The already booming e-commerce in China is getting fast an international leg as internet users discover the advantages of buying goods online abroad, says retail analyst Ben Cavender in the China Daily. And the large e-commerce players quickly grab market share.
The China Daily:
After learning how cross-border shopping online can save them money－despite the relevant taxes and shipping charges－and provide guarantees of authenticity, they are giving domestic goods more of a cold shoulder.
There are a number of reasons behind the rise of cross-border e-commerce in China and the launch of various platforms to service this trend is natural, said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group.
More Chinese now shop overseas or pay for third parties to purchase products and mail them back to China, because many products either cannot be found in China or they are too expensive, he said.
About half of all cross-border shopping online by Chinese goes through Amazon.com and these products are sent to customers via shipping agents or online agents, said Niu Yinghua, vice-president of Amazon China.
As the agents bump up the price, Amazon decided to introduce a direct shipping service for its Chinese customers that can be as low as $1.99 per pound of freight, Niu added.
The central government has adopted a quite open-minded stance in response to this exploding e-trend. Premier Li Keqiang, for example, included plans to expand the number of trial cities operating this system into his Government Work Report this year.
Many Chinese consumers find themselves shut out of the shopping spree because of the language barrier, which has inspired e-commerce companies to step into the breach.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, there are more than 200,000 enterprises in China offering cross-border e-commerce service through various platforms.
The big e-commerce players in China are fast grabbing territory in this emerging market, said Cavender.
In February 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced the official launch of Tmall Global, a site designed to give Chinese online shoppers a platform to buy foreign-branded products directly.
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