Most, if not all, of our readers are familiar with e-commerce websites and related transactions. Notably, Amazon.com’s empire, as well as other forms of e-commerce such as iTunes subscription services or purchasing an e-Book are part of these transactions. In recent news, one of China’s largest e-commerce websites is being sued in the United States for selling counterfeit and knock-off products. Shares of the company, Pinduoduo, plummeted after news of the lawsuit was made public. Currently, six law firms are in the process of filing class actions on behalf of investors who purchased shares of Pinduoduo. The company went public in the United States earlier this year, raising over $1.6 billion from investors. Pinduoduo is traded on NASDAQ under PDD, and currently has a $25 billion market cap.
Pinduoduo is known for combining online shopping with entertainment. It was founded in September 2015 by Colin Guang, a former Google employee. As of now, however, the company has faced an influx of negative media in China, with claims that the platform sells knock-offs of major brand names. This selling of fake goods could give investors standing to sue. If the investors were misled, and invested because of the false information, they will have a cause of action under the federal securities laws. Executives of companies, and insiders who communicate information to investors about a company, have a duty not to make any misleading or materially false statements about the company. This includes information about the financial health of the business.
Started only three years ago, Pinduoduo had 295 million active users and 4.3 billion total orders in 2017. China is the largest online retail market, with other e-commerce names such as Alibaba and JD.com. Pinduoduo sells groceries, electronics, clothing, and household items, among other things. While Amazon may be the number one e-commerce website in the United States, Pinduoduo is the second larges e-commerce website in China behind Alibaba.