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Amazon gets fresh ecommerce challengers right before the holiday season

The news: China-based companies Pinduoduo and ByteDance are promoting newly minted international ecommerce platforms.

  • TikTok-owner ByteDance has launched a fashion website called If Yooou that’s currently shipping to customers in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.
  • Pinduoduo unveiled an ecommerce site called Temu that sells products from multiple categories like sports and electronics, aimed at US customers, per CNBC.

How we got here: Pinduoduo and ByteDance are trying to emulate the success of other ecommerce companies like Shein, Alibaba, and JD.com.

  • The move comes at a time when China’s economic slump and continued zero-tolerance COVID-19 policies make foreign markets enticing opportunities for digital retail customers.
  • Pinduoduo’s direct links to suppliers could give it an edge in appealing to inflation-burdened customers if it can keep prices low.
  • ByteDance could use TikTok’s influence to build its foreign customer base.

Amazon’s bane? The entrance of new ecommerce players could be bad timing for Amazon right after it reported dismal Q3 earnings and is bracing for a subpar Q4.

  • The tech giant’s downsizing and expense cuts could give it less stable footing to boost sales over the holiday season just as rivals encroach on its turf.
  • But Amazon losing out on sales to If Yooou and Temu isn’t guaranteed. It’ll likely depend on whether those platforms can offer competitive pricing on similar products within digital shopping interfaces that consumers trust and want to use.
  • Amazon’s move to court low-income shoppers with its Access hub could give it traction during an otherwise sluggish holiday shopping season.