China is not enough
Alipay, the famous payment service developed by Alibaba is knowing a huge success throughout China and is looking forward to take its services overseas. Platforms like Aliexpress or Tmall Global are already aiming to a more internationalized market and now it is time for Alipay to follow the same path, the cross-border path.
Alipay is crossing boundaries
The Alibaba group is working hard to extend the use of its electronic payment solution by making it available outside mainland China. Some deals have been operated by Alibaba in Hong Kong or Taiwan for example. But it seems like the ambition is bigger, after announcing a serious partnership with the huge Japanese e-commerce actor, Rakuten, ASOS the famous British Fashion E-Commerce website also added Alipay as a payment option. Even Japan will start integrated Alipay to its services. All these measures could really make cross-boarding shopping easier for Chinese consumers, used to pay with Alipay, so they don’t have to adapt to overseas payment systems like PayPal.
And now, South Korea
Alibaba operated a partnership with the top conglomerate Lotte, which owns Lotte.com the leader in the Korean retail industry Lotte.com (with duty free shops and department stores). Alibaba is estimating Lotte’s users at 16 Million, and among these 16 Million users, Chinese consumers seem to represent the largest part. The Shopping mall now allows its dear Chinese customers to purchase Korean products with Chinese Renmibi via their Alipay accounts.
Chinese consumers who absolutely love their cosmetics, apparel and healthcare products will no longer have to go to Korea to purchase what they want. All this was made possible thanks to the alliance with the Korean bank, Hana Bank, it allows Chinese tourists to create temporary barcode which they can use in many affiliated offline stores to pay (20 for the moment). Moreover, Hana Bank is getting commissions on transactions made.
Benefit to retailers
They were 18 million of online Chinese cross-border shoppers in 2014, they spent an amount of RMB 216 million (USD 35 million). The forecasts anticipate a number of Chinese cross-border shoppers doubled to 36 million by 2018. They are expected to spend RMB 1 trillion that is to say USD 160 billion.
Alipay represent a priceless opportunity for foreign companies wishing to penetrate the huge market of Chinese consumers. It gives these companies the opportunity to have a presence on the market without needing to compete with Chinese E-Commerce market actors. Alibaba’s first ambition is not to export its online platforms but more like becoming the Eastern PayPal. Alipay is already the most used electronic payment solution in Mainland China and it is performing more than 1,500 partnerships with overseas retailers from over 34 different countries and regions.
Bringing outside China inside
Chinese consumers are getting more and more sophisticated, increasingly looking outside China’s frontiers to buy high quality goods like imported food matching their recently improved lifestyle.
Cross bording is the fastest way for foreign companies to step into the market riding the e-commerce wave, a phenomenon that is drastically changing Chinese consuming behaviours (Check here).
Alibaba or other major e-commerce players make it easier for foreign brands in an attempt to cease the booming imported goods market. Will you take your chances? We are here to help you with that!
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