Tmall enters show biz

Ultra high-definition TVs, virtual-reality goggles and feet-warming smart shoes – as seen at theConsumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month – are expected to make their way to China for a similar event in April.

Alibaba Group’s B2C shopping site Tmall has partnered with Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, which runs Europe’s annual IFA personal technology event, to stage the Consumer Electronics China show in the southern technology hub of Shenzhen, from April 20 to 22. It is going head-to-head with an offshoot of the US show, CES Asia, which will be held in Shanghai from May 11 to 13.

Tmall executive Yin Jing, who oversees the site’s 3C (computer, communication and consumer electronics) division, says some of the biggest names in the industry – along with a range of startups – will exhibit at the CE China event. Some of the companies are also expected to have a presence on Tmall by the end of the year.

Sixteen per cent of consumer electronic devices bought in China last year were through online stores, up from just 1 per cent five years ago, according to US management consultancy McKinsey & Co. As well as that, a quarter of the consumer electronics sold on Tmall are made by overseas companies.

IFA, in Berlin every September, has been around since 1924. Its latest edition had 1600 exhibitors and 240,000 visitors, as well as 6000 journalists from more than 70 countries. The six-day show generated $4.7 billion in orders.

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