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Alibaba

The latest in China’s online shopping scene is the US$3 shop 

E-commerce retailers are trying everything from live-streaming to 24-hour shopping festivals to entice more shoppers to spend online. 

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 March, 2018, 10:52am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 March, 2018, 12:59pm

Alibaba Group, which operates China’s largest e-commerce platform, has introduced a new mobile shopping app that sells products mostly priced below 19.9 yuan (US$3).

Called “Taobao Special Offer Edition”, the new service offers a wide range of goods, including clothes, iPhone cases and potato chips. Most of these offerings carry price tags below 20 yuan, inclusive of delivery costs, according to a review of the app.

Alibaba is launching the new low-price service at a time when newer online commerce sites such as Pinduoduo. founded by ex-Google engineer Huang Zheng, are gaining market share by offering discounted products to cater to consumers looking for cheap buys. Alibaba’s consumer-to-consumer e-commerce site, Taobao, and its Tmall service, which connects businesses with consumers, have helped the Hangzhou-based company win more than 400 million monthly active users. 

Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo are the top three e-commerce platforms in China in terms of active users, according to Analysys, a Beijing-based research firm. Pinduoduo, launched in 2015, has seen its users reach almost 100 million last year, an increase of 13 per cent from the previous year.

China has embraced online shopping and is home to the biggest shopping festival in the world, with Alibaba’s 24-hour Singles’ Day sales tally reaching US$25 billion last November. 

E-commerce retailers have been experimenting with new ways of selling to online audiences, with Alibaba and JD.com both hosting live-streaming shopping channels that allow shop owners and brands to either broadcast live video on their own or work with influences to market their products.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post