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PDD owner moves headquarters to Ireland amid US-China tensions

The mum or dad firm of the Chinese language low cost ecommerce website Pinduoduo and its US-based equal Temu has shifted headquarters from China to Eire to protect its increasing world arm from tensions between Washington and Beijing.

PDD Holdings has listed Dublin as its “deal with of principal government workplaces” in latest US change filings, altering its location from Shanghai.

The transfer underscores the rising significance of the Temu market to PDD, which launched the subsidiary within the US in September in a bid to duplicate the hovering world reputation of different Chinese language manufacturers such because the fast-fashion big Shein.

“Temu needs to keep away from geopolitical dangers. The US is attacking Chinese language corporations and it will solely get extra extreme,” mentioned Li Chengdong, founding father of Dolphin, a technology-focused think-tank in Beijing.

Analysts mentioned PDD was pre-emptively realigning its company construction to guard Temu from any escalation in Washington’s offensive towards Chinese language tech teams.

The choice comes after ByteDance moved the headquarters of TikTok, the worldwide arm of its short-video platform, to Singapore in response to Washington’s issues about Chinese language possession of the favored short-video app. Final 12 months, Shein relocated its headquarters to Singapore and has been aggressively hiring within the metropolis state.

PDD didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Shifting the corporate’s headquarters to Eire has tax advantages and will easy the trail to any itemizing of the Temu enterprise.

“One chance is that PDD is paving the best way for Temu to record abroad. If that’s the case, a headquarters in Eire or elsewhere in Europe could match the exit necessities for buyers,” mentioned Eugene Weng, a Shanghai-based lawyer at Wintell & Co, who represents Chinese language corporations listed abroad.

Weng added that establishing a headquarters in Eire would make co-ordinating tax points with European international locations and the US simpler. Temu is hiring authorized counsel and commerce compliance officers in Dublin, in line with posts on the recruitment website LinkedIn.

Eire’s low-tax regime has attracted a string of multinationals, together with tech giants Google, Fb and Amazon, which have all arrange their European headquarters there. TikTok has additionally elevated its presence in Dublin and employed greater than 1,000 folks in 2020.

PDD generates the majority of its income from on-line advertising providers on its Chinese language ecommerce website however has invested closely in launching Temu because it diversifies away from a cooling home economic system.

It has pledged to take a position $1.4bn to assist Chinese language manufacturers develop their presence abroad and has launched a variety of sweeteners to encourage retailers to promote on Temu.

In keeping with third-party information supplier YipitData, Temu generated $862mn of gross merchandise income within the first three months of 2023. The Monetary Occasions has beforehand reported that Shein generated $22.7bn in income final 12 months.

Specialists mentioned PDD’s core operations would stay in its house market. The majority of its practically 13,000 workers are in mainland China.

“PDD’s enterprise remains to be in China,” mentioned Li. “There isn’t a want for it to change into a overseas firm.”