While AML (Anti- Monopoly Law) posed as a share overhang first on Alibaba Group (BABA US) starting late 2020, the regulator's recent focus shifted towards the smaller e-commerce platforms, Pin Duo Duo and Meituan.
On Monday, 10 May 2021, Shanghai Consumer Council, a quasi-government consumer protection agency, called a meeting with Meituan (3690 HK) and Pinduoduo (PDD US) representatives to address counterfeit goods and consumers' and laborers' complaints, according to Wall Street Journal. PDD and Meituan shares fell 9% and 7%, respectively, on the day, although PDD shares recovered some grounds on Tuesday.
Unlike the share overhang lifting for Alibaba with the announcement of the historic fine on 10 April, I believe share overhang will continue to plague the PDD shares as the uncertainty persists. This is one of the reasons I maintain my cautious stance on the stock.
I flagged in my Webinar on PDD, Smartkarma Webinar | Pinduoduo (PDD US): Know When to Fold on 7 April, that AML risk could be even more impactful for the leading group buying platform because of its greater reliance on promotions and marketing subsidies which is one of the target violation investigations. Moreover, I continue to be cautious about the stock because of its expensive valuation (P/Sales) and the risk of deteriorating investors' sentiment as revenue growth decelerates.
My previous reports on Pin Duo Duo:
China E-Commerce: Robust Consumption Data Hints at Online Spending Spree
Pin Duo Duo (PDD US): Four Charts To Make You Want to Run
Pinduoduo (PDD US): Know When to Fold, Know When to Run