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Looking to sell cross border into Mainland China from Hong Kong or overseas? In this article, we list some of China’s leading ecommerce platforms – and explain which ones you should focus on if your business is located in Europe, Australia or the United States.
Taobao.com was launched by Alibaba Group in the early 00s, and is the original Chinese ecommerce platform. Taobao.com is still the number 1 ecommerce marketplace in Mainland China, and the given choice for low to medium priced goods.
Taobao.com is mainly about products made in China, for the domestic market. You will need to setup a Mainland Chinese company before you can start selling on Taobao.com.
In other words, it’s not for cross border sellers.
Tmall, which started out as ‘Taobao Mall’ was launched by Alibaba.com as the more ‘premium’ focused cousin of Taobao.com.
That’s also what Tmall.com eventually became. Today, Tmall.com is almost as big as Taobao.com – which make up more than 50% of the Chinese B2C ecommerce market.
Many international brands set up stores on Tmall.com. However, the goods sold on Tmall.com must be delivered from within China, which excludes cross border sellers.
Tmall Global (Tmall.hk)
Tmall Global may not be an entirely independent ecommerce platform. However, it’s the first one in this list that’s truly interesting to ecommerce companies in other countries.
Tmall.hk is specifically for products delivered from ‘overseas’, which also includes Hong Kong S.A.R. In other words, you can start selling online via Tmall Global, using a company and bank account setup in Australia, Europe, the US or elsewhere.
This is still ‘work in progress’, but truly revolutionary, as Tmall.hk brings down the costs significantly for small businesses looking to test the Chinese market.
Before, you had to register a company, set up an office and hire local employees before you even sold your first product.
That said, Tmall.hk is aware of its unique ‘gatekeeper’ position to the Chinese market, and require that sellers meet the following requirements:
- Trademark in Hong Kong required
- US$25,000 deposit paid up front
- US$10,000 in a yearly product category fee
Still, Tmall.hk makes it relatively affordable to test your products on the Chinese market. Until Tmall Global, you could easily have added another zero to these figures.
It’s therefore no surprise that most companies that comes to us at Export2Asia.com want to get their products listed on Tmall Global, before any other platform.
In addition, Tmall Global is also where Chinese buyers go to look specifically for ‘cross border products’ – be it watches, leather belts or baby powder. Continue Reading →