said in an internal letter to staff.


DAO INSIGHTS – July 16, 2021

Meituan & Eleme face competition as Douyin launches takeaway platform

ByteDance is joining the takeaway market with its short-video platform Douyin. A team has recently been set up for its new food delivery business “Xindong Takeaway”, and a test version has been launched on the platform. Douyin is home to 600 million daily users so the service will provide a huge opportunity for food and beverage merchants on the platform. Xindong takeaway will initially be launched in first and second-tier cities and will later be expanded to other cities across the country.

🏮 A little bit of Culture


JING DAILY – July 11, 2021

What China’s “Lying-Flat” Trend Means For Luxury Brands

Young Chinese consumers are shifting toward a slower life as a rebellious reaction against the societal pressure they face. Online, the “Lie Flat 躺平” movement describes the mindset of Chinese youth fed up with fast-paced urban life and meaningless competition. In response to China’s “lie-flat” trend and its continuing China pride, brands need to rethink the concept of their physical stores by combining a Western mentality with traditional Chinese leisure activities.

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RADII – July 15, 2021

Why are Young Chinese People So Obsessed with Camping in 2021?

For years, conventional social activities in China have centered around shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, and KTVs. In post-Covid China, however, young people are tired of these traditional forms of socializing, and are gradually gravitating towards more adventurous experiences in their search for new forms of entertainment.


DAO INSIGHTS – July 9, 2021

ByteDance combats overtime culture with end to ‘big and small week’ schedule

Tech giant ByteDance has announced that it will end its ‘big and small week’ working schedule on 1 August 2021. The schedule forces employees to rotate six-day weeks (‘small week’) with a normal five-day working week (‘big week’). From the beginning of August, teams and individuals who need to work overtime must submit ‘overtime applications’ to ByteDance’s online system.

 💻 Precious report



Four Months to Singles’ Day: Five Actions That Brands and Retailers Should Take To Prepare for the Festival

Brands and retailers need to prepare their logistics, marketing and inventory management strategies well in advance of Singles’ Day 2021 in order to ensure that they are well positioned to drive traffic and maximize sales—particularly this year, as the world continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. With four months to go until the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, this report presents five actions that brands and retailers should take to set themselves up for success.