China’s e-commerce players commit to broaden overseas

If all goes to plan, more Chinese goods will flow into the global market

Amazon is set to open an innovation center in the Chinese city of Shenzhen to assist Middle Kingdom businesses increase exports – an effort that aligns with the likes of Alibaba and the wider Chinese e-commerce industry.

"By supporting sellers' communication, learning and innovative practices, we aim to enhance the competitiveness of Chinese companies on the international stage," Amazon vice-president Cindy Tai told state-sponsored outlet China Daily.

The exec was speaking at a seller conference on Tuesday in Shenzen, the site of the planned innovation center. She declared the innovation center will be designed to assist sellers with product introductions, brand building, digital operations, green development and new business models.

The US e-commerce giant claimed in September that it had boosted number of Chinese sellers that rake in over $1 million on its site by over 25 percent year-on-year. Sellers bringing in over $10 million increased by almost 30 percent.

Amazon's efforts appear to be directed mainly at Asian buyers, but China's players are already doing that too.

Alibaba injected $845 million into its Southeast Asia retail business, Lazada, this past July. Bytedance's TikTok has meanwhile found a way back into the major e-commerce market of Indonesia by purchasing a majority stake in local e-commerce unt Tokopedia.

More intriguingly, China's e-commerce giants are also eyeing off Europe. Alibaba recently purchased German B2B market platform provider Visable and indicated it would chase growth across the continent.

"Intra-regional trade in Europe is probably two or three times bigger than its trade with the rest of the world," stated Alibaba president Zhang Kuo Zhang.

"Looking across Europe, Germany is top of my mind, as well as the United Kingdom and Italy," he added in a post to an Alibaba a corporate website. He listed factors for choosing new markets as GDP, stability and economic growth rate – in that order. another giant Chinese e-commerce platform, has also zeroed in on the continent, partly by expanding and upgrading European warehouses and partnering with Europe-based international parcel deliverers.

"JD Retail is committed to serving as the most reliable channel for European brands entering China," the e-tailer proclaimed on its corporate blog in September. Meanwhile, the business's roadmap includes extending supply chain services globally.

A timeline for completion of Amazon's Shenzhen plans was not discussed. At the conference, Amazon announced its strategic priorities for 2024 – among them simplifying global operations, global supply chain optimization, and supporting global expansion. ®

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