Trade war or not, ecommerce in China is on a continuing boom and it’s hard not to pay attention to the innovation that’s taking place especially in automation of freight and warehousing, and the massive size of some of the online portals like JD.com which has been valued at over $55 billion.
In 2017, e-commerce transactions amounted to 29 trillion yuan, mobile payment transactions amounted to more than 200 trillion yuan, and employed nearly 42.5 million, ranking first in the world. In particular, China’s online retail sales amounted to 7 trillion yuan, accounting for about 50% of the world; among the top 10 global e-commerce companies, Chinese companies occupy four seats according to Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of Commerce via Xinhua)
Taking e-commerce logistics as an example, in 2017, China’s express delivery volume totaled 40.06 billion pieces, of which nearly 70% were driven by e-commerce.
This is not just domestic products either, cross-border online shopping, known as haitao 海淘 or CBEC (cross-border E-commerce) is also hugely popular.
For Chinese consumers who value quality, health, safety and packaging design, imported goods are gradually being recognized. Through online platforms such as Koala Haimao, Tmall International, and Jingdong International, Chinese consumers can buy products from all over the world.
A Nielsen’s online shopper trend research report shows that in 2017, the proportion of consumers doing multinational e-commerce shopping was as high as 67%, compared with 34% in 2015. According to further research by Nielsen, men aged 26-35 and women aged 26-40 have a preference for cross-border shopping. They also reported that these shoppers are highly educated, have a monthly household income of over RMB11,000, while generally working in private enterprises, joint ventures or foreign companies.
The leaders in cross-border sales and their market shares are Tmall Global (27.6%), Kaola (20.5%), JD Worldwide (13.8%), VIP (9.8%), Amazon (9.1%), Xiaohongshu (4.6%), Suning Global (2.5%) and Jumei (2.4%).
China’s top 50 ecommerce sites
|网易考拉||Kaola||https://www.kaola.com||Cross border goods from Kaola and independent sellers|
|淘宝||Taobao||https://world.taobao.com||International goods & cross border sales with independent merchants|
|天猫||Tmall||https://www.tmall.com||Domestic goods primarily with independent merchants|
|京东商城||Jingdong||https://www.jd.com||Domestic and cross border goods from JD and independent merchants|
|阿里巴巴1688||Alibaba1688||https://www.1688.com||Cross border commerce with independent merchants|
|苏宁易购||Suning||https://www.suning.com||National Electrical goods retailer|
|亚马逊中国||Amazon China||https://www.amazon.cn||Domestic and international goods from JD and independent merchants|
|国美在线||Gome||https://www.gome.com.cn||National Electrical goods retailer|
|唯品会||Vipshop||https://www.vip.com||Discounted authentic domestic and international brand name goods|
|蘑菇街||Mogujie||https://www.mogujie.com||Social commerce fashion app|
|返利网||Fanli||http://www.fanli.com||Rebate shopping – aggregating several major online retailers|
|聚美优品||Jumei||http://www.jumei.com||Domestic and international lifestyle goods from Jumei and independent merchants|
|美丽说||Meilishuo||http://www.meilishuo.com||Social commerce fashion app focused on women’s fashion|
|乐蜂网||Lefeng||http://www.lefeng.com||Beauty and cosmetics retailer|
|慧聪网||Huicong||https://www.hc360.com||B2B sales from independent merchants|
|贝贝网||Beibei||http://www.beibei.com||Baby and maternity goods from Beibei and independent merchants|
|中粮我买网||Womai||http://www.womai.com||b2c health food shopping|
|好乐买||OkBuy||http://www.okbuy.com||b2c brand name clothes and fashion|
|酒仙网||Jiuxian||http://www.jiuxian.com||b2c wine & spirits|
|尚品网||Shangpin||http://www.shangpin.com||Brand name fashion|
|蜜芽宝贝||Mia||http://www.mia.com||Baby and maternity goods|
|洋码头||Yangmatou||http://www.ymatou.com||C2C and M2C focussed on cross-border commerce|
|顺风优选||Sfbest||http://www.sfbest.com||M2C imported and domestic foods|
|卷皮||Juanpi||http://www.juanpi.com||Daily needs from Juanpi and independent merchants|
|名鞋库||Mingxieku||http://www.s.cn||B2C brand name shoes|
|母婴之家||Muyingzhijia||http://www.muyingzhijia.com||B2C maternity, baby and kids products|
|一呼百应||YouBoy||http://www.youboy.com||B2B equipment, machinery and hardware with independent merchants|
|华强北商城||OKHQB||http://www.okhqb.com||B2C e-commerce platform focussed on electronics from Huaqiangbei (ran by the Shenzhen Gov)|
|科通芯城||Cogobuy||https://www.cogobuy.com||B2C electronics components|
|本来生活网||Benlai||http://www.benlai.com||B2C fresh groceries and produce|
|麦包包||Mbaobao||http://www.mbaobao.com||B2C womens bags|
|走秀网||Zouxiu||http://www.xiu.com||Cross-border ecommerce focused on luxury and fashion|
|梦芭莎||Moonbasa||http://www.moonbasa.com||B2C domestic fashion|
|中国图书网||Books China||http://www.bookschina.com||B2C bookstore|
|铭万网||Mingwan||http://www.b2b.cn||B2B hardware with independent merchants|
|每日一淘||Fresh Buddy||http://freshbuddy.cn||B2C Fresh produce|
|YOHO有货||YOHO||https://www.yohobuy.com||B2C youth fashion|
|中国供应商||China Supplier||https://cn.china.cn||B2B Independent merchants|
|乐友孕婴童网上商城||Leyou||http://www.leyou.com.cn||B2C maternity, baby and kids products|
|沱沱工社||TooToo||http://www.tootoo.cn||B2C Organic produce|
|新蛋网||Newegg||http://www.newegg.cn||B2C Domestic and cross border electronics|
|易果生鲜||Yiguo||http://www.yiguo.com||B2C Fresh Produce|
|新居网||Xinju||http://www.homekoo.com||B2C home furniture|
|小红书||RED||https://www.xiaohongshu.com||Social ecommerce with cross border retail luxury, beauty and fashion products|
|魅力惠||MEI||http://www.mei.com||B2C Luxury goods|
|跨境通||KJT.com||http://www.kjt.com||B2C & M2C Cross border ecommerce official e-commerce platform of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone)|
|海淘网||Haitao||http://www.haitao.com||M2C Cross border trade platform|
More about Cross Border eCommerce
There is two methods being
main body: overseas e-commerce or ecommerce platform
delivery logistics: overseas transshipment logistics
delivery place: product production
price: by e-commerce or ecommerce platform pricing, with local sales price
settlement method: with international credit card or other Customized settlement method, exchange rate fluctuation
arrival time: delivery time + overseas transportation time + customs clearance time + domestic transportation time
Well-known brands: Amazon’s global direct mail
(China) Bonded Warehouse Delivery
Body: Trading Company
Delivery Logistics: Domestic Logistics
Delivery Location: Bonded Warehouse Location
Price: Final Seller Pricing + Overseas Shipping + Customs
Settlement Method: RMB Settlement
Arrival Time: Bonded Warehouse to Goods Receipt
Well-known brands: Jingdong
An important point is the “CBEC (Cross Border E Commerce) positive list” issued by the Chinese Government which can be found here: http://gss.mof.gov.cn/ [PDF] [CN]
Items on this list can be sold via the bonded warehouses meaning taxes and duties are paid at the time of sale. This allows merchants a lot more freedom with inventory. Importantly, goods on this list are also offered attractive tax and duty rates.
Note, for the consumer, these benefits are limited to single purchase of no greater than 5000RMB and a total yearly transactions of no more than 26,000RMB with items outside this being taxed as normal.
Lots of well known overseas brands have added Chinese friendly sections to their sites or created dedicated portals from where Mainland consumers can purchase such as
With many accepting unionpay and alipay for payment. Although they ship to direct to the Chinese consumer it is the recipient’s obligation to pay any duties with some packages going through unabated and others held at customs in the receivers area for collection and payment of duties.
Note, there are also bonded sales centers such as Hoko Mall in Qianhai District Shenzhen where you can buy imports from Hong Kong and overseas without tax and duty. There are currently 12 bonded zones across China.