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How to Maintain the Sustainable Development of a Business Platform: A Case Study of Pinduoduo Social Commerce Platform in China

by 1, 1 and 2,*
1
School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xi’an 710126, China
2
Salford Business School, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226337
Received: 4 August 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 29 October 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
At present, the ‘platform business model’ has indicated innovative potentials not just in traditional industrial sectors such as telecommunications, IT and retail, but also other sectors like social commerce. However, ‘Platform’ is not static as it is firmed at the beginning. Using Pinduoduo as a case study, this research conducts in-depth interviews and surveys in China to analyze the dynamic change of the platform provider’s role for successful platform operation via the lens of platform business models. As a “2.0 generation eCommerce platform”, Pinduoduo platform has become the largest social commerce platform in China with continuous growth at a high speed. The study found that stabilisation of the platform has experienced two stages: spread and evolution. At the spread stage, the role of platform provider focuses on forming “incentive to participants” through “Low price + Social contact” strategy and “Gamification + brand channel” strategy. At the evolution stage, the provider’s role is transformed into manager of products/services quality and revenue structure. Pinduoduo’s quality control is composed of three levels, including front-end quality control, middle-end quality control and back-end quality control. Besides, platform revenue structure strategies are sponsor-type. The purpose of this study is to enlighten the current players in the market on how they might utilize the underlying rationales in framework to further develop their platform business models. From the perspective of a platform, sustainable development of a theoretical framework is proposed based on these findings to facilitate future research in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: platforms business ecosystem; social commerce; sustainability platform; case study platforms business ecosystem; social commerce; sustainability platform; case study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, W.; Wang, A.; Chen, Y. How to Maintain the Sustainable Development of a Business Platform: A Case Study of Pinduoduo Social Commerce Platform in China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226337

AMA Style

Zhao W, Wang A, Chen Y. How to Maintain the Sustainable Development of a Business Platform: A Case Study of Pinduoduo Social Commerce Platform in China. Sustainability. 2019; 11(22):6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226337

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhao, Wu, AnQi Wang, and Yun Chen. 2019. "How to Maintain the Sustainable Development of a Business Platform: A Case Study of Pinduoduo Social Commerce Platform in China" Sustainability 11, no. 22: 6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226337

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