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E-commerce finds markets overseas

(China Daily)

10:17, January 02, 2013

The warehouse of online clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co in Beijing’s Daxing county. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Companies test water abroad as domestic market getting tougher, Chen Limin reports.

While e-commerce companies have plunged into ever-increasing competition in the Chinese domestic market, some are trying their luck outside China to find other ways to fuel growth. A number of Chinese e-commerce players, including Jingdong Mall, dubbed China's, and online clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co, have already stretched their reach globally with different approaches.

Jingdong Mall's English-language website, offering nearly 400,000 products, went online in October. Supporting delivery to 35 countries, it attracts most of its overseas customers from North America, Western Europe and Australia.

Vancl started even earlier. It began its overseas expansion in 2010 by providing an English version of its website, and in September, it teamed up with Vietnamese online payment company ECPay to provide a Vietnamese-language website and set up local operations.

"Vietnam is quite representative of Asian markets: Fast-growing with a considerable market size and similar in culture," Luan Yilai, Vancl's associate president, said.

"We think we can grow quickly if we start in Vietnam."

Luan said Vancl is considering expanding its global footprint to more markets, and Russia, where it is looking for possible cooperation, will probably be next.

Jingdong Mall also has a Russian-language website and sells products to the country through cooperation with a local partner, said a report by Nanfang Metropolis Daily that cited unnamed sources. Jingdong Mall didn't comment on this.

E-commerce companies are the latest batch of Chinese Internet companies to spread their global reach. The earliest ones to go global were online game providers, which started overseas adventures in 2003.

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