A tagline in an Apple ad suggesting there are “many reasons” to upgrade to the company’s latest smartphone, the second-generation iPhone SE, sent Chinese consumers flocking to Pinduoduo (PDD) in search of the best online deals.
“Many” in Chinese coincides with the abbreviated name of PDD — duo duo — sparking speculation that the e-commerce platform best known for value-for-money products will include the iPhone SE in its popular 10 Billion Yuan Subsidy Campaign.
As of 12 p.m. on April 16, more than 1.48 million consumers have visited PDD’s 10 Billion Yuan Subsidy Campaign channel to search for “iPhone,” “iPhone SE” and related terms. Search traffic for the Apple products page on PDD surged to more than 20 million daily hits.
PDD’s customer service was also inundated with questions from consumers about when the new iPhone will make it to the subsidy program.
How well the iPhone SE does in China could be an important signal for a rebound in consumer demand following the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Chinese smartphone shipments dropped 34.7% to 47.7 million units in the first quarter, according to a report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.
For Apple fans, PDD did not disappoint. The iPhone SE subsequently showed up on the app’s 10 Billion Yuan Subsidy Campaign page, with four tantalizing question marks where the pricing would be.
Apple begins preorders for the iPhone SE at 8 p.m. on April 17, with sales starting on April 24. Prices will start from 3,299 yuan.
Just how much of a bargain would the iPhone SE be on PDD? PDD will unveil the price at 8 pm, April 17.
For now, a PDD spokesman would only say that the company aims to “let consumers enjoy 618 and Double 11 every day,” referring to the June 18 and November 11 online shopping festivals that feature some of the best retail deals each year.