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BRICS firms embrace Sinopec's e-mart

By Zheng Xin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-29 21:59

Global.epec.com, an international online marketplace for industrial and energy products launched by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, the world's largest refiner, in April, has attracted 40 companies from BRICS countries.

According to the company, which is better known as Sinopec, Global Epec serves as a bridge that connects trade in industrial products produced in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or BRICS.

More companies in BRICS countries have shown interest in joining Global Epec to sell or buy industrial products.

Over the past four months, 22 Russian companies, seven Brazilian companies, five South African companies and six Indian companies have joined Epec, Sinopec said.

Global Epec has been built along the lines of Sinopec's domestic industrial product system. It aims to introduce China's best products to the world and help connect trade chains worldwide.

Sinopec's domestic Epec has enabled deals worth 127 billion yuan ($19.1 billion) since its launch in 2015.

More than 1.98 million products from industries like coal, steel, petrochemicals and oil equipment are available on the platform.

After two years of operations, the product catalog has expanded by 381 percent, Sinopec said.

Some 39,000 enterprises have registered on Epec. Most of the purchases do not involve the Sinopec group, it said.

According to Jiao Fangzheng, Sinopec's deputy general manager, Epec conforms to China's ongoing supply-side reforms, which aim to sustain high economic growth on an increasingly bigger base through manufacturing upgrade, industrial restructuring, reduction of overcapacity in certain industries like coal and steel, innovation and thrust on high-tech industries.

"Epec will continue to serve enterprises, projects, partners and global industries, taking advantage of its global network," said Jiao.

Wan Donghui, deputy secretary-general of the China Electronic Commerce Association, agreed. Epec will get more opportunities to serve as a bridge connecting the domestic market and the international market, he said.

Epec is part of Sinopec's efforts to transform itself into a market-oriented enterprise, further diversify its business and enhance profitability.

The company aims to build Epec into an industrial version of Taobao.com, the country's largest online shopping marketplace, which is owned by Alibaba, said Wang Yubing, president of Sinopec's procurement division.

Wang said while consumer retail business online is worth about 3 trillion yuan, the market potential for online sales of industrial products is much larger than that.

Alibaba provides services to Sinopec in terms of internet security, big data and technology upgrades.

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