PDD Temu

PDD Holdings, parent of Temu, denies moving headquarters from China to Ireland

Rebbeca Ren

posted on May 5, 2023 2:59 am

PDD Holdings, the Chinese company that owns budget shopping apps Pinduoduo and Temu, on Thursday, denied reports it had moved its headquarters from China to Ireland.

Citing a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters said PDD Holdings had listed the Irish capital Dublin as its "principal administrative office," replacing Shanghai as its main office.

Founded in Shanghai in 2015, PDD Holdings quickly rose to become one of China's largest e-commerce operators and went public on Nasdaq in 2018.

The change in filings has drawn attention from several news outlets, including Reuters, CNBC, and Bloomberg. They generally perceive the company's decision as an attempt to bolster the influence of its international e-commerce business, Temu.

"The reports (on moving headquarters from China to Ireland) are seriously inaccurate and purely misinterpreted," a Pinduoduo spokesperson told Chinese media including The Paper, Jiemian, and Economic View.

"Pinduoduo was born in Shanghai and grew up in China," the spokesperson said, "so the headquarters has always been in Shanghai, China, and it will not change."

The Dublin office, the spokesperson said, would serve as PDD Holdings' legal registration for its overseas business Temu.

Ireland has become a favored destination for international technology companies to establish operations, thanks to its European Union membership and an attractive 12.5% corporate tax rate. Tech giants such as Meta and Apple have chosen Ireland as the location for their European headquarters.

Temu, an e-commerce platform targeting overseas consumers with tight budgets, landed in the US in September and has now expanded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Spain, and other markets.

With its wide selection of low-priced products including electronics, apparel, homeware and more, Temu has experienced remarkable growth since its first launch. According to Insider Intelligence, the number of unique U.S. visitors surged from 5.1 million to 70.1 million in February 2023.

US concerns about Chinese apps such as TikTok, Shein and Temu dominating its app store have grown amid ongoing tensions between the two sides. In April, The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) published a report expressing worries about these apps, citing "data risks, sourcing violations, and trade loopholes."

"Temu has replicated Shein’s process of quickly manufacturing and shipping clothing to US consumers...As of April 2023, Temu has received 235 complaints in the last year with the Better Business Bureau, earning a 2.1 out of 5 stars customer rating," the report wrote.

PDD Holdings reported revenue of 39.82 billion yuan ($5.77 billion) in the fourth quarter, falling short of Wall Street expectations of 41.01 billion yuan.