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Tmall offers US companies China insights

By Chang Jun in Mountain View, California | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-05-29 10:14

American enterprises of all sizes interested in entering the China market and serving the needs of its growing middle class can now leverage the big data capacities of e-commerce giant Alibaba and subsidiary Tmall.com to tailor their services and products.

At an event on Friday titled "Tmall Innovation Series - Silicon Valley", first in a series of Tmall global events to showcase its value-added functions and services, representatives from Tmall and several pioneering US companies interacted to explain how US businesses and brands can rely more on consumer insights provided by Tmall and let the analytics guide their efforts in expanding in and penetrating the multilayered Chinese market.

Liu Bo, general manager of Tmall marketing, said the business-to-customer (B2C) platform recently has adopted a new slogan "Tmall Ideal Life" to replace the old "Come to Tmall and Shop".

"We are modifying our business strategy and now position ourselves as an advocate and leader that will guide consumers, especially the middle class, along their sophisticated pursuit for their unique lifestyles," said Liu, adding that Tmall is participating in clients' product development cycle in the early stage by providing them consumer habit insights and feedback.

"Our big data pool accumulated over the past 10 years through e-commerce practice enables us to be authoritative when it comes to Chinese consumers' needs and wants," Liu said.

There are 454 million annual active users across Alibaba's several platforms. The company introduced the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as "Singles Day" in China, and generate $17.8 billion in gross merchandise volume on that day in 2016.

Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder and executive chairman, has promoted the group's strategy since 2015. "We want to help S entrepreneurs, small business owners, and brands and companies of all sizes sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class," said Ma, adding that Chinese consumers will get to buy the American products they want. This, in turn, will help create American jobs and increase US exports.

During a meeting in January between Ma and then President-elect Donald Trump in New York, Ma offered Alibaba's platforms to support up to 1 million US small- and medium-sized enterprises to sell to China and Southeast Asia.

Currently, international brands and agency partners such as Intel, Microsoft, 3M, GoPro, IDEO and Radius have been exploring the Tmall formula, and vow deeper and closer cooperation on product launches.

David Webster, partner of the Palo Alto-based design firm IDEO, said accurate consumer information is vital for American companies entering the huge Chinese market.

Alibaba will host its inaugural Gateway '17 conference in Detroit from June 20-21 to help American businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs across the country explore growth opportunities and reach millions of Chinese consumers.


Tmall offers US companies China insights

Jin Yin, general manager of Tmall Electronics and Home Appliances, speaks at a Tmall event on Friday in Mountain View, California. US companies learned how Chinese e-commerce data can help them reach markets in China. Chang Jun / China Daily

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