China's news aggregator Toutiao launches shopping app to compete with Alibaba, JD.com

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/16 22:13:41

Toutiao platform launches shopping app


News platform Jinri Toutiao has launched an e-commerce app Zhidian to sell consumer goods, a move that experts said shows the company's desire to leverage its massive traffic and technology advantages into the lucrative internet retail industry.

The site was quietly launched in September, media reports said. Toutiao did not respond to an interview request by the Global Times, but public information showed that Toutiao owns 100 percents of Zhidian.

The Global Times accessed the app on Tuesday and saw that the platform offers clothes, food and beverages, household goods and kitchenware.

Liu Dingding, an industry analyst based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Toutiao has cooperated with a number of e-commerce players such as JD.com and Taobao in recent years. The start-up, through these partnerships, found a way to bring its huge traffic in the news app sector to the e-commerce business.

"Toutiao wants to generate more income, and it is not satisfied with merely being an advertiser," said Liu.

Toutiao has the money, the technology needed for big data and artificial intelligence, a large user base, and experience in promoting market hit products, and that's another reason why the company has the confidence to move into a new industry, Liu added.

"Toutiao has more than 200 million users, and launching an e-commerce site would help it capitalize on its huge traffic to expand its market space," Liu said.

Toutiao's sister app Douyin, a short-video sharing platform, has become one of China's top short-video apps since launching in September 2016. Douyin now is valued at around $10 billion, news website ifeng.com reported.

Despite the advantages, Liu said Zhidian's prospects are uncertain, as the general market in e-commerce is dominated by giants like Alibaba, JD.com and Suning. Pinduoduo also leads the retail model that targets bargain-hunters in smaller cities.

"It also depends on how Zhidian cultivates user habits and optimizes its supply chain. It's going to be another cut-throat competition," Liu said.


Newspaper headline: Toutiao platform launches shopping app


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