Alibaba Vertical Marketplaces – What You Need to Know About Haishangxian, Suning, Meicai, and Pinduoduo


You have probably heard of Alibaba vertical marketplaces. But do you know the difference between Haishangxian, Suning, and Meicai? If so, you’re not alone. Many of the best digital agencies are assisting clients in listing, advertising, and transacting on Alibaba.


In addition to the existing B2B verticals, Meicai has been the subject of some recent venture funding. First, Meicai must pre-treat its goods, which isn’t an automatic process. It is also exposed to the vagaries of fuel costs and food price volatility. Moreover, it is working to recoup its operating profits by training and supporting its partners.

Secondly, Meicai is working on improving the efficiency of its logistics. It aims to cut down on transportation costs by optimizing the weight arrangement of cargo and determining the optimal delivery route. Thirdly, it plans to expand its product offerings. This will require it to increase its SKUs and increase its customer stickiness.

Meicai must ensure that all products sold through its website are safe and of high quality. To do this, the company has to certify its manufacturing facilities and rigorously vet its potential suppliers. In addition, it has strict quality control procedures on site. It also needs to ensure that its purchasing power is strong enough to influence market prices.


Alibaba has invested in startups including Meicai, an agricultural marketplace that connects farmers with business buyers, and Haishangxian, a seafood ecosystem focused on a single fishery. While Alibaba has invested heavily in these businesses, it has also been exploring vertical marketplace opportunities in other markets. These tracks include deep moats, a specialized vertical, and a large standalone market.


The platform is a direct connection between farmers and shoppers. Unlike most e-commerce platforms, Pinduoduo allows users to purchase items either individually or in groups. The platform offers both online and mobile access to its merchants.

The company’s success is largely due to lateral thinking. By offering a totally different service, Pinduoduo has a significant differential advantage over its competitor. It also uses basic codes from a consolidated channel to attract customers.

Alibaba Vertical Marketplaces - What You Need to Know About Haishangxian, Suning, Meicai, and Pinduoduo 1

Another key feature of Pinduoduo is its ability to form a team. Users can recruit others to form buying groups and earn cash or free products. This allows users to get better deals, and the company can acquire more users at relatively low costs. This also gives the platform the ability to spread viral effects.

Users of Pinduoduo tend to be located in smaller cities and rural areas. They are relatively new to the internet, and are largely lower-income and female. This means that they are more price sensitive than men and are more likely to buy more frequently. These factors make Pinduoduo a good candidate for international expansion. Its unique offering could be the key to its success.  


The Suning Alibaba vertical marketplace will expand its business model to include customer-to-business models. The goal is to improve brand service, respond quickly to consumer demands, and enhance the online-to-offline operating model to better serve small and medium-sized retailers.

The partnership between Alibaba and Suning will also serve as a catalyst for new consumer electronics brands. The companies will combine their retail assets, distribution facilities, and online shopping websites to create a comprehensive omni-channel platform for consumers. By doing so, consumers will be able to easily buy consumer electronics without the hassle of having to visit physical stores.

Suning is a global technology company that operates franchised retail stores for consumer electronics appliances. The company sells colour televisions, audio and video players, disc players, refrigerators, washing machines, and other household electronics. It also offers installation and repair services for these electronic appliances.

Alibaba Vertical Marketplaces - What You Need to Know About Haishangxian, Suning, Meicai, and Pinduoduo 2

The new version of Alibaba is called Pinduoduo. It is equally aggressive and technologically astute. Its pricing structure is very similar to Costco, and it cuts multiple layers of middlemen to reduce prices. It also deals directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for large scale distribution.

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About the Author: Amanda Byers

Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.