China SME B2B Market Worth ¥5bn
IResearch reports that the SME B2B market in China was worth ¥4.96bn in the first six months of 2013 – an increase of 19.2% on 2012. However, the market grew at a slower rate in Q2 than Q1 – what could be the reasons for the slowdown? Although domestic demand has remained strong so far this year, the international picture tells a different story. As China’s exports have slowed, so has the demand for cross-border e-commerce. Has the slowdown changed the market landscape at all? It seems not – the 8 largest companies in 2012 still dominate SME B2c, with 63.9% market share. Alibaba maintained its lead with 42.9% in Q2, 1.2% higher than Q1. Alibaba’s latest addition to its e-commerce arsenal, the “pay for performance” (P4P) service on its international website, is the main reason for the increase in market share.
Source: China Internet Watch
E-Commerce – New Alliances, Old Rivalries
You might think that not much is happening in online retail. You’d be wrong. On the surface – it’s true that the market is growing year-on-year. However, behind the scenes – e-commerce is evolving. Soon, it will be a different animal altogether. E-commerce isn’t just about selling goods and services from business to consumer anymore. It’s about microblogging, mobile apps, devices and circles. It has to do with the entire user experience. As shopping has become an increasingly digitalised activity for Chinese consumers, so too have the working day, correspondence and leisure. Therefore, online shopping is no longer a novelty – it has become familiar, banal. In order to exceed user expectations, companies have to offer something new, something different. In China, they are doing exactly that. Take Sina Weibo – Taobao’s account synchronisation option, for example – more choice and utility for the user, more advertising space for an online retailer via a microblogging site. Tencent’s WeChat 5.0, which allows users to make online purchases, and which Alibaba recently blocked its users’ access. Although spun as a “security measure”, the move was widely interpreted as a deliberate attempt to safeguard Alipay, Alibaba’s own online payment platform. It is now rumoured that Tencent is planning to team up with online shopping mall JD.com in order to exclude Alipay from JDs list of supported online payment platforms. This would enhance the user experience for some consumers, but not for others. We can expect more cooperation, and confrontation, as Chinese e-commerce continues to evolve in the coming years.
Source: Titanium Media
The Future of Exports? E-Commerce!
With traditional exports in June having posted the biggest decline since the 2009 global downturn, China aims to promote further growth in cross-border e-commerce. In June, exports contracted 3.1 percent year-on-year, the first monthly decrease since January 2012 and the biggest decline since the 2009 world recession. Over the past few weeks, the government has acted to stabilise trade. Citing the complex and challenging trade environment, Beijing has pledged to provide convenient and efficient e-commerce platforms for exporters and help them enlarge their overseas network, reducing costs.
Chinese E-Commerce: Much More Social than American E-Commerce
When comparing e-commerce in the U.S. with e-commerce in China, one evident difference is that in China, e-commerce plays a much more significant role in the market than it does in the U.S. While in China e-commerce accounts for 20 to 30 percent of purchases, in the U.S. it only accounts for 7 percent of purchases. Furthermore, another significant difference between e-commerce in the two nations is found in the behavior of e-commerce users. In China, online shoppers are more socially active than in the U.S. While American online buyers in many occasions neglect online ratings and reviews, in China these two play a major impact in consumer’s decisions. In China, subscriptions to e-commerce platforms many times come with membership cards for the subscriber, yet in the U.S. this is not the case. Some even compare subscribing to an e-commerce platform in China to joining a club.
China’s Unicom WeChat ‘s Subscription Plan is Here
We have been following for several weeks now the progress of the development of the alliance between China’s Unicom and WeChat in developing a subscription plan together. Well today, Chinese Unicom and WeChat have finally launched together a special WeChat SIM card. This card evidently allows users to access the WeChat app, even if they do not have a 3G subscription. Furthermore, apart from chatting, the SIM card will also allow users to use data-heavy aspects of the app, such as games and online payments. Different plans of the SIM card are available, ranging from 30 to 60 RMB. Players in the industry expect sales to be remarkable.
Source: Tech Sina
Allpay has the Green Light to Offer International Service
Earlier this week, Allpay, a third-party payment provider, was granted permission by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan (MOEA) to conduct cross-border online transactions and to provide foreign settlement services to the public. The approval granted by the MOES has brought positive implications for e-commerce platforms such as Chinese Taobao. This is because Taiwanese consumers will now be able to make purchases from different online shopping platforms without having to find someone to make payments on their behalf. Allpay will also allow Taiwanese consumers to make foreign currency deposits via its payment platform, thus soon making purchases on Taobao will be as easy as making purchases on local Taiwanese online stores. On the other hand, Allpay will also allow Taiwanese e-commerce players to sell to Chinese consumers, who are used to making payments through Alipay or other third-party payment providers.
Source: Want China Times