Pinduoduo's ecosystem chaos; Alibaba's AI; YMTC's 3D NAND progress; CATL, BYD's global battery battlefield - China Tech Digest #1
How China’s is doing with its hard tech sector
A key question for China’s growth story for the next decade will be how well China’s tech sector, especially the so-called “hard tech” (as opposed to consumer internet), can develop into a globally advanced level. However, a considerable amount of high-quality content in China resides in the the Chinese-language world, and is neither reported by mainstream western media nor easily searchable. China Tech News Digest is a curated series that provides the most important trends and updates on China's public companies and industry leaders. We monitor and scan information in these less accessible domains under-reported by mainstream media, but are still worth your attention. This includes millions of articles published by professionals, independent journalists, industry experts, and analysts on platforms such as WeChat official accounts.
In this series, we cover sectors such as E-commerce, AI, Semiconductor, EV & Battery. Companies covered in this issue include: Pinduoduo, Alibaba, CATL, BYD, among others.
Industries covered in this issue:
E-commerce & Internet
Tech and AI
EV & Batteries
E-commerce & Internet
Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD): Pinduoduo's ecosystem seems to be falling into some kind of unexplained loss of control
On Pinduoduo, consumers can either return goods for a refund or request a refund without returning the product if they find quality issues. This option was intended to force sellers to ensure product quality, but it has become a "loophole" for some to profit, favoring buyers unconditionally.
Sellers on Pinduoduo encounter unresolved malicious behaviors such as buyers choosing quality issues as a reason for return to avoid paying return shipping fees, purchasing all of a store's products and requesting a refund without returning items, and filling out shipping addresses as remote areas to make sellers lose money on shipping costs.
"Pinduoduo has always played a good cop [to consumers, leaving all the troubles to merchants]”, some merchants say.
Xu Jie [the merchant] found that sometimes logistics problems are attributed to the merchants. If the product is not shipped within 48 hours, a fine is imposed. If there is no logistics information within 24 hours after shipment, a fine is imposed. During the epidemic, various cities were locked down and lifted at uncertain times, and some Pinduoduo merchants went bankrupt due to fines caused by logistics issues.
Merchants are holding back their grievances while being unable to leave Pinduoduo. Some lawyers have already warned that some of these behaviors have violated the law, and the out-of-control stores need to find reasonable solutions.
💡 Why we think it’s important
China's e-commerce landscape is changing rapidly, presenting new challenges for industry giants. While Alibaba's restructuring is a step in the right direction, it doesn't necessarily guarantee long-term success. The emergence of live-streaming shopping services like Douyin and Kuaishou, as well as the presence of Pinduoduo and JD, are introducing new changes to the competitive landscape. Investors should carefully review these developments.
Tech and AI
Alibaba (NYSE: BABA): Alibaba’s recent AI development
Alibaba researchers have developed a framework called 4K-NeRF that can achieve high-fidelity view synthesis at 4K ultra-high resolution. The framework is based on NeRF's volume rendering method and uses patch-based ray sampling technology to encode 3D geometry information in a lower-resolution space. The researchers also introduced a view-consistent encoder-decoder module to model geometry properties effectively and enhance view consistency across the full-scale space. The framework can render a 4K image in 300ms, making it efficient in terms of inference time and memory cost. The researchers hope to integrate the framework into dynamic scene modelling and neural rendering tasks in the future.
AInnovation (HKG: 2121): AInnovation launched GPT for Manufacturing Industry
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