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

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Get help selling online in China & Southeast Asia here

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

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

Top China E-Commerce Platforms: Cross Border Seller Edition

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

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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

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

Can foreign companies sell on Taobao.com?

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Taobao.com is China’s largest ecommerce platform. It’s used by everyone, to buy all kinds of cheap goods, from t-shirts to cosmetics.

Taobao.com is the essential marketplace for ‘Made for China’ products. In other words, products made in China, for the domestic market.

So, why would anyone want to sell on Taobao.com, rather than Tmall Global or JD Worldwide?

Probably because Taobao is, by far, the largest platform in China, in terms of transactions and sales figures.

That said, bigger is not always better when it comes to selling in Mainland China.

What is Taobao.com?

Taobao.com is China’s largest online shopping website, launched and fully owned by Alibaba Group. Taobao.com started out as a ‘consumer to consumer’ platform, but it has matured since then.

Today, there are more than 8 million Taobao.com stores, selling everything from local handicrafts, to imported brand name products.

However, Taobao.com is mainly known for its domestically produced apparel, jewelry and accessories, sold to working and middle class Chinese.

It’s China’s go to place for low to medium end consumer goods of all kinds. Continue reading Can foreign companies sell on Taobao.com?

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 Payment Methods When Selling Online in China: WeChat & AliPay

Top Tmall Partners in China & Hong Kong: A Complete Guide

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

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Selling online in China is the preferred choice for many foreigners who wish to penetrate the Chinese market. It’s not strange as the market has literally exploded the past years and will continue to grow in the future.

If you plan to sell on Tmall (or Tmall Global), the easiest option is to find a Tmall Partner (TP) who can help you through the process. Not only are they experienced and have a presence in China, they can save you much time and money.

There’s a catch though. It’s not easy to find summarized information about Tmall Partners, about their founders, their management, what clients they serve and what marketplaces they’re active on. Therefore, I’ve written this article where I list some of the biggest and most popular Tmall Partners in China and Hong Kong.

Introductory remark

The companies are listed in a random order.

1. Azoya Group

Azoya Group was founded by Alex Huang and Don Zhao in 2013, it’s one of the biggest Tmall Partners in China and has offices in 12 different locations worldwide.

Prior to co-founding Azoya, Alex acted as General Manager of a big IT company in China with responsibility over more than 2000 employees. Don Zhao on the other hand has a long experience of working internationally, mainly in the telecom industry. Both of them are well-known in the China e-commerce industry.

The company currently employs more than 220 professionals and has won different awards, for example:

Awarded Multichannel Supplier of the Year by Sigma Healthcare

Marketplaces

Continue reading Top Tmall Partners in China & Hong Kong: A Complete Guide

How to Register a Trademark in China: The Ultimate Guide

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

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

The importance of registering a trademark in China is often overlooked and sometimes ignored by foreigners.

Many are unaware about the fact that China is a first-to-file country, which simply means that the person who register the trademark first, will get all the rights to distribute and sell the products.

There are many pitfalls you need to avoid when registering a trademark, it’s also important that you know about the process when registering one.

How high are the costs? How long time does it take? I can make the list longer.

In this article, I explain the crucial information you need to know when registering a trademark in China.

Why should I register a trademark in China?

Applying for a trademark is a crucial and an important step that’s often ignored or overlooked by exporters.

China is a “first-to-file” country which means that the person who registers a trademark for a product, will also have all exclusive rights to distribute and sell the product.

You won’t, unless you register the trademark first.

The fact is that it’s practically impossible to engage in the Chinese market long term, without registering your trademark.

Trademark registration is often required by e-commerce sites and distributors

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

How to Start Selling on Tmall Global: The Ultimate Guide

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Before Tmall Global, accessing China’s ecommerce market was extremely costly. Perhaps the most expensive market in the world to tap into.

You had to register a local company, open a bank account and ship products to a local warehouse.

For Startups and Small businesses, this was not even on the table.

But Tmall Global changed everything.

Once Tmall Global opened up in 2014, American and European ecommerce companies could start selling directly to Chinese consumers, on one of the China’s largest and most visited online marketplaces.

All this while getting paid in US dollars or Euros, directly to a local bank account.

In this guide, you will learn everything you must know about the difference between Tmall and Tmall Global, Alipay payments, order fulfillment and both fixed and flexible costs.

What is Tmall.com?

Tmall.com is an ecommerce platform owned by Alibaba Group in Hangzhou. It started out originally as Taobao Mall, and a premium alternative to Taobao.com.

For the record, Taobao.com is also owned by Alibaba.com, and by far the largest ecommerce platform in the country. Continue reading How to Start Selling on Tmall Global: The Ultimate Guide