China’s leading cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global launched a new logistics tracking system on August 8 to apply the latest supply chain technology and big data analytics to trace the origin of the products and keep track of the whole shipping process of every product imported into China from overseas, the Fashion Network reported.
The move represents the continued efforts by Alibaba Group to ensure the authenticity and quality of products on its platform. In part, it is a response to Chinese consumers who are on the hunt for high-quality goods and are gradually developing a discerning eye for those imported from foreign nations.
The cross-border e-commerce market in China has remained robust even though many international brands have entered the Chinese market lately. In 2016, Tmall reported a 30-percent jump in sales of products ordered by Chinese consumers abroad. In a 2016 report, digital marketing firm eMarketer also predicted that Chinese online shoppers would spend $160 billion on cross-border e-commerce by 2020, nearly doubling their expenditure in 2016, which was $85.8 billion.
Tmall Global’s new initiative, thus, is much needed to further cater to the growing needs for improved offerings by their Chinese customers. The new logistics tracking system will be implemented for 14,500 international brands across 63 countries and regions that sell goods on its site.
Launched in February 2014, the cross-border platform was established to match the increasing appetite among China’s affluent consumers for high-quality foreign goods.
For international brands, Tmall Global also offers a shortcut to establishing a presence in China without having to set up a legal entity there. Its promise to only sell authentic products have also attracted a great number of luxury and fashion brands including Fendi, Montblanc, Dior, Gucci, Michael Kors and Jill Stuart to join the channel.
However, the luxury products are not being shipped from the brands but from local distributors in their country of origin increasing the chance that products may be inauthentic. Thus, Tmall Global has also faced controversy over the authenticity and quality of its products since its inception. The new initiative can help the platform improve on that front.
The new system is backed by many international brands, government, embassies and industry associations. Domestically, the central government-backed China Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC), and government organ China National Institute of Standardization also joined the team implementing the plan.