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E-commerce platforms play pivotal role in China's import expansion

Copyfrom:Global TimesPost Time:2018-11-08 09:22:04

China's e-commerce platforms have been playing a pivotal role in  expanding the country's imports and stimulating domestic consumption upgrading in recent years, several reports released during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai showed. 

In one recent move, JD.com announced that it will import commodities valued at $14.47 billions of yuan from a number of overseas consumer brands including Germany-based Miji Electronics and Appliances, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Tiger, De'Longhi, Dell and Marantz. 

Social media and e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu told the Global Times on Wednesday that US-based ColourPop Cosmetics has opened an online store on its site to boost sales in the Chinese market.   

Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute under the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times that China's e-commerce platforms are bridging the demands of domestic consumers with foreign brands, helping the country to import goods of "better quality" at "a faster speed." 

"Cross-border e-commerce sites are now becoming the new direction and growth drivers of China's foreign trade," Bai added.

In 2018, imported goods' stock keeping units surged 156 percent compared with 2016, according to a report released over the weekend ahead of the opening of the CIIE.

"E-commerce platforms are now rising to be an important channel through which Chinese consumers can purchase imported goods," JD.com also said in a report released on Tuesday. 

For example, the number of overseas items JD.com sold on its platform in 2018 was 150 percent higher than in 2016. 

In the first half of 2018, the top five imports in terms of sales were smartphones, computers, household appliances, baby products and digital products. 

"Compared with foreign online retailers, Chinese competitors have an overwhelming edge in logistics efficiency and services," Zhong Ming, a senior executive at Philips, was quoted as saying in the report. 

Domestic e-retailers can leverage their advantage in big data based on users' shopping habits and those shoppers' search histories to recommend products, Bai noted. 

This move would further drive up market demand and prompt consumption upgrading, the expert said. 

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