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Pinduoduo Slides Despite Positive Q4 Results

Pinduoduo's fiscal fourth-quarter revenues surged 146% and the company passed Alibaba in the number of annual active buyers.
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Pinduoduo  (PPD)  was a whirl of activity Wednesday, as the e-commerce company posted better-than-expected results, beat out rival Alibaba  (BABA)  to become China's largest e-commerce company by annual active buyers and announced the resignation of founder and chairman Colin Huang.

Shares of the Shanghai-based company were sliding 8.4% to $147.31 at last check.

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The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of RMB1.38 billion ($212.2 million), or RMB1.13 ($1.17) per American depositary share. Adjusted losses per share came to RMB0.15 ($0.02), compared with the FactSet consensus calling for a loss of RMB0.29 ($.05).

Revenue surged 146% to RMB26.55 billion ($4.08 billion), smashing FactSet's consensus of RMB19.19 billion ($2.95 billion). 

"We saw six years ago that mobile is the only way to go," said Chen Lei, Pinduoduo's CEO who is now succeeding Huang as chairman. "Therefore, we are the only major consumer internet company in the world that is mobile only. The mobile internet fundamentally transforms the way humans interact with each other.” 

Pinduoduo said that in 2020 the number of active buyers, or users who bought at least one item last year, increased 35% to 788.4 million, exceeding Alibaba's total of 779 million annual active buyers.

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Last July, Huang handed over the CEO role to Chen, who was then the company's chief technology officer. The company said Huang was stepping down from his chairman role to pursue research for Pinduoduo in the food and life sciences, calling them "disciplines where breakthroughs could drive the future of China’s largest agriculture platform."

Chen said the company wants to build up a faster and lower-cost agriculture logistics infrastructure platform "that will reduce waste and speed up delivery of perishable food, thus making groceries more affordable."

Meanwhile, China's government has reportedly asked Alibaba to dump some of its media assets over concerns about the company's influence over public opinion.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government was pressuring Alibaba to distance itself from founder Jack Ma and was planning to impose penalties on the tech giant.