Update #63 - Sea Group, Pinduoduo Agriculture, and Chinese Sports Fans


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We update you on the most essential news from Asia in tech, media, and business—the things you need to know that you probably haven’t heard in Western media.

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Sea Group Gets Bigger and Bigger 🎯

  • Sea Group has been one of Southeast Asia’s biggest tech success stories. The eleven-year-old company owns Shopee (E-Commerce), Garena (Gaming), SeaMoney (Fintech) and their share price has increased 880% over the last 18 months. This KrAsia article makes the bull case for Sea potentially becoming the dominant Southeast Asian tech company, similar to a combination of Chinese Alibaba and Tencent. Shopee is currently the most popular e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Garena is the biggest games publisher in Southeast Asia.

  • Relatively speaking, there is more white space for technology companies in Southeast Asia vs. China. The technology startup scenes are currently less developed in Southeast Asia when compared to China. While not all parts of Sea Group are profitable, their performance is formidable and they continue to grow. I remember when Andrew Baisley mentioned Sea in our interview last month. Considering their incredible accomplishments, they are relatively unknown in the West and I look forward to keeping a closer eye on Sea.

Pinduoduo’s New Goal for Farm Produce 🍑

  • The massively impressive Chinese interactive e-commerce platform Pinduoduo has just set yet another ambitious goal. Pinduoduo aims to sell $145 Billion worth of agricultural goods by 2025. The company already sells tons of produce. Based of their official Q2 results, Pinduoduo sold $58 Billion worth of agricultural goods in 2019. 38% of Pinduoduo’s users made purchases within the fruit and vegetables category on the platform.

  • Currently, 2.5% of China’s agricultural goods are sold online and the structure of agriculture and produce is much more fragmented vs. the West. The US has much more industrial farming while China has a larger number of small farms. Compared to their rivals like Alibaba and JD.com, Pinduoduo has placed special emphasis on agriculture. If they are able to succeed, they might inadvertently create the most forward thinking agriculture e-commerce in the world.

The Digital Sports Platforms in China ⚽️

  • For several years, growing the local sports industry has been a key priority of the Chinese government. With such a large population, this presents huge opportunities for companies looking at sports fans. There are currently 213 Million people in China streaming sports online, which will likely continue to grow in the aftermath of Covid. This article highlights the top five sports news and streaming platforms: Tencent Sports, PP Sports, Sina Sports, CCTV-5, and Alisports.

  • Out of all the popular sports in China, two in particular stick out—Basketball and Football. The NBA is the most popular foreign sports league and the Chinese Super League is the most popular local sports league (CSL). For Western leagues, tapping into China is generally their biggest international opportunity. These sports platforms are growing off the back of increasing Chinese sport interest, which makes the sports industry one of the hottest to watch over the coming years.