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Orderly search, Platform ordering and Market power-- Evidence from E-commerce Platforms

On the afternoon of June 21st, the 39th Teacher Development Center Forum was held at the Business School in Xingmin Building 201. Professor Qu Chuang was invited as the keynote speaker of the lecture to bring a theme to the teachers and students of our school. The excellent lecture was on "Ordered Search, Platform Ordering and Market Power - Evidence from E-commerce Platform", Associate Professor Liu Zhen presided over the event, and the business school teachers and graduate students participated in the lecture.

Qu Chuang, professor of the School of Economics of Shandong University and Institute of Industrial Economics of Shandong University, doctoral tutor and director of the Editorial Department of Shandong University's Industrial Economic Review (CSSCI). He is the Member of the "Internet Economics Research Alliance" and the teaching team of national-level quality course "Industrial Economics", which is the national key discipline.  Research areas: industrial organization theory; public goods theory; anti-monopoly and competition policy; network and bilateral market theory; Internet platform economic regulation and industrial policy. He has hosted a number of projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund Project of the Ministry of Education. His research results have published in the "China Industrial Economy" and other domestic authoritative journals.

At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Qu Chuang listed some e-commerce platforms with high network popularity to the teachers and students of our school, which led to the relationship between the platform and bilateral users. He showed that it is different from the real life platforms such as markets, supermarkets, etc., today's network e-commerce platform presents only one screen in front of users, the e-commerce platform is the same, but the nature and role of the platform are not the same, such as Google is a neutral platform as a bridge of information, Baidu is indeed a non-neutral platform for information walls, and there are many “personalized” platforms for information feeding to users.


Then, Professor Qu Chuang mentioned that in the era of Internet information explosion, the information quality in the platform and the efficiency in the Internet platform are worth studying. He uses Taobao and Google search as examples to show the orderly search of e-commerce platform information. As a result, his research focus on orderly search with "market boundaries" and ordering positions with merchant market power.

Finally, on the basis of analyzing the relevant literature, Professor Qu Chuang constructed the model for measurement and empirical test, and obtained the following conclusions. First, the consumer search order, the price change range and the trend of the merchant price are nonlinear. Second, the location determines the market boundary of the merchants in the platform. Third, the ranking position is a component of the merchant market power. Fourth, the strategic pricing in the Internet platform is more common, the relationship with the market structure is weaker.

Professor Qu Chuang patiently and meticulously introduced the internal formation process of the information ranking presented by the Internet e-commerce platform and the relationship between the orderly search and the market boundary and market power of the merchants to the teachers and students of our school. It made us have a deeper understanding of the current e-commerce platform, and have more thoughts on the ideas and methods of academic research, which has greatly benefited the teachers and students. This lecture ended in a warm applause!