Chinese shopkeepers are quietly conquering the world. A new survey shows three of the planet’s top four internet shops globally are Chinese, and Alibaba’s Taobao did twice as much business as Amazon.com. (Sorry, Jeff.)
How did they get so big so quickly?
One factor is home location – there are A LOT of customers in Asia – 60 per cent of the world. The figures are “evidence of the immense buying power in Asia-Pacific,” Insider Intelligence reported.
Also, Asians are resistant to anti-China rhetoric and less political generally, so buy for quality and price. Hong Kong, for example, used to be a city of Amazon buyers but the population moved in bulk to Alibaba’s Taobao several years ago and has never looked back.
A third factor is creativity. As Tiktok and live-streaming sites have shown, Chinese businesses can sometimes get ahead through innovation. The obvious example is Pingduoduo, an e-commerce site that brings social fun into shopping. (Buyers gang up to purchase together and win big discounts.)
A fourth factor is language. Many Western corporations expect Asians to learn English, while Chinese corporations assume they have to set up operations that work in Chinese and English. Even in the US, individual app downloads of Pinduoduo’s Temu puts it in the top five, according to Sensor Tower, a digital industry research firm—impressive for an app which just launched in September.
What does this mean for the long run? For decades, manufacturers across the world have seen wealthy North America as the place to sell their goods. But they will eventually notice that Asia’s retail ecommerce sales will approach US$3.5 trillion this year. In contrast, Insider Intelligence says North America’s sales will be in the region of US$1 trillion.
Traders worldwide will go where the money is.
Image at the top by Microsoft Edge