Business / Companies

Chinese old brands spring to life with e-commerce

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-09 16:57

BEIJING - Gu Chunjie from Chuzhou city in East China's Anhui province received a vacuum-packed Beijing roast duck just one day after ordering it online: A far cry from days gone by.

In the two years since Quanjude, a respected, old-Beijing brand, started selling its products on e-commerce platform, its sales have climbed up significantly.

In the past, visitors to Beijing would buy roast ducks directly from restaurants, and either carry them home or send them through the post. The online store has simplified the whole process.

Aside from Quanjude, more and more old brands are utilizing the Internet to expand business, and profits.

Founded in 1921, Wufangzhai, a renowned Zongzi (stuffed glutinous rice) and rice product brand, was one of the first of such brands to understand that e-commerce would be good for business. It opened an online store on in March 2009.

Wang Yongbo, assistant to the general manager of Wufangzhai e-commerce department, told Xinhua that online sales continued to increase. In 2014, online sales hit 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), accounting for 10 to 15 percent of total annual sales, said Wang.

According to e-commerce giant Alibaba's research center, as of 2006, lots of time-honored brands had ceased trading and less than 10 percent of the remaining 2,000 old brands posted good profits.

Meanwhile, China's e-commerce is developing at a fast speed.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, e-commerce trading in 2014 reached 12 trillion yuan, up 26.7 percent year on year, and more than 60 percent of small-and medium-sized enterprises had opened online stores.

Many industry experts agree that e-commerce offers an irresistible environment for time-honored brands.

"They must be innovative and seize the opportunity of the Internet for greater development," said Zhou Huaishan, CEO of the China Time-honored Brand website.

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