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Alipay offers China online access to western retailers
24
Oct '14
Western retailers will now have a direct online sales channel to Chinese consumers through ePass, a new initiative from Alipay, China’s largest e-payments provider.

Through ePass, Chinese consumers will be able to purchase goods directly from an overseas retailers’ e-commerce website.

Consumers will pay in RMB through Alipay and have products shipped across borders directly to their homes and transactions will be completed through the Alipay Wallet mobile shopping app.

ePass combines Alipay’s cross-border foreign currency settlement service with overseas delivery solutions from China Smart Logistics Network also known as Cainiao in China.

Alongside, it will also offer retailers access to e-marketing options from Chinese online ad network Alimama.

“We are trying to make it easy for Western merchants to reach Chinese consumers without the need to set up warehouses or hire staff in China,” Jingming Li – President at Alipay US noted.

Li added, “Alipay is essentially acting as a bridge, making it easier for Western merchants to leverage the ecosystem of Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company.”

Chinese consumers in search of Western brands and products are increasingly shopping internationally over the internet and this cross-border e-commerce is already a $40 billion business.

Many consumers are using online purchasing agents to buy products for them from English language websites and ship to consumers’ doorsteps.

“But using this system, Chinese buyers don’t know when they will receive the goods they have paid for,” Li said.

“By purchasing overseas with Alipay Wallet, consumers receive shipping information including estimates of when their orders will arrive and thereby certainty,” he informed.

Alipay, which has been quietly experimenting with cross-border shopping for a year, is hardly alone in trying to open up online sales channels between Western merchants and Chinese consumers.

Tmall.com and Tmall Global too are offering various combinations of payment, shipping and shopping solutions to solve a few complexities and costs involved in cross-border e-commerce.

A key difference is that Alipay’s ePass does not require merchants to join a Chinese marketplace or translate their existing online shops into Chinese.

“We are not competing with Tmall or Tmall Global as they are bringing actual products into China for Chinese consumers, while we are about bringing the western online shopping experience into China,” Li explained. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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