SMEs keen on e-com­merce ex­ports

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou li­wen­fang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Small and medium-sized en­ter­prises in the Chi­nese main­land are more en­thu­si­as­tic about the use of e-com­merce and dig­i­tal chan­nels to drive ex­port growth than their coun­ter­parts in other Asia-Pa­cific coun­tries and the rest of the world.

About 97 per­cent of the 500 Chi­nese SMEs stud­ied are al­ready ex­port­ing their goods through e-com­merce, com­pared with 80 per­cent for the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion and glob­ally, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­search com­mis­sioned by FedEx Ex­press.

The re­search cov­ered 17 mar­kets world­wide in Au­gust and Septem­ber, in­ter­view­ing 1,000 SME se­nior ex­ec­u­tives in Bri­tain and 500 in each of the other mar­kets.

About 61 per­cent of the Chi­nese firms be­lieve they will gen­er­ate more e-com­merce rev­enue next year, com­pared with 40 per­cent glob­ally and 44 per­cent in Asia-Pa­cific, said Eddy Chan, head of FedEx China.

As re­ported by the study, 94 per­cent of the Chi­nese SMEs are al­ready gen­er­at­ing rev­enue through mo­bile com­merce (25 per­cent of their to­tal rev­enue) and so­cial me­dia trans­ac­tions (17 per­cent). In con­trast, only 59 per­cent of SMEs in the rest of Asia Pa­cific and 67 per­cent glob­ally are get­ting rev­enue through th­ese two chan­nels.

“De­spite slug­gish global growth, Chi­nese SMEs are weath­er­ing the storm. Ninety-three per­cent of ex­porters fore­cast that their ex­ist­ing level of ex­port rev­enue will ei­ther stay the same or in­crease in the next 12 months,” Chan said.

While the dig­i­tal econ­omy opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties, it also cre­ates chal­lenges. Chal­lenges also come from in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion costs and greater com­pe­ti­tion in other mar­kets.

“Chi­nese SMEs are for­ward-look­ing, how­ever, see­ing tech­nol­ogy as means to cope with their con­cerns and help them im­prove their ex­port busi­ness.”

About 48 per­cent of the Chi­nese com­pa­nies in­ter­viewed say in­vest­ment in new tech­nol­ogy is their top so­lu­tion to over­come chal­lenges and 81 per­cent be­lieve tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions will make ex­port­ing eas­ier.

Rec­og­niz­ing the value of an ef­fi­cient sup­ply chain, 96 per­cent of the Chi­nese SMEs in the study agree lo­gis­tics is an im­por­tant part in their ex­port process and about 66 per­cent say they have be­come more re­liant on lo­gis­tics providers in re­cent years.

Cross-bor­der e-com­merce ex­ports from China stood at 4.5 tril­lion yuan ($648 bil­lion) last year, up 26 per­cent year-on-year, in­clud­ing both B2B and B2C modes, ac­cord­ing to China E-Com­merce Re­search Cen­ter.

In June last year, the State Coun­cil is­sued a 12-point guide­line for pro­mot­ing healthy and speedy cross-bor­der e-com­merce, in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of suit­able pol­icy and su­per­vi­sion sys­tems and fa­cil­i­tat­ing ev­ery as­pect of trad­ing.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A woman in Binzhou, Shan­dong prov­ince, sorts straw and wil­low prod­ucts, which are made in a com­pany she owns and sold on­line.

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