Business / Technology

E-commerce to help build Maritime Silk Road

By Qiu Quanlin in Dongguan, Guangdong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-13 10:19

E-commerce to help build Maritime Silk Road

The stand of Shenzhen-based Globalegrow E-Commerce at the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, which was held on Oct 31, 2014 in Dongguan, Guangdong province. [Zou Zhongpin/China Daily] 

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A cross-border e-commerce platform focusing on the promotion of goods from countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road will boost trade between those markets and China, organizers said.

The online platform,, a cooperative effort between the commerce department of Guangdong province and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will provide one-stop services for cross-border trade by integrating the resources involved with logistics, financial services, customs, foreign exchange transactions and quality inspection and quarantine, according to Yu Wenyong, deputy general manager of the platform's operation center. 

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"The platform is more like a modern way to boost trade between Guangdong and countries and regions along the ancient Maritime Silk Road," said Yu.

The platform was launched during an expo to promote cooperation between Guangdong, an export hub in China, and countries and regions along the ancient maritime route.

The ancient route started from China's eastern coast through the Malacca Strait, and then crossed the Indian Ocean to Nairobi before heading north to the Mediterranean.

The expo, which is part of Guangdong's effort to build a modern Maritime Silk Road, was held from Oct 31 to Nov 2 in Dongguan.

According to Yu, the platform has attracted a growing number of companies from 25 countries and regions wanting to display their products online.

"Booming e-commerce will help Chinese exporters tap emerging markets ... along the maritime route," Yu said.

According to Yu, leading domestic and global e-commerce platforms including,, Tmall and Yihaodian have access to the platform, which will allow more visits and potential business opportunities for Chinese exporters.

"The platform will help domestic and overseas companies increase their trade efficiency by using both online and offline business modes," Yu said.

China has become the largest e-commerce market, with transactions reaching 3.1 trillion yuan ($507 billion) from 2008 to 2013, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

E-commerce transactions of Guangdong, which accounts for about 70 percent of China's total, reached about $20 billion in 2013, according to the provincial commerce department.

Hu Chunhua, Party chief of Guangdong, said that the province will strive to develop new trade models by pursuing the development of cross-border e-commerce business.

"Cross-border e-commerce will help boost the efficiency of trade between Guangdong and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," Hu said.

By 2020, trade between Guangdong and countries and regions along the maritime route is expected to be double that of last year, according to Hu.

Trade between Guangdong and ASEAN members reached $102.2 billion in 2013, accounting for 23 percent of China's total trade with ASEAN members, according to the provincial government.

Xiao Feng, deputy general manager of e-commerce service provider Shenzhen Onetouch Business Service Co, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, said promoting cross-border e-commerce will change the traditional trade mode and boost China's strength in the virtual trade market.

"By providing efficient online services, the e-commerce industry will help expand business opportunities in countries and regions along the maritime route, which are usually important markets for Chinese exporters," Xiao said.

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