What happened

Secoo Holding Limited's (NASDAQ:SECO) share price climbed 49.4% in January, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The biggest catalysts for the upscale Chinese e-commerce platform's stock gains in the month appear to have been favorable ratings coverage, news that the company would adopt blockchain technology, and the announcement of a partnership with Parkson Retail Group -- a department store operator in the Asian market. 

So what

Secoo stock saw positive momentum following a note from Zacks Investment Research published on Jan. 10 that upgraded the stock from a hold rating to a buy rating and set an $11 price target. The stock then briefly spiked on Jan. 12 following news that the company would adopt blockchain technology for authentication processes on its e-commerce platform, but most of the related gains receded by the end of the day's trading. 

A shopping cart icon on top of a mobile phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Secoo Holding then announced its partnership with Parkson Retail Group on Jan. 23, sending the company's share price up roughly 6% that day and another 16.5% on Jan. 24. The following excerpt from the press release announcing the partnership lays what to expect from Secoo's deal with Parkson:

Secoo and Parkson will offer products on each other's websites, and integrate their online-to-offline business resources to enable customers to make orders online and pick up products at either brand's offline stores. Both companies will also offer their products in Secoo's experience centers and Parkson's stores. In the meantime, the partnership allows both Secoo and Parkson customers to benefit from reciprocal membership privileges, including coupons to spend in stores and online, and access to exclusive offers.

Now what

Even after its recent stock gains, the company is still valued at just around 15 times forward earnings. That's a potentially appealing price for a company with a leadership position in China's luxury-brand e-commerce market, but there are reasons to doubt that its market share is actually as high as is sometimes claimed. For a more in-depth look at some of the risk factors facing Secoo, I'd recommend reading this recent article from my Foolish colleague Leo Sun.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.