The e-commerce upstart reported 21.5 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) in revenue for the three months ended September and a second consecutive quarter of profit. The number of customers who placed orders on its platform in the trailing 12-month period increased to 867.3 million, out of an estimated 1.1 billion mobile internet users in China.
Notably, sales and marketing expenses declined for a third straight quarter to 10.1 billion yuan in the third quarter. Spending on research and development (R&D) climbed to the highest level since its IPO in 2018, rising 34% to 2.4 billion yuan.
“We are placing more focus on investments in R&D, away from the previous emphasis on sales and marketing in our first five years,” Chen Lei, Pinduoduo
A computer scientist by training, Chen has placed more emphasis on R&D since he took over as CEO last July and Chairman in March. According to Pinduoduo
“The increased focus on R&D plays to the strengths of our management, given our training and backgrounds in engineering,” said Chen. “We want to leverage our strength in technology to deepen our digital inclusion efforts in agriculture.”
Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo
In agriculture, Pinduoduo
In August, the company announced a “10 Billion Agriculture Initiative” to address critical needs in China’s agriculture sector. The Initiative, which would be funded by profits from the company, was approved by shareholders in September. Profits in the third quarter will also be allocated to this initiative.