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March 6, 2015

Amazon says ‘Open Sesame’ to China with Alibaba store

Move to capitalise on swelling Chinese e-commerce market.

By Alexander Sword

Amazon has launched a store on Alibaba‘s platform Tmall.

The Chinese e-commerce giant will initially host Amazon’s online marketplace with a limited offering of products, including consumer electronics, imported food and clothing and fashion items.

The official launch should come at the end of March or beginning of April.

The strategy may help Amazon gain wider traction in Alibaba‘s home turf. While Amazon will be more familiar to online shoppers in the US and the UK, it has struggled to make a significant impact in China, which became the world’s largest e-commerce market in 2013.

Meanwhile, rival Alibaba dominates the Chinese market and is steadily gaining ground elsewhere. It launched the biggest stock flotation in September on the New York Stock Exchange, with its post-IPO market capitalisation reaching over $230 billion.

A recent report by Forrester forecast that online spending in China would reach one trillion dollars by 2019 due to mobile apps and improving logistics networks. It also suggested that Alibaba and Taobao would continue to dominate the market at the expense of players like Amazon and JD.com.

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