2015 Was a Huge Year for Cross-Border Growth Into China

Last week, Tmall Global and CBN Data published a “2015 China Cross-Border Consumption Report” to highlight Tmall’s growth. And the numbers are pretty impressive, and eye-opening if you’ve yet to create a strategy for selling into China.

Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • Tmall Global in 2015 attracted more than 5,400 foreign brands with around 2,000 categories of goods from 53 countries and regions worldwide, of which 80% had not previously operated in the Chinese market.
  • The report shows that 80% of these brands had not operated in China prior to 2015. It shows how Tmall Global has become the foremost global retail platform for brands to enter the Chinese market, as well a strategic first step for brands hoping to access the wider Asia-Pacific market.
  • The success of Tmall Global’s strategy to attract well-known international brands is reflected in Alibaba Group’s latest earnings report, released January 28, which shows Tmall Global’s turnover grew 179% in 2015 year-on-year.
  • Among the Top 100 international retailers to have established a presence on Tmall Global in 2015 were department stores and duty-free shops such as Macy’s, House of Fraser, Laox, Shilla and Kingpower, along with supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Woolworths and Metro. Beauty giants include Japan’s Kao Beauty and Shiseido Group, and lifestyle and food brands such as America’s Huggies, France’s Danone and South Korea’s Amore.
  • In line with Alibaba’s globalization strategy, Tmall Global worked closely with governments, including those of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and Australia, to create 13 country pavilions in 2015 that allow fresh fruit, produce, milk and other local specialties unique to each participating country to be sold in China. The annual Singles Day in November last year, known as “2015 Alibaba Group 11.11 Global Shopping Festival” saw over 95 million visitors to Tmall Global, of which 30 million consumers made purchases from international brands.
  • Statistics from Tmall and Taobao showed that 90% of foreign brands reached China’s rural market for the first time in 2015. According to Tmall’s cross-border sales data, outside tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, which tend to consume more imported goods, consumption of foreign goods in Xinjiang is already on par with Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Ningxia, Shanxi, Henan, Sichuan and Gansu were among the fastest growing provinces for consuming imported goods.

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