Pinduoduo is an e-commerce company established in 2015 and headquartered in China. It is the leading online agricultural product market in China. In 2020, the company had 784 active buyers and 8.6 million merchants.
Pinduoduo partners with universities to support technology research in agricultural production. The company collaborates with the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation to research cost-effective tests for food contaminants. It also collaborates with the China Agricultural University to organise Pinduoduo’s Smart Agriculture Competition, where data scientists use artificial intelligence (AI) to grow food remotely to test its economic benefits against traditional methods.
Little evidence was found of the company’s activities to make digital technologies widely available, affordable and accessible. Pinduoduo can more clearly demonstrate how it contributes to universal and affordable access to digital technologies, and how it supports digital inclusivity for women, girls and people with disabilities. It can also demonstrate how it generates direct and indirect economic value in its main markets.
Pinduoduo has an opportunity to broaden its support for digital skills development, especially basic and technical digital skills. It can expand efforts to promote school connectivity among vulnerable and underrepresented groups. The company should consider carrying out a third-party assessment of the impact of its Duo Duo University programmes on advancing digital skills.
Little evidence was found in reference to Pinduoduo making digital technologies safe and secure. The company can more clearly demonstrate how it assigns senior-level oversight of and accountability for cybersecurity and how it monitors, remedies and reports on security incidents. Pinduoduo should also make a high-level commitment to child online protection.
No policies or commitments of the company relating to respect for human rights were found in the public domain. There is no public evidence of Pinduoduo committing to respect the ILO fundamental labour rights. Nor does the company disclose a process to identify, assess and mitigate the salient human rights risks associated with its own operations and with its business relationships.
The company provides information on its gender diversity in various employee categories. However, no policies or commitments of the company relating to providing and promoting decent work were found in the public domain. As such, Pinduoduo does not disclose that it provides secure, safe and healthy workplaces, where workers are fairly remunerated and have a meaningful say in decision making.
Pinduoduo has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships. It also has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints. The company does not disclose a global tax strategy and states that it had no income tax liability in 2020. Furthermore, Pinduoduo does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. Specifically, the company has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.