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China tech

Alibaba's grip on e-commerce pried loose by rivals and regulators

Pinduoduo beats established leader in active users amid shifting market trends

The Alibaba e-commerce empire built by founder Jack Ma is showing cracks.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Alibaba Group Holding, the Chinese e-commerce colossus beset by regulatory scrutiny and intensifying competition, has suffered another blow by losing the lead in domestic users to upstart rival Pinduoduo.

Pinduoduo's annual active users surged by 35% in 2020 to 788 million. The five-year-old company, which has used low prices to power its meteoric rise, edged Alibaba's 779 million users -- a landmark moment for China's online retail market.

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