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Doing Business in China

The World’s Biggest E-Commerce Market

China has become the number one e-Commerce market in the world, surpassing the United States with more than $911 million in retail e-Commerce sales expected in 2016. In fact, almost half of the world’s digital commerce sales are now conducted in China.

In fact, China’s annual “Singles’ Day” – taking place every November 11th as a day to celebrate being single – has become a national shopping day similar to Black Friday in the United States. Revenues have grown from around $100 million in 2009 to $9.3 billion in 2014 – and last year it surpassed Black Friday in total sales.

Now that we have your attention, you’re probably asking yourself: “Is now the time for my brand to sell into the Chinese market?”

The easy answer is a resounding “yes.” With a community of more than 300 million active online buyers waiting to purchase the latest in foreign goods, it’s obvious that your products need to be available for purchase in China.

You understand the need to get to China – as does your company’s leadership and investors – but you have no presence in the county now. How can you accomplish this seemingly monumental task?

ModusLink is here to help.

Getting Started

“OK, you’ve convinced me. My brand needs to be sold in China. But how should we get started?”

Glad you asked. Defining your strategy is the first step to being successful in China. For all companies – from the latest innovative startup to the largest global brand – it is important to know that without experience selling in China (or in any foreign markets), it is a sharp learning curve fraught with potential disaster.

Unless you understand local consumer payment and delivery preferences; are aware of taxes, regulations and other governmental requirements; and have a financing system in place to accept and convert local payments correctly, you’re doomed to failure.

Regardless of whether you want to open your own offices in China, work with channel partners already in China or simply sell your products as a foreign brand, you’ll want to take advantage of China’s largest online marketplace, Tmall is owned by retail giant Alibaba and is responsible for more than 50 percent of all Chinese B2C sales.

Selling on the Tmall platform offers the fastest and easiest way to rapidly build your brand in China – and most importantly, to quickly see results.

Engaging With Tmall

“Tmall seems like a good fit. How should a foreign brand work with Tmall?”

There are two Tmall options for foreign brands to consider, each with its own advantages and requirements. Tmall Domestic (or just “Tmall”) is for companies with a local China entity and stock in a local Chinese warehouse; while Tmall Global is a cross-border marketplace that allows brands without that local entity to sell into China from overseas. With Tmall Global your stock can either be located overseas or in a China-bonded warehouse.

ModusLink has the global experience, technology and local connections to quickly and easily get your brand in front of potential Chinese customers, regardless of whether you’re planning on opening a local Chinese entity or not.

Working With ModusLink

“Can you help my brand quickly take advantage of China – before my competitors do?”

Here at ModusLink, we’ve come to be known for our strength in helping consumers quickly and easily expand their local operations into global operations. Selling in China is not just as easy as registering on the Tmall site of your choice and uploading some product descriptions. You need to understand local regulations and taxation; have a payment system in place; know what residents’ delivery preferences are – and of course, what products have the biggest chance for success in China.

With ModusLink’s full-service, China-focused e-Commerce Solution we can give foreign companies a quick entry into the world’s fastest-growing marketplace. Our solution offers companies everything they need to enter the Chinese market in a strategic, timely and cost-effective manner, with a program built on recognition, trust and communication.

Our experience can help you be successful in China and leave the competition behind.

ModusLink’s Full-Service Solution

“What are the features of your solution? Why should we work with ModusLink?”

The specific features of ModusLink’s China-focused e-Commerce solution include:

  • Fast Market Entry – ModusLink offers companies one managed, end-to-end e-Commerce solution, setting them up to operate on Tmall. It includes the development and application of a flagship store, shop management, online marketing, campaign execution and content management on China’s largest marketplace, with local payment processing through Alipay.
  • Development of Your Own B2C Customer Base – Companies can utilize ModusLink’s expertise to serve and sell directly to Chinese consumers, immediately being able to access China’s 300 million plus online shoppers. ModusLink enables brands to sell to Chinese consumers without going through any resellers or distributors.
  • Reduction of Logistic Complexity – The combination of ModusLink’s integrated global supply chain, domestic fulfilment, order management, delivery and returns management solutions can help companies reduce the complexity of their logistics operations. ModusLink’s solutions can easily be customized to client needs, growing and expanding as they do.
  • Advantages of a Local Entity – ModusLink’s agent tax/VAT (value-added tax) structures enable non-domicile companies to transact locally with their customers. ModusLink can be the merchant of record and importer of record for brands who want to sell directly to businesses or consumers.
  • Strong, Localized Customer Service – In addition, ModusLink’s local customer service capabilities help companies build a strong connection with their new Chinese customer base. The company’s customer engagement and support services span several touch-points, including web, mobile, chat (Ali Wang Wang), phone, email and social media. In addition, Chinese consumers show a high propensity to engage with merchants prior to buying, meaning you need a wide-range of customer service options and availability. ModusLink supports pre and post sales inquiries for its customers from 9am until 10pm local time, in Simplified Chinese.

Already in China?

“My brand is already in China, but our operations haven’t been as successful as hoped. Can you help?”

Yes we can. As you’ve no doubt learned, just selling in China isn’t enough, especially if the cost of your foreign operations is draining any chance for there to be a profit.

ModusLink has already helped several foreign companies that were already on the ground in China examine their operations and reorganize them to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of their overall operations. This could include everything from improving the front-end that consumers see, to making the assembly and delivery functions more efficient.

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