JD’s grouping-buying service lands on WeChat in hard catch-up with Pinduoduo

Chinese online retailers are gearing up for the upcoming “Double 11” shopping festival.

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JD.com, China’s besieged e-commercer, just landed its group-buying service dubbed Jingxi on Tencent’s WeChat as the company has been playing a hard catch-up with its local rival Pinduoduo which got off the ground by leveraging on the messaging app’s hyper popularity.

Jingxi is a social e-commerce marketplace, targeting price-conscious consumers in lower-tier cities, where Pinduoduo made its fortune.

KrASIA reported earlier this year that Jingxi comes in several forms, including a dedicated app, a WeChat mini-program. Additionally, Tencent would also throw its weight behind JD through putting Jingxi on WeChat’s “Discovery” tab, giving Jingxi direct access to the app’s whopping online traffic of one billion monthly active users (MAUs).

The support from Tencent proves to be a successful move for Jingxi. Within one hour since its access point went up on WeChat on October 31, Jingxi booked around one million orders. A total of nearly 60 million items were sold the whole day.

JD.com claimed that 42% of new users that day came from Jingxi, and 74% of Jingxi’s news users were from less-developed areas in China.

Tencent’s helping hand comes at a time when JD.com is losing its ground in the country’s fierce e-commerce sector competition. Pinduoduo surpassed JD in terms of Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) as well as market valuation, KrASIA reported. Pinduoduo and JD.com both have Tencent as their investor.

However, WeChat has been rethinking about these rampant external links, which could hurt its user experience, therefore, it started to block this kind of sharing with a commercial nature. A slew of companies could be hurt by the updated regulation, including Pinduoduo.

This month is a busy time for Chinese online retailers due to the upcoming November 11, also known as “Double 11,” an annual shopping extravaganza introduced by Alibaba ten years ago.

The E-commerce top dog said it will save consumers at least RMB 50 billion (USD 7 billion) and hoped to attract more than 500 million customers to shop in China’s Black Friday, while JD.com kicked off its shopping event even earlier with the slogan “Billions of subsidies, hundreds of billions of discounts.”  Other players like Suning, Vipshop and Pinduoduo have also rolled out their deal plans.