The Numbers Game: Sino the times and it’s online

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300 million registered users. That’s the number of Chinese consumers who use “Tmall” China’s online shopping platform. Ecommerce has taken off as opportunities from the growing Chinese middle class continue to emerge for companies around the world and the rise of these ecommerce has made selling products into mainland China easier than ever before.

According, to Ken Ma, Alibaba’s head of international business development in the Asia Pacific, in 2014, the Chinese online market was a sizeable $US21 billion – but it’s expected to grow to $US245 billion by 2020. Alibaba recently opened their headquarters for Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne as their visiting CEO Jack Ma regards Australian companies as vital to China’s economic future and the global expansion of Alibaba.

One Australian company who has picked up the ecommerce trend early in China is heath supplement company Blackmores, who has a partnership with Alibaba. According to Peter Osborne, Blackmores managing director in Asia says online sales into China in a big part of their business:

“About 80 per cent of our sales in China are online,” he says. “For foreign companies it’s a relatively easy route to market.

Osborne also has seen social media take off in China and it has become a key part of the company’s marketing across the middle kingdom. And with 300 million plus consumers online you can see why Australian companies see their ecommerce strategy to be as much Shanghai and Shandong as it is Singapore and Silicon Valley.

This article was originally published in the Herald Sun

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China: 60 second business etiquette tip