China’s e-commerce company Alibaba is expanding its portfolio of US brands.
The steadily increasing purchasing power of Chinese consumers is stimulating more imports from the west. This also spurs competition between online retail rivals such as Alibaba and Jingdong Mall about contracts with foreign users.
The Alibaba Group includes names such as Tmall, Taobao.com and Alibaba.com under its online operations. According to the research company Analysis International, Tmall now has a 37 per cent slice of the business-to-consumer e-commerce market in China.
360buy comes second place with 17 per cent. Xinhua News reports that Tmall’s trading volume might reach RMB100 billion (US$15.69 billion) this year and RMB200 billion (US$31.38 billion) next year.
The 38 domestic business-to-consumer retailers now under agreement to open flagship stores on the Tmall websites include such names as Coo8, New Egg, OkBuy, Yihaodian and Yintai.com.
The drive to invite overseas brands is spearheaded by Tmall of Alibaba Group Holding. Tmall itself is not into retail, it has no brands of its own but operates as a seller for retailers. The foreign brands it now adds to its web sites include Adidas, Gap and Levi Strauss.
Representatives of the Chinese e-commerce company met with US retailers at seminars in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Seattle earlier this month.
Janet Wang, who heads Tmall’s international business development section, said: “As Chinese consumers become more sophisticated, they are becoming more open minded to foreign brands.”
“Demand for foreign brands remains on the up and up. Our goal is to continue to fulfill these consumer demands and provide our users with the most comprehensive brand and product selection as possible.”