Whenever Liu Lin finds herself missing England, where she has previously studied, she just hops onto a cross-border e-commerce platform to buy herself some British-made merchandise.
“Some of the products I used to purchase there, such as a brand of combs made in England, aren’t sold in China, so I buy them from overseas,” she said.
Shopping for foreign products has never been easier for Liu and other Chinese like her. But imported makeup, food and clothes from other countries can now all be obtained with one swipe of the phone.
China’s cross-border e-commerce platforms have developed rapidly in just the past few years. Many online shops both in and outside of China, especially those from Belt and Road countries, are taking advantage of this phenomenon, with both the foreign retailer and the Chinese shopper benefiting.
Cross-border e-commerce is now a bright, shining highlight of China’s ever-growing foreign trade. According to data from the China Electronic Commerce Association, in the first half of 2017, China’s cross-border e-commerce trade reached 3.6 trillion yuan ($541.87 billion), up 30.7 percent from last year.
China has also released a series of new policies to further develop cross-border e-commerce, such as increasing the efficiency of products going through customs and supporting enterprises that establish overseas sales channels.
In September, Chinese premier Li Keqiang said at an executive meeting of the State Council that there needs to be more development of cross-border e-commerce on a bigger scale, including encouraging enterprises to develop through Belt and Road.
Data shows that the trade volume of countries along the Belt and Road accounts for a quarter of China’s entire foreign trade. In this case, cross-border e-commerce can be a large boost for trade.
Shops both in and outside of China are benefiting from being placed on such platforms. At a recent cross-border e-commerce convention, the director of Jilin’s Guhetai Machinery told Economic Information Daily that 80 percent of his company’s clients were found via the platform.
In the 18 months since Guhetai Machinery first started using e-commerce platforms, the security safes it produces have been sold to numerous Belt and Road countries. According to a new research report from Chinese e-commerce giant Jingdong (JD), many Chinese companies have successfully extended their brands overseas. (Source: Global Times)