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China tech

Look out, Alibaba: Pinduoduo surges into top ranks with 680m users

Founded by ex-Googler, Chinese e-tailer creates social media buzz to sell in bulk

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.

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