Im­ported goods set to hog the Nov 11 lime­light

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By HE WEI in Shang­hai hewei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Con­sumers stand to ben­e­fit from more im­ported goods dur­ing this year’s Nov 11 shop­ping gala as mer­chants across the globe try to ride the im­port boom fu­eled by the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo.

At least 500 ad­di­tional new for­eign prod­ucts will be avail­able to Chi­nese bar­gain hunters who are pre­par­ing for the up­com­ing dis­count ex­trav­a­ganza, ac­cord­ing to Tmall Global, the ded­i­cated cross­bor­der e-com­merce arm of Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd.

The com­pany aims to de­velop around 30 small and medium-sized over­seas brands through con­tent mar­ket­ing en­deav­ors and help them achieve $10 mil­lion daily sales dur­ing the 24-hour shop­ping fes­ti­val, said Liu Peng, Tmall Global’s gen­eral man­ager over­see­ing im­ports and ex­ports.

Liu said the com­pany plans to fully lever­age the in­flu­ence of the CIIE, which runs from Nov 5 to 10 in Shang­hai, to in­tro­duce new brands to cus­tomers and help them bet­ter cap­ture the Chi­nese mar­ket through cus­tomer in­sight an­a­lyt­ics.

For Alibaba, part of the tieup with the of­fi­cial agenda in­cludes co-host­ing the Global Cross-Bor­der Im­port and Sup­ply Chain Lead­ers Sum­mit dur­ing the CIIE, which is “in re­sponse to the ma­jor pol­icy de­ci­sion on a new round of open­ing up at a higher level”, the com­pany said.

Rory Macleod, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and CEO of Aus­tralia’s Free­dom Foods Group, said his com­pany is ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing both the im­port fair and the Nov 11 pro­mo­tion. He said that cross-bor­der com­merce re­flects mar­ket changes, and is an op­por­tu­nity to see how China is adapt­ing to this trend.

“The govern­ment fair … is a lot broader and a lot more strate­gic … whereas Nov 11 is the epit­ome of what that’s all about,” he said.

For Tmall Global, the up­com­ing Nov 11 will fea­ture the roll­out of global wish lists and sought-after items, res­onat­ing with buy­ers who are seek­ing to di­ver­sify their sources of pur­chases in pur­suit of a higher qual­ity of life, Liu said.

The com­pany also inked deals with five lead­ing in­ter­na­tional brands, in­clud­ing Unilever, Nes­tle and Pfizer, to part­ner on prod­uct in­no­va­tion and pre­mier launches.

“Ev­ery time I come here, there’s some­thing new to par­tic­i­pate in and to learn about,” said Amy Paulose, gen­eral man­ager of US nuts brand Emily’s. “The Tmall team has been so great and sup­port­ing us … (to iden­tify) the right ac­tiv­i­ties for each brand.”

Chi­nese con­sumers’ grow­ing ap­petite for im­ported goods is help­ing Ja­panese beauty de­vice spe­cial­ist Refa reap huge fi­nan­cial gains, ac­cord­ing to its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Keizo Naka­jima.

“Sales in China jumped eight times after we made our de­but in China via Tmall Global three years ago. Such out­stand­ing per­for­mance has in part as­sisted our suc­cess­ful ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in Ja­pan,” he said.

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