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Lazada vs Tmall Global: A Complete Guide for Cross-Border Sellers


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E-Commerce will grow by far the most in Asia in the coming decade where China will lead the way, backed by ASEAN. Numerous foreign companies are aware of this and want a piece of these lucrative markets.

Yet, before you go into detailed planning, it’s important that you understand the requirements, costs, and opportunities for each country or region.

Today, you’ll learn about the differences between the biggest E-Commerce website in ASEAN, Lazada, and one of the biggest cross-border websites in China, Tmall Global.

First, let me give you a brief explanation about the websites before we get started.

What is Lazada?

Rocket Internet, a German incubator, founded Lazada in Singapore in 2012 and it has grown fast since.

Back then, Southeast Asia lacked online marketplaces like Amazon and Tmall that can be found in China and in the West. Thus, Rocket Internet saw a great opportunity.

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Import Taxes & VAT in China: A Guide for Cross Border E-Commerce


The Chinese government has finally confirmed what we’ve long waited for: there won’t be an introduction of the so called positive lists. Or any other constraints to cross border E-Commerce for that matter.

Instead, China will continue to favor the cross border sales model by reducing taxes, streamline clearance procedures, and expand cross border operations to a number of other Chinese cities.

Along with this, we’ve also seen a reduction in import taxes, which should be of interest of course.

In this article, I explain how China’s new tax policies affect cross border sellers and how much you can expect to pay if falling into this category.

Definition of cross border E-Commerce

First, let’s have a look at what cross border E-Commerce means practically and in terms of shipping. It’s important for you to understand this before we dig into numbers.

In short words, you list your products on an E-Commerce platform, like Tmall Global or JD Worldwide, or a standalone website. Chinese consumers order products in small volumes, often one by one.

The products are either shipped from overseas or stored in a bonded warehouse in China.

Simple as that.

Yet, a core part of the cross border model is that the platforms are connected with the Chinese customs. This is needed for orders to be registered and tracked digitally.

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Selling on Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) in China: The Ultimate Guide

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China’s E-Commerce market is exploding and will lead the way for Asia Pacific to become the biggest until 2025.

We see a fierce competition between Tmall and JD, at the same time as smaller websites capture more ground, thanks to other lucrative sales models.

One of the hottest websites is Xiaohongshu, which can be directly translated to “Little Red Book” in English. A number of large companies have invested millions of dollars in the website and it will be interesting to see how it performs in the coming years.

Still, there’s little information out there that explains how it works when selling on Xiaohongshu. In this article, I explain what Xiaohongshu is, how you can start selling there, how much it costs, and much more.

What is Xiaohongshu?

Xiaohongshu (小红书) started out in 2013 and is one of the fastest growing E-commerce websites in China, currently having around 100 million users.

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China Free Trade Zones (FTZ): The Definitive Guide for Exporters


Since the first introduction of the first Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, the Chinese government has added a dozen new zones to the list, and have plans to further expand and create new zones.

It’s an important brick of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, where China plans to develop infrastructure and invest in many countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In this article, I explain the details you need to know about Free Trade Zones in China, what benefits these bring, why they were created in the first place, and more.

Definition of Free Trade Zone

Before we start, it’s important that you have a general understanding of what an FTZ is, and what benefits these zones brings.

In short words, FTZs are designated areas where foreign companies can engage in economic activities, that are generally not accepted elsewhere in the country.

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How to Register a Trademark in Hong Kong: The Ultimate Guide


Do you need to register a trademark in Hong Kong SAR? Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of the leading trademark registration companies.

Hong Kong is a big playground for traders and many decide to open up companies in this crown jewel. Low taxes, proximity to Mainland China and efficiency are just a few reasons why people incorporate here.

If you decide to sell products, or open a company in Hong Kong, I highly recommend that you register your trademark. The process will not take a long time, nor cost you a lot of money.

Therefore, I’ve written this guide where I explain the crucial information you need to know when registering a trademark in Hong Kong. Let’s have a look.

Hong Kong trademark law

Hong Kong has two different trademark laws, also referred to as ordinances:

  • Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 559)
  • Trade Marks Rules (Cap. 559A)

Both of these are effective as of April 4th, 2004.

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How to Sell on The Ultimate Guide

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Many things have changed since the cross border e-commerce industry started out in China some years ago. Companies like JD, Tmall and Kaola started out as late as 2014-2016, I think we can both agree that cross border e-commerce is still in an infant stage.

One of the most popular marketplaces is definitely Kaola, which has seen a massive growth the past years.

It’s not that easy to find summarized information about Kaola, what options you have when selling on the website, how much you need to pay, and more.

Therefore, I’ve written this article where I explain the crucial details you need to know, before you start selling on this rapidly growing marketplace.

What is Kaola?

Kaola was established by NetEase in 2015, which is one of China’s biggest IT companies.

The name Kaola literally means Koala in Chinese (考拉), as the website’s first goal was to target Australian companies, who wished to sell their products in China. I assume the name and the logo of the company might give you some hints.

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Top China Ecommerce Platforms: Cross Border Seller Edition

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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. was launched by Alibaba Group in the early 00s, and is the original Chinese ecommerce platform. is still the number 1 ecommerce marketplace in Mainland China, and the given choice for low to medium priced goods. 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

In other words, it’s not for cross border sellers.

Tmall, which started out as ‘Taobao Mall’ was launched by as the more ‘premium’ focused cousin of

That’s also what eventually became. Today, is almost as big as – which make up more than 50% of the Chinese B2C ecommerce market.

Many international brands set up stores on However, the goods sold on must be delivered from within China, which excludes cross border sellers.

Tmall Global (

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. 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 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, 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, 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 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 →

6 Commonly Asked Questions About China Cross-border E-commerce


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Cross-border e-commerce has become increasingly popular amongst Western brands and retailers looking to enter the China market for the first time. China’s large market of 500 million online shoppers presents an irresistible opportunity, with an estimated 25% of shoppers buying through cross-border online. And the country’s sustained economic growth has powered an upgrade in consumption levels that global businesses cannot afford to ignore.

However, there are many risks and uncertainties involved, and entering the China market has required a significant amount of time and investment historically. The development of the cross-border e-commerce model has presented a light-weight approach to a China market entry for the first time, and brands and retailers can now expand to China without having to set up local China entities or go through complex registration processes.

But what exactly does the cross-border e-commerce model entail? What are the challenges associated? How can Western brands and retailers leverage this model to maximize sales? Don Zhao, co-founder of Azoya and a noted China cross-border e-commerce expert, shares some of the most commonly asked questions and his thoughts on this innovative new model, which he believes will revolutionize the retail & e-commerce industry.

1. What is cross-border e-commerce?

Cross-border e-commerce, in a broad sense, entails the act of selling products online across national borders, to customers in a different country or territory.

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Selling on WeChat For Foreign Companies: A Complete Guide

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What’s interesting about WeChat stores is that they are not actually hosted on WeChat, but independent websites – accessed through WeChat’s built in internet browser.

This gives everyone, domestic and cross border sellers alike, a lot of interesting options to consider before opening a ‘WeChat store’.

It may also be a cheaper and easier option to test new products in Mainland China, compared to Tmall Global – which can be quite complicated to get into.

WeChat store options

1. Weidian

Until recently I, like many others, believed that Weidian was a Tencent operated platform within WeChat itself. It’s not.

Weidian is essentially a third party CMS, that works really well with the built in WeChat browser. Think of it like Shopify with a WeChat them and UX.

From a user experience, the transition from WeChat to a Weidian store is almost seamless. This is probably why so many believe that it’s part of the same platform.

Weidian is often used by individuals or small businesses, selling everything from imported cosmetics to handicrafts. It’s also free to start using, which is part of the reason why Weidian is almost synonymous with the idea of a WeChat store.

However, Weidian is as of today not available to foreign companies, including those in Hong Kong. You need a Mainland China business license and bank account to setup a Weidian. Continue Reading →

Payment Methods When Selling Online in China: WeChat & AliPay

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China has its own walled off ecosystem of payment gateways, which has made it harder for foreign companies to start selling B2C to consumers in Mainland China.

But things are changing, and these days, you can accept payments from WeChat Pay, AliPay or UnionPay without setting up a business in China.

In other words, you can integrate Chinese payment gateways on your existing online store, or on a .hk domain, and start selling right away.

But first, let’s take a look into the main payment gateways in China, including two international options. Continue Reading →