An increasing number of online ecommerce platforms that rival retail giants Alibaba Group and Amazon.com are popping up in China, following a push by the Chinese government to help native internet firms gain from the “haitao” sector – which roughly translates as “seeking treasures abroad”.
With rising fears from shoppers about the quality, safety, and delivery of local everyday goods, the Chinese government has introduced new tax-relief programmes, economictimes.com reports. This has encouraged firms to aim for a piece of the cross-border ecommerce market, which the government estimates will be worth $1 trillion by 2016.
More than 2,000 firms have registered as cross-border ecommerce businesses in China since 2012, according to the customs bureau.
But while Chinese firms are looking out of the country, many big foreign ecommerce players are looking in. US online retailer Amazon.com, for example, is expanding its presence in China, having established itself in Shanghai’s free trade zone back in August.
Smaller online retailers should also be focusing their attention towards China, according to Scott Williams, vice president of programmes and services at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
He said: “The doors are open in China for US businesses, this includes big brands as well as small-and-medium enterprises, as the demand for high quality goods and services has never been higher than now.”
The cross-border ecommerce sector is set to contribute one fifth of the total foreign trade in China by 2017, bidnessetc.com notes.