According to industry sources, the Chinese e-commerce market showed 21.3 percent year-on-year growth to reach 12.3 trillion yuan (US$1.98 trillion) in size last year. It is predicted to get to 15 trillion yuan (US$2.4 trillion) this year, 18 trillion yuan (US$2.9 trillion) in 2016, and 21.1 trillion yuan (US$3.40 trillion) in 2017. The e-commerce trade between Korea and China is showing a rapid increase these days as well, based on Chinese consumer preferences for Korean products such as cosmetics, clothes, home appliances, and infant goods.
Under the circumstances, Chinese online shopping malls like Alibaba and JD.com are focusing on the Korean market. Tmall, the online shopping mall of Alibaba, recently opened a site for Korean products. The site provides a platform for Korean exporters to start their business in China, and Chinese consumers can have easy access to more than 100 Korean brands there. Lotte Department Store, in the meantime, has already introduced Alipay to attract more Chinese tourists.
JD.com opened a similar site in March as well and Gmarket, LG Household & Healthcare, and the like are planning to join it. In April this year alone, 3.8 million Korean mobile phones, 3.02 million Korean IT and digital products, and 2 million Korean cosmetic products were sold on JD.com.
“Alibaba has never opened such a site for a particular country,” the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) explained, adding, “It is expected that many Korean companies will be able to get profits by means of the platform with Alibaba representing no less than 80 percent of the Chinese online shopping market.”