Caixin
Jul 31, 2020 08:09 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Retailer Suning Reaches Livestreaming E-Commerce Deal With Douyin

Douyin users will now be able to buy products sold by Suning without leaving the video platform.
Douyin users will now be able to buy products sold by Suning without leaving the video platform.

In the run-up to a shopping extravaganza next month, online retailer Suning.com has partnered with Bytdance Inc.’s short-video platform Douyin to take advantage of the country’s rapidly growing livestreaming e-commerce segment.

The alliance resembles the tie-up between the two companies’ respective rivals, e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. and video-platform operator Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co. Ltd., in the latest sign that retailers and streamers are betting big on selling goods via livestreaming.

Douyin users will now be able to buy products sold by Suning — such as appliances and electronics — without leaving the video platform, where celebrities and professional livestreamers will be doing their best to hawk products.

The next of several annual major sales in China will take place on Aug. 18, a date considered auspicious because it sounds like “get rich” in Chinese.

In the first half of this year, with many of China’s brick-and-mortar stores shuttered and consumers wary about venturing from their homes, retailers seized on livestreaming as a way to keep revenue up.

Luo Yonghao, the founder of smartphone-maker Smartisan Technology Co. Ltd., racked in over 110 million yuan in his first livestream session in April. In an attempt to offset the pandemic-induced profit plunge, chairwoman of appliance-maker Gree Electric Appliances Inc. Dong Mingzhu sold billions of yuan worth of products over the course of several livestreaming sessions this year.

China’s livestreaming e-commerce market was worth 433.8 billion yuan last year, and is expected to rake in about twice that figure in 2020, according to an iResearch report. More than 4 million online sales promotion shows were livestreamed in the first quarter, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Contact editor Joshua Dummer (joshuadummer@caixin.com)

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