Chinese e-commerce outside its borders

The Chinese e-commerce giant is looking beyond its borders, as three companies prepare to conquer the rest of Asia tomorrow. And why not, folks, the day after tomorrow.

AliExpress, China’s gateway to customers around the world

AliExpress is a platform for consumers around the world to buy directly from Chinese manufacturers and distributors. In addition to the English site, AliExpress operates sixteen local language sites, including Russian, Spanish and French. Customers can also shop through the AliExpress app. The countries where AliExpress is very popular so far are Russia, the United States, Brazil, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. In 2017, AliExpress had nearly sixty million annual active buyers and earned $10.1 billion.

AliExpress merchants pay a commission, usually 5-8% of the transaction value. AliExpress’ income also comes from merchants’ participation in affiliate marketing programs and from the sale of marketing services, primarily on a performance basis.

Tmall Global, China’s gateway to brands around the world

In February 2014, Tmall launched an international extension of its platform. The platform, called Tmall Global, responds to the growing demand from Chinese consumers for foreign products and brands. It is the first platform for non-Chinese brands and distributors to reach Chinese consumers, increase brand awareness and collect data, without having to physically operate in the country. Victoria’s Secret, Costco, Macy’s, Chemist Warehouse, LG Household & Health Care and Matsumoto Kiyoshi, to name a few, own storefronts in Tmall Global.

Lazada, the gateway for Chinese brands to the rest of Asia

In April 2016, the Alibaba Group acquired a majority stake in Lazada, one of the major operators of e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia. Lazada operates e-commerce platforms in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, with websites and mobile apps in the local language in each of the six markets. The company offers brands and external merchants an e-commerce solution that provides access to consumers in these six countries, along with fast and reliable delivery. In 2017, Lazada had approximately twenty-three million annual active buyers.

Three doors of Alibaba. Three names as well, allowing China to see itself not only as a huge e-commerce infrastructure, but also as a center of global commerce. Develop the local market first. Then expand into the rest of Asia. The first steps in the West to continue. Where will Chinese e-commerce stop?

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