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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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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.

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

Selling on Yangmatou (YMatou) in China: The Definitive Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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China’s E-commerce market has become highly competitive as companies like Alibaba, NetEase, and Tencent, try to grasp as many market shares as possible.

Still, you have a number of smaller Chinese websites that primarily focus on cross border E-Commerce and see great success in pre-purchasing products directly from overseas. Two of these companies are Yangmatou and Vipshop.

Yangmatou is similar to Vipshop as it primarily focuses on a handful of product types, catering a small customer segment. Selling on these kind of websites can be lucrative as setup fees and running costs are generally lower compared to other platforms.

In this article, I explain about what Yangmatou is, what kind of products they sell, how you can become a merchant, and more.

What is Yangmatou?

Yangmatou (洋码头) started out in 2009 and is a comparably small cross border E-Commerce website. It’s not strange, as you’ll find a limited amount of product types listed.

Continue reading Selling on Yangmatou (YMatou) in China: The Definitive Guide

Selling on Vipshop and VIP International in China: The Ultimate Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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The Chinese E-Commerce market growths immensely and will lead the way for other Asian countries in the coming years.

On the contrary to countries like the US, where you can choose between Ebay and Amazon, China has a dozen of E-Commerce websites that all bring different benefits.

When I talk with foreign companies, they’ve rarely heard about Vipshop, and maybe more importantly, VIP International. The latter one has grown hundred folds since it was established in 2014 and is currently one of the biggest marketplaces for cross border E-commerce.

In this article, you’ll learn what differentiate VIP International from other marketplaces and whether you should sell on these websites or not.

Vipshop.com and VIP International explained

Vipshop started out as early as 2008. Still, many foreigners aren’t familiar with this giant marketplace.

Previously being the highest valued E-Commerce website in China, its cross border sub-platform VIP International is currently the third biggest in terms of cross border sales.

So, what makes Vipshop and VIP International different from other big players like Tmall and JD?

Continue reading Selling on Vipshop and VIP International in China: The Ultimate Guide

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

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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

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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.

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

How to Sell on Kaola.com: 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.

Continue reading How to Sell on Kaola.com: The Ultimate Guide

How to Export Olive Oil into China: A Complete Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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The Chinese middle class is booming and the imports of foreign products reach higher levels.

I’ve written a number of guides, covering some of the most popular food products imported to China, for example, wine, meat, health supplements, and more.

Many believe that the olive oil market is small in China, in a way it still is, and will continue to grow much. Just giving you a number, from 2015-2016, Spain alone exported an impressing number of 32,100 metric tons of olive oil to China.

Before you start to export, or establishing contact with Chinese importers, it’s important that you understand the market a bit more in detail, what regulations that apply, how you should sell your products, and more.

In this article I explain the basics if you plan to export olive oil to China.

China’s olive oil market

The Chinese market has started to appreciate foreign olive oil for various reasons during the past years. Even if the global consumption of olive oil has decreased, it actually increases in China. With double digits annually.

Continue reading How to Export Olive Oil into China: A Complete Guide

Top China E-Commerce Platforms: Cross Border Seller Edition

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Get help selling online in China & Southeast Asia here

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

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.com

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 Top China E-Commerce Platforms: Cross Border Seller Edition