On March 25, several Pinduoduo employees stated on social media that Taobao implemented a so-called “risk control” strategy against them by blocking them from their platform. The Taobao homepage displayed to Pinduoduo employees is inconsistent with the Taobao homepage seen by other users and lacks important modules related to coupons and money saving recommendations.
Such “risk control” strategies are quite common in business competition. Similar situations have also previously occured between short-video giants TikTok (Douyin) and Kwai (Kuaishou), as well as in the early days of local travel platforms Ctrip and Qunar.
Pinduoduo will likely also block accounts belonging to Alibaba employees from accessing certain features on their platform. In response to this, Alibaba’s Taobao stated “Taobao did not refuse Pinduoduo‘s employees, but we resolutely say no to all illegal action and illegal behaviors.” Employees at Alibaba believe that Pinduoduo scrapes a large amount of their product information, posing a threat to the company’s data.