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China's thrifty shoppers behind Pinduoduo's $1.9bn IPO plan

Ex-Google engineer aims to challenge Alibaba, JD.com with bargain-hunters' platform

The logo of Chinese online group discounter Pinduoduo
Pinduoduo had 343.6 million active buyers as of June 30, who spent an average 762.8 yuan a year on the platform.    © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Pinduoduo's customers do not fit the image of the typical tech-savvy Chinese shopper. Instead, they are a group of bargain-hunting moms and pops, who might team up with friends and refresh a shopping website every few minutes to save less than a dollar on a package of fresh apples.

However, these humble shoppers -- many live in remote Chinese villages and lower-tier cities -- have lent solid support to the Chinese group-buying platform's business, spurring an upcoming initial public offering which could raise as much as $1.87 billion in the U.S. stock market.

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