SHANGHAI — Two of China’s largest e-commerce players, Alibaba and JD.com, have announced new avenues for selling Japanese products on their flagship business-to-consumer platforms.
Alibaba is teaming with Yahoo Japan to lower the barriers for approximately one thousand Japanese shops and brands to sell on Tmall, Alibaba’s B2C platform, to China’s 300 million e-commerce consumers — a number more than double Japan’s entire population.
“Alibaba Group will work closely with Yahoo! Japan and its merchants to bring premium, authentic Japanese products directly into the Chinese market. Tmall.com and Tmall Global will cooperate with Yahoo! Japan on a business level to connect Japanese merchants to the Chinese market and allow them to sell their popular products within China,” an Alibaba Group spokesperson confirmed to WWD on Monday.
It is expected that, starting this summer, Yahoo Japan and Alibaba will split the duty on goods sold as part of the program, and Alibaba will reduce their $121,000 registration fee by 20 percent to sellers invited to join the new scheme.
At the same time, JD.com has announced the launch of a Japanese Mall on its platform, a new channel devoted to the sale of authentic imported Japanese products. This is the third such channel available on JD.com, with the company previously launching a French Mall and Korean Mall, to promote products from those respective countries.
According to JD Mall chief executive officer, Haoyu Shen, Japanese Mall will focus on satisfying the growing demand among Chinese consumers for authentic Japanese products in a wide range of categories, including maternity, baby, food, personal care, cosmetics, apparel, luggage, home decoration, electronics and home appliances.
“Our new Japanese Mall provides Chinese consumers with a trusted source for buying imported Japanese products,” Shen said.
“Japanese Mall will give more Japanese brands greater exposure to China’s rapidly growing demand for imported goods, and will further solidify JD.com’s reputation as China’s online leader for guaranteed authentic products.”
Both of these moves come off the back of last week’s announcement that China will cut import tariffs on products including skincare, as well as some clothing and shoe segments, all of which represent categories increasingly in demand from Chinese consumers, particularly Japanese brands, which are widely considered by shoppers here to be innovative, fashion-forward and, most importantly, safe.
The announcements also come at a politically expedient time, with traditional tensions between the countries relatively calm at present.