Over the last years, Chinese online shoppers are purchasing via e-commerce cross border websites.

In China, international cross-border import trade is gaining popularity among online consumers.

The practice of purchase products through overseas online shopping platforms is called “haitao”. In 2010, the transaction value of China’s online consumers buying on overseas marketplaces accounted 12 billion yuan while in 2013 the figures increased up to 74.4 billion yuan. It is expected that China’s cross border trade by e-commerce platforms will account 6.5 trillion yuan in 2016.

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The most popular countries for Chinese “haitao” shoppers to buy are United States, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Korea, Denmark, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Sweden.


During their purchases via e-commerce cross border websites, Chinese consumers are more willing to purchase the next product categories:

  • Cosmetics and skin care products, makeup products and perfume.
  • Apparel and miscellaneous products for women.
  • Health supplement products, milk powder and food supplement.

As a consequence of the baby milk scandal in 2008 that affected deeply the China’s population, majority of parents refuse to buy more infant milk made in China and are seeking for international brands. Through e-commerce cross border platforms they have access to a huge variety of brands and products related to milk and baby products.

baby milk

The key factors driving Chinese online consumers to buy overseas are the price, authenticity and scarcity. Due to the VAT taxes, some products such as cosmetics, haute couture and luxury items are more expensive in China than abroad. Also, the huge number of copycats across the Chinese market creates mistrust among consumers about the products quality.

In addition, the new designers’ collections arrive late to China and the desire to be the first person in China wearing the new collection drives Chinese consumers to foreign sites to buy those products. However, Chinese consumers use “haitao” sites to buy brands and products already well known in the Asian giant.

tom ford

There are many aspects that have supported the growth of overseas online shopping by Chinese consumers. For instance, the government has launched many regulations to promote cross-border e-commerce in order to increase the Chinese consumption and Shanghai Free Trade Zone is the most significant symbol of the government’s strategy. There are other aspects such as the maturity of e-commerce market in china, the increase of payment solutions and the growing desire for foreign products.

In China there are many platforms which provide “haitao” services to Chinese shoppers.

Amazon China

Amazon is an American e-commerce company founded in 1994 which started as an online bookstore but soon diversified its business to many product categories.


Last August, the company announced it would begin cross-border online shipping in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Now, Chinese consumers can buy products via Amazon websites in the USA and other countries and they receive the items in one week or 10 days with lower delivery costs.

Tmall International

Tmall International is the popular Chinese e-commerce website which allows international companies to directly sell their products to Chinese shoppers.

burberry tmall 2


Sasa is a leading cosmetics retailing group in Asia based founded in Hong Kong in 1978.

The brand sells over 600 brands, including more than 17,000 skincare, fragrance, make-up and hair care, body care products, health and beauty supplements. Among its brands, Sasa have products of international brands and also own-brands and exclusive products.


Through its website, Chinese consumers can use yuan to pay the products.


This website is an online retailer focused on foreign products to children and their parents.


There are many others e-commerce cross border websites such as EachNet, yMatou.com, KJT.com, Miyaobaobei.hk or Rakuten.

Increasingly more, e-commerce platforms are gaining popularity in China. Nowadays, most of Chinese internet users purchase items online due to the convenience and the access of a vast number of products providing by e-commerce sites.

In addition, Chinese consumers have developed a strong curiosity for international goods and they use e-commerce sites to purchase those desired products.

If you want to introduce your products in China, you will need an e-commerce platforms and a digital marketing strategy. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we will help you to increase your presence and your sales in China.





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  1. a site does not mention but very popular in cross board trade in China is dhgate.com , but it is mainly focus on selling chinese goods to abroad…

  2. I am interested to Interview Chinese Crossborder founders.
    Can you send to me their contact or introduce them to me by email.
    Thank you Gentlemen 😉

  3. I got this web page from my pal who shared with me on the topic of this web site and at the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading
    very informative content here.

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