China e-commerce shopping market

9 replies
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anyone had success venturing into the hot chinese e-commerce market esp the online shopping platform...

taobao n alibaba are some of the establish players but i think amazon n ebay are trying to break into
the chinese market for the past years...
#china #ecommerce #market #shopping
  • Profile picture of the author WorldIR
    i have big plans for the chinese e-commerce online shopping trend...

    would like to partner warriors here keen to venture together for this
    potential chinese market
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    • Profile picture of the author spooksdenimes

      Could you send me a MP and let me know more about your project ? I'm currently located in Shenzhen, China since 2009 and have used , mostly as a buyer, but i'm starting to get interested in all the "seller" part.
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      • Profile picture of the author WorldIR
        thank for e interest....

        i believe chinese e-commerce market is taking off n huge potential market.
        Just image 1b population 10% are online thus 100m netcitizen

        if u are able to earn a dollar each on each chinese netcitizen online purchase or
        transcation, you will be very prosperous..

        send you some information to explore this opportunity
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        • Profile picture of the author bevanrock
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          • Profile picture of the author renshanrenhai
            Hi, I have been a long time warrior forum follower- but this is my first post. Saw this post and wanted to comment.

            I've been living in China for the previous 4 years, speak chinese. I started as a ecommerce market entry consultant for foreign brands entering the chinese space, then left to start my entrepreunerial journey.

            I began with a product sourcing business (sourcing industrial sized brewing equipment) and have recently started a niche eCommerce site in the US via Shopify. Now I'm moving into a niche eCommerce site targeted at the Chinese market that is operated via Hong Kong entity that will drop ship expensive products from the USA and UK to China.

            Couple key points to look at when setting up China-market focused ecommerce site:

            1) Setting up a wfoe in mainland china is a time consuming and expensive process, unfortunately no bootstrap options available if you want to 100% play by the Chinese governments rules. Without a wfoe, you can't get a chinese internet business license (which allows you to buy .cn domain and formally register on most popular ad platforms)

            2) Noting the above, it is possible to operate an entity outside of the mainland and create a site that is targeted (in terms of UED, sales proposition, etc) at Chinese tastes. Hong Kong entities are a pretty quick and easy way to get in the door. Having Hong Kong entity will help if you want to relay your products through Hong Kong to get them into China too.

            3) Getting an accurate estimate of customs costs and shipping costs is crucial for selling into China. Put the accurate value on the customs documentation, the short term benefit is not worth getting your website banned by the great firewall of China.

            You'll want a shipping/logistics partner that really understands Chinese customs and takes ownership of your products (especially if they're expensive- might make sense to look into parcel insurance). Pitney Bowes is one option. Another is the owner of They ship quite a bit of products to China from US and can get products from their distribution center to Chinese consumer in 2-6 business days. They have good relationship with government and have support staff that will contact Chinese consumer if, for some reason, the customs officials have decided to hold your product in customs.

            4) Product/Niche ideas for China. There's a big, big concern about quality and counterfeit goods in China. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but I know that every time I return to the US- 4 or 5 Chinese friends ask me to bring back high quality, authentic pet food and baby foods/toys. When I meet with factory owners that have recently had children, I almost always bring US baby-related gifts (whether it's food, clothes, or toys). Also, have a look at the demographic changes taking place in China. Lots of aging Chinese that will demand quality medicince and supplements. That being said, quite alot of the older generation Chinese still discount western medicine- so that'll take a bit more research.

            5) Marketing. Purchasing from abroad is very very popular in China. Usually we call this "Hitao". Embrace it. It is your evidence of quality. WIll also help protect your brand if your product gets hung up in customs on the way to consumer.

            6) This market is huge. Google has all the information in the world about this, so I won't touch on it.

            7) Customer service is huge in China. It's very difficult to build a sustainable eCommerce business without chat support. Being able to chat with store owner or support staff via QQ or plugin is the expectation.

            7) TMall vs. Taobao vs. Standalone eComm Site. If you don't have a mainland entity, you can't have a tmall or taobao account- so this is pretty simple.

            8) Payments. Your site should accept china unionpay and alipay.

            9) Shipping/Logistics. Chinese post office operated a franchise model for a long time, so it's a bit of a mess with many fragmented providers across the country. M&A activity should come soon though, as government has reiterated in previous 5 year plan that logistics is big goal. That being said, most of your orders will be placed in big cities (Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, etc.), not 2nd or 3rd tier cities.

            I could talk for days about this, but just high-level comments above. I'd be glad to provide a bit of my experience to anyone looking into selling into China via eCommerce. Our HK entity site is still in development, but I'd be glad to share my experience/research if you'd like to ping me. I went through the formal process several times in the past with US brands, but my current approach is bootstrap to the core.
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  • Profile picture of the author yoangov
    Great post, renshanrenhai!

    I have once bought a cheapass tablet from Alibaba for my girlfriend's mother. The price was like 5 times cheaper than the average tablet cost in my country, LOL!

    So yes, there definitely is huge potential, however, be careful. I heard there are plenty of scammers (as usual) and many people don't speak English.
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    • Profile picture of the author renshanrenhai
      100% agreed. Definitely makes sense to take a bit more time walking through your business process to fight off scammers, counterfeits, and credit card fraud before launch in China.

      China is a unique, complicated, messy, conniving terd of an animal- but the reward can be huge for those willing to take the risk and brush off the headaches.
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  • Profile picture of the author WorldIR
    is visa and mastercard payment common in China e-commerce !

    I am bringing this e-commerce platform to the chinese market...

    China e-Commerce Shopping Platform
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    • Profile picture of the author gearmex
      Originally Posted by WorldIR View Post

      is visa and mastercard payment common in China e-commerce !

      I am bringing this e-commerce platform to the chinese market...
      with your affiliate code posted...
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    • Profile picture of the author renshanrenhai
      No, visa/mastercard isn't common. I recommend offering alipay and china unionpay if you want to appeal to majority of the market.
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