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 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 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

Tmall Global Seller Fees Guide: An Overview

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Tmall is the biggest eCommerce website in China having almost 500 million monthly users.

Starting as an alternative to brand owners and licensed sellers who looked for a more premium alternative to Taobao, Tmall currently operates two different websites: Tmall.com (Tmall Classic) and Tmall.hk (Tmall Global).

If you plan to sell cross-border in China, the latter one should be at the top of your list. Selling cross-border brings many benefits as you don’t need a Chinese entity or undergo rigorous testing and registrations with local authorities.

However, before you go into detailed planning, you must understand how much it costs to sell on Tmall Global. In this article, I explain all the costs involved.

1. Deposit

One of the big outlays that SMEs often feel concerned about is the initial deposit. This refundable deposit is required to cover any unexpected issues that might arise, such as disputes between buyers and sellers. Continue reading Tmall Global Seller Fees Guide: An Overview

7 Top Selling Products on Taobao.com

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Taobao is the biggest eCommerce website in China, together with Tmall, it accounts for around 80% of the market. What sets Taobao apart from other established eCommerce websites is that it’s a C2C (consumer to consumer) website and was started years before Tmall and its competitors.

People all over China buy from Taobao thanks to its competitive prices, wide assortment of products, and fulfillment capabilities. Many foreigners ask what products that are in great demand on Taobao, that’s why I’ve written this article where I list some of the most popular products on Taobao. First, let’s check what some of the differences are between Tmall and Taobao.com.

What are the differences between Taobao and Tmall?

First of all, Tmall is more premium than Taobao and mainly cater to consumers in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. In fact, its name originates from the term “Taobao Mall” and you’ll find more branded and foreign products on the website. Taobao, on the other hand, has a wide selection of less exclusive products that are produced in China.

Taobao is known for being more price sensitive than Tmall, a reason why it’s popular in the smaller cities. Worth mentioning is that not everyone can sell on Taobao as you need to have a Chinese company before you can start selling on the website. That’s not the case with Tmall as foreigners are allowed to open stores and sell on its cross-border website, Tmall Global.

1. Clothing Products

Just by visiting Taobao.com, you’ll notice that there’s an ocean of clothing products like shoes, bags, pants, sweaters, you name it. Even if the website is more price-sensitive compared to Tmall, you’ll find everything from cheap Chinese products to Gucci bags. Don’t be surprised if you find a dress priced as low as USD 5 or a scarf for USD 2. Continue reading 7 Top Selling Products on Taobao.com

Hong Kong Fulfillment when Selling Cross-Border to China: by ZhenHub

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Hong Kong fulfillment is one of the most popular options when overseas companies sell products cross-border into mainland China.

Not only can fulfillment centers help you reduce shipping lead times, but they’re also often efficient and offer competitive shipping rates.

In this article, Vince Poon from ZhenHub explains how it works when shipping cross-border from Hong Kong to China. It’s an established fulfillment center with warehouses in almost a dozen countries.

Vincent, please introduce yourself and your work at ZhenHub in Hong Kong.

I’m the CEO of ZhenHub, a single dashboard terminal that helps you fulfill and ship your goods globally.

Here, you can get quotes, execute your shipments, communicate with your shipper, and manage your inventory all in a single location.

Our terminal allows easy communication and our customers to automate their fulfillment and shipping. We also provide business intelligence and analytics around costs, delivery times, and easy view of all documentation required for each shipment.

Before ZhenHub, my background was in the legal field and consulting. I saw a lot of issues within the supply chain, for example:

  • No visibility of pricing
  • No visibility over where shipments are located
  • Slow communication

After working with eCommerce companies, dropshippers, and different brands for the last 8 years, I realized these problems meant the survival or growth of a successful eCommerce business.

This all flows down to how well your business is serving its customers.

Continue reading Hong Kong Fulfillment when Selling Cross-Border to China: by ZhenHub

7 Top Selling Products on Tmall: A Complete Guide

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Tmall is the biggest eCommerce marketplace in China where you can find practically any kinds of products.

Its cross-border version, Tmall Global, is also highly popular for brands that want to ship products directly from overseas or bonded warehouses within China.

Foreign companies often ask what products are in demand on different Chinese marketplaces. Therefore, I’ve written this article where I list some of the most popular products among Chinese buyers on Tmall.

1. Fashion & Clothing

Tmall and Tmall Global are two of the most popular options for foreign brands that sell fashion products and clothes online in China.

By comparison, one of its biggest competitors, Jingdong (JD), focuses more on consumer electronics and kitchen appliances. Kaola, on the other hand, is bigger for food products, beverages, and supplements.

Nowadays, you can find various big multinational brands on Tmall including Fendi, Burberry, Nike, Adidas, and the list goes on.

Medium-sized brands also set up shops here now as Chinese millennials drive the eCommerce market and look for unique products.

The fashion market is sensitive and competitive

The fashion industry is highly sensitive and big foreign brands have left Tmall with losses and results that didn’t meet expectations.

Continue reading 7 Top Selling Products on Tmall: A Complete Guide

Top 5 eCommerce Websites in Asia: A Complete Guide

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Cross-border E-Commerce is set to grow immensely in Asia in the coming decade.

At the same time as China has become the world’s biggest E-Commerce market, neighboring countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines grow at impressive rates.

With increased prosperity, mobile usage, and internet penetration, Asia will continue to be the most interesting E-Commerce market in the world. And that’s for a long time to come.

But, Asia is diverse and many don’t know in which country, or on which platforms they should sell.

In this article, I’ve listed some of the most popular and interesting E-Commerce marketplaces for cross-border sellers in Asia.

1. Tmall Global (China)

China’s E-Commerce market is not only the biggest, but one of the most developed in the World.

With a population of 1.4 billion and a surging middle class, it’s become three times bigger than the US E-Commerce market.

Here, Tmall Global (天猫国际) is undoubtedly one of the most popular cross-border E-Commerce websites.

Continue reading Top 5 eCommerce Websites in Asia: A Complete Guide

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

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

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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 Cross-Border eCommerce Platforms: Foreigner’s Guide

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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 set up 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 makes 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 come 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 Cross-Border eCommerce Platforms: Foreigner’s Guide