Government officials and industrial executives discuss the development of the e-commerce sector during the 2nd Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit which was held in Hangzhou last week. (Zhang Zhibing and Fa Xin)
Apilot cross-border e-commerce program in Hangzhou has been hailed a success with progress being made on several fronts as it continues to move forward.
The second Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit, which kicked off on October 26 at Hangzhou International Expo Center, saw a review of the achievements and practices of China's first Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area, since its induction in Hangzhou in 2015.
Shanchen Home is a Hangzhou-based manufacturing company, which exports products of home textiles and housewares to the US. The business was previously based on an OEM/ODM model, where retail products went directly into a foreign market with another merchant's brand name.
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s this was the common practice among manufacturing companies in foreign trade. With rising costs in human resources and raw materials, the prices the OEM factories offered were no longer appealing compared to their Southeast and Central Asian competitors. Not only that but profits dropped greatly.
Last year, Shanchen was enrolled in the "Top 100" program, a collaboration between Amazon Global Selling and the e-commerce pilot area, that helps 100 companies in Hangzhou to sell their branded products to global customers on Amazon.
Amazon offers a one-stop service and guidance to those in need from products listing, online promotion, to warehouse storage and shipping solutions, which could have been unaffordable for small and medium sized enterprises in a traditional approach of foreign trade.
"With products reaching the end customers, cross-border e-commerce companies are able to price their products and establish a brand for their businesses," said Cindy Tai, vice president of Amazon China and head of Amazon Global Selling Asia.
At the two-day summit, Amazon also announced together with the pilot area, the inauguration of Global Selling's first offline outlet in China – Hangzhou Cross-border E-commerce Park. The park is set to draw in relevant service providers to cover every step in e-commerce export, including translation, logistics, custom clearance, taxing, e-store operation and etc.
Amazon is only one of the many partners that the pilot area works with. In May, Google AdWords, an online advertising tool, opened an experience center in Hangzhou. In June, Wish — a mobile e-commerce platform targeted at a younger generation — signed an agreement with the government in Xiaoshan District. In July, India's biggest online payment company Paytm headquartered its e-commerce division Paytm Mall in Hangzhou.
"From day one, we have been making great efforts to boost the export trade. The main goal is to facilitate the upgrade of our manufacturing industry from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," Wu Changhong, chief of publicity department at the Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area Committee, told Shanghai Daily.