Koubei to juice 12-12 up with over­seas deals

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By FAN FEIFEI fan­feifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Koubei, the on­line-to-off­line or O2O e-com­merce plat­form backed by in­ter­net gi­ant Alibaba Group Hold­ing, ex­pects to give over­seas off­line stores a sales boost and pro­vide in­ter­net-based fi­nance for more mer­chants dur­ing the “Dou­ble 12” (Dec 12) shop­ping fes­ti­val on Mon­day.

The com­pany said from Dec 10 to 12, more than 1 mil­lion su­per­mar­kets, restau­rants, convenience stores, cine­mas and gas sta­tions around the coun­try will use its plat­form to of­fer dis­counts of up to 50 per­cent to users, via Alibaba’s mo­bile pay­ment plat­form Ali­pay.

In ad­di­tion, some 70,000 off­line stores in 16 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the United States, the United King­dom, Ger­many, France, South Korea, Ja­pan, Thai­land and bil­lion Sin­ga­pore, will par­tic­i­pate in the fes­ti­val through Koubei.

Con­sumers will re­ceive steep dis­counts from over­seas duty-free shops, depart­ment stores, air­ports, night fairs, su­per­mar­kets and restau­rants as well.

Ant Check Later, an on­line con­sumer fi­nance ser­vice pro­vided by Ant Fi­nan­cial from the Alibaba sta­ble, will ex­tend loans to con­sumers to fund pur­chases from over­seas sell­ers.

“Dou­ble 12” is some­thing of a se­quel to Alibaba’s more fa­mous “Dou­ble 11”, the an­nual Nov 11 on­line shop­ping fes­ti­val. This year, 11-11 raked in 120.7 bil­lion yuan ($17.5 bil­lion) in sales for Alibaba’s on­line mar­ket­places in just 24 hours.

Last year’s 12-12 saw par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than 300,000 busi­nesses that ac­cepted pay­ments for in-store pur­chases through the com­pany’s mo­bile pay­ment app.

“Off­line busi­nesses will be up­graded by in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy. Koubei will lever­age its own re­sources and ad­van­tages such as its huge num­ber of ac­tive users, tech­nol­ogy and big data to help mer­chants en­hance the ef­fi­ciency of ev­ery link of pro­duc­tion and cre­ate added value,” said Samuel Fan, CEO of Koubei.

Fan said in­ter­net-based con­sumer fi­nance will be ex­tended to off­line busi­nesses this 1212. For ex­am­ple, dur­ing the “Dou­ble 12” fes­ti­val, some off­line busi­nesses of­fer in­surance for con­sumers, cover­ing food se­cu­rity and per­sonal safety.

Koubei also pro­vides credit ser­vices for mer­chants.

Koubei, which was es­tab- lished by Alibaba and its fi­nance arm Ant Fi­nan­cial in June last year with a to­tal in­vest­ment of $1 bil­lion, is seen as Alibaba’s O2O ve­hi­cle to take on the cur­rent mar­ket leader, Ten­cent-backed Meituan-Dian­ping.

Ac­cord­ing to Koubei, more than 1.5 mil­lion off­line busi­nesses have set up vir­tual stores on its plat­form.

Lu Zhen­wang, CEO of Wan­qing Con­sul­tancy in Shang­hai, said: “Ali­pay hopes to en­hance the fre­quency of its use and users’ stick­i­ness at off­line stores through Dou­ble 12, and its ul­ti­mate goal is to of­fer fi­nance, big data and other value-added ser­vices for mer­chants.”

Wang Pengbo, an an­a­lyst at Bei­jing-based in­ter­net con­sul­tancy Analysys, said 12-12 will im­prove the en­gage­ment of brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ers with con­sumers, and con­tinue the shop­ping spree that be­gan around 11-11.

to­tal in­vest­ment on launch­ing Koubei last year



A su­per­mar­ket em­ployee in Wuhan, cap­i­tal of Hubei prov­ince, scans a con­sumer’s mo­bile phone to fin­ish pay­ment dur­ing last year’s “Dou­ble 12” shop­ping fes­ti­val.

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