Alibaba, JD.com Throw Weight Behind Beijing Import Drive– Caixin Global
What happened: Heeded Beijing’s call to boost the nation’s imports, China’s leading e-commerce platforms announced commitments to help import a combined $250 billion worth of foreign goods at the first ever China Import Expo in Shanghai. Alibaba leads the group with a $200 billion pledge to import goods from more than 120 countries over the next five years and JD plans to purchase nearly RMB 100 billion. Suning.com (euro 15 billion), NetEase Kaola (RMB 20 billion), VIP.com (RMB 10 billion) and Yangmatou (RMB 100 million) also joined the initiative.
Why it’s important: China is undergoing a dramatic consumption upgrade thanks to the robust economic growth in recent years. The country’s middle-to-high income consumers are fueling the demand for imported, quality goods. China’s cross-border e-commerce market has grown remarkably, with the proportion of imports to total e-commerce sales growing from 1.6% in 2014 to 10.2% in 2017, according to a joint report by Deloitte China, the China Chamber of International Commerce, and AliResearch. The surge has given rise to the cross-border e-commerce businesses in a series of traditional e-commerce tycoons like Alibaba’s Tmall Global, JD Worldwide, as well as vertical platforms focused on the sector, such as Xiaohongshu and Yangmatou.