A vegetable wholesale and retail vendor in Chengdu told 21cbr that in 2018, his stall could sell 2000 kg of vegetables a day, but now the sales volume has dropped to more than 1000 kg, and the daily sales volume has also dropped by hundreds of yuan. If [Internet companies] keep throwing money and continue to invest for five years or more, were out of business.
This phenomenon causes heated discussion: is the sales mode of Internet giants below cost belong to unfair competition behavior? Does it squeeze the living space originally belonging to small vendors?
Liu Xu, a special researcher at the National Institute of strategic studies of Tsinghua University, told 21cbr that the behavior of group buying enterprises selling below cost violates the relevant regulations in the price law.
Article 14 of the price law lists a variety of unfair price behaviors, including dumping at a price lower than the cost in order to exclude competitors or monopolize the market, in addition to dealing with fresh commodities, seasonal commodities and overstocked commodities according to law..
The relevant regulations in the anti monopoly law can also be used to regulate the subsidies of community group buying enterprises.
The municipal supervision department can require internet giants to make undertakings according to Article 45 of the anti monopoly law, that is, to take specific measures within a certain period of time to eliminate the consequences of suspected monopolistic acts, rectify and rectify in time, and avoid making substantial subsidies in the promotion and excluding small and medium-sized traders.
There are many difficulties in the specific implementation.
Previously, the online car hailing and bike sharing industries have not been investigated or interviewed by the regulatory authorities due to the price war. However, in the takeout industry, meituan, didi and famo were interviewed by the local industrial and commercial authorities due to the random issuance of coupons in Wuxi in 2018, which led to the platform explosion.
The crazy subsidy mode of community group buying industry is not a long-term solution. According to the experience of online car hailing and takeout, the price will return to normal level after one or two giants appear in the market.
At that time, the traditional vegetable merchants and meat peddlers might have been squeezed out of the market.
On the other hand, it is not without merit that Internet giants enter the community vegetable market. Liu Xu pointed out that the cost of agricultural trade industry chain has a lot of space for compression. There are many intermediate links in the traditional agricultural product industry chain. From vegetable field to retail end, the price is raised by multi-layer wholesalers, and the cold chain and transportation costs are generated. Small vendors at the terminal also have to bear the costs of shop rent and other expenses, resulting in high operating costs. Internet giants can improve the efficiency of agricultural supply chain and reduce costs. He believes that the traditional agricultural trade industry has great hidden dangers in health and safety, and giants can use its scale effect to strengthen the control of food safety. If internet giants can balance the interests of all parties and let small traders integrate into their system, this is the ideal situation. Liu Xu said. Source: Chen Hequn, editor in charge of economic report in the 21st century_ NB12679
On the other hand, it is not without merit that Internet giants enter the community vegetable market.
He believes that the traditional agricultural trade industry has great hidden dangers in health and safety, and giants can use its scale effect to strengthen the control of food safety.
If internet giants can balance the interests of all parties and let small traders integrate into their system, this is the ideal situation. Liu Xu said.