Amazon recently announced it would be closing China's market place business in domestic eCommerce.
While people are lamenting about the challenge for western internet companies to be successful in China and the dominance of Alibaba and JD (again), I think they're overlooking the importance of the move of Amazon's shifted focus on cross-border eCommerce for China.
Cross-border eCommerce has been growing exponentially in China. Based on this emerging channel alone some western brands in food and beverage have grown into a significant size of China business, e.g. Swisse and Blackmore (we are talking about billion dollar RMB businesses!).
The channel ecosystem is also different from that for domestic eCommerce. In addition to Alibaba and JD, there are new important players -- including Netease Kaola, Little Red Book and many vertical social eCommerce players (which are still emerging).
It is time to seriously evaluate this potential new avenue to reach Chinese consumers via cross-border eCommerce.
The company said it was shifting its focus to selling imported goods in China, based on greater customer demand for products from the US and elsewhere. “Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly emphasise cross-border sales, and in return we’ve seen very strong response from Chinese customers,” the statement said.