Summary of Pinduoduo’s IPO Takes China Back 20 Years

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While online shopping platform Pinduoduo raised more than $1.6 billion in a NASDAQ IPO just three years after its launch, the company’s success hasn’t been without controversy. In an article from that went viral on Chinese social media, author Da Wei Weng delivers a scathing critique of the company’s sales of shoddy and counterfeit products. While the company’s defenders claim that the pricing allows more consumers to purchase the goods and to improve their standard of living, Da Wei Weng reprimands Pinduoduo’s misleading and underhanded advertising tactics. The flood of fake goods the company sells, he argues, has dialed back hard-fought consumer rights gains. getAbstract recommends the article to consumers in China and consumer watchdogs everywhere.

About the Author

Da Wei Weng is a writer for



China was flush with fake products in the 1980s and 1990s. Famous cases include a major counterfeit drug scandal and the infamously poor quality of leather shoes made in Wenzhou that often lasted only a day. In those decades, the reputation of Chinese product quality plummeted abroad. Fake goods coming out of China negatively affected exports and foreign relations.

The pervasiveness of the counterfeit business propelled the government to form and support consumer protection bodies and anti-piracy regulations. The annual Consumer Rights Day Gala on March 15th – a two-hour television program that first aired in 1991 – aimed to protect consumer rights by identifying and shaming companies that produced fake or poor-quality goods. However, the once hugely popular show has become less relevant; China’s capacity for innovation has grown and the number of counterfeit scandals has decreased. All these developments have led many to believe that the situation...