Despite a steep revenue drop in the first quarter of 2020, Chinese fashion e-commerce platform Mogu saw robust growth in sales linked to live video broadcasts as the country’s brick-and-mortar stores were closed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In its latest earnings report released Friday, New York-listed Mogu said that about 65% of its total first-quarter gross merchandise value came from livestreaming-related sales, which grew 54.1% year-on-year to 1.58 billion yuan ($223.2 million). While livestreaming-related sales increased, the total gross merchandise value of sales for the period was 2.42 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year decrease of 33.8%.
As of the end of March, the number of active buyers of goods sold through livestreaming increased to 3.6 million, Mogu said.
Mogu bet big on livestreaming more than a year ago, when the company kicked off a reorganization plan, a key part of which was to scrap some businesses unrelated to its core livestreaming e-commerce business.
Mogu also announced plans to recruit more livestreaming hosts with a promise to provide them with more incentives, a move that has triggered some analysts’ concerns over a potential increase in operating cost.
In the quarter through March 31, Mogu’s total revenue declined 45.3% year-on-year to 119 million yuan, while its net loss was roughly unchanged at 142 million yuan versus 140.8 million yuan a year ago, according to the earnings report. It attributed the weak results mainly to the coronavirus outbreak, which led to disruptions to apparel supply chains, merchant operations and logistics.
Yuan Ruiyang contributed reporting.
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