News >Bizchina aims for overseas Net sales expansion

2010-10-27 11:23

SHANGHAI - China's largest online shopping platform,, said on Tuesday that it plans to expand into the European and American markets by launching an integrated platform for cross-border online shopping at the beginning of next year, allowing Chinese e-consumers to shop beyond the Asian markets.

Chinese Internet users can already buy products online from Japanese vendors, after Taobao's partnership with Yahoo Japan Corp in June launched two online platforms to allow vendors to sell in each other's markets, the first step in its overseas expansion strategy.

"Following our entry into the Japanese market, we are now preparing to test the waters in the European and American markets. Discussions with European and American partners are already under way," Lu Peng, vice-president of Strategic Business Development at Taobao, told China Daily on the sidelines at the Cross-Straits E-commerce Conference 2010.

"Chinese consumers have a huge demand and growing purchasing power for overseas products, which spells great potential for cross-border e-commerce, and we think Taobao can play a major role in that," he said.

When launched, the new integrated platform will provide Chinese e-consumers with access to products from several countries, including the United States, Great Britain and Germany, he said.

The company's partnership with Yahoo Japan has also been faring well, said Lu, but he refused to reveal transaction volumes for the platform, which provides users from the two countries with 8 million Japanese and 50 million Chinese product listings.

Lu said the platform would need to upgrade its business-to-consumer (B2C) model by cooperating with bigger and more competitive Japanese companies, instead of small and medium-sized individual shops, to both raise efficiency and provide a wholesale service to Chinese consumers.

The same problem exists in its partnership with Taiwan-based eDynamics, whose B2C e-commerce subsidiary, oBuy, opened a store on Taobao in 2006.

"But with the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between the mainland and Taiwan earlier this year, cross-Straits cooperation in the e-commerce sector is expected to grow more rapidly," said Lu.

Taobao, a subsidiary of the Chinese online giant Alibaba Group, is China's top e-commerce player, taking 80 percent of the country's online shopping market.

Its move to expand into the overseas market is also intended to attract Chinese consumers, who usually turn to foreign procurement service providers when shopping for non-Asian products, and help regulate the market, he said.

Online shopping in China has boomed in recent years, as the nation's more than 400 million Internet users - the world's biggest online population - become increasingly Internet-savvy.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the transaction volume in China's online shopping market reached 250 billion yuan ($37.52 billion) last year.


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