SHANGHAI/NEW YORK -- Pinduoduo, a company founded by a Google alumnus, has grown quickly from an upstart to a top player in a Chinese e-tail game long dominated by its two leading companies by tapping the power of social media and marrying it with bulk purchases.
"This is cute. Anyone else interested?" a 31-year-old Chinese shopper posted on WeChat with a link to a listing for children's clothing on the site of e-retailer Pinduoduo. If she purchased it on her own, the item would cost 26 yuan (about $4). But if she teamed up with three more people also willing to buy, she could get it for roughly one-third of the price, at 9 yuan.