Walmart, Amazon chase online market in China

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have launched cyber attacks in China with the purest of commercial motives. Walmart is unveiling a mobile shopping app while Amazon is increasing its imported item count from 80,000 to 1.6 million.

As part of Walmart's increased e-commerce presence in China, Walmart customers will be able to use the new mobile shopping app to order products and then either pick them up in-store or have them shipped, reported Internet Retailer

"China is an important strategic market for Walmart," CEO Doug McMillon said in Beijing last week. "We plan to open 115 stores in China over the next three years. We also plan to provide more e-commerce services in China. Walmart has a huge advantage in e-commerce because we can integrate online with our stores."

Walmart will accept a variety of electronic payment methods so shoppers can use their smartphones to pay, McMillon said. While he did not specify any specific payment systems, some of the most popular in China are Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's Tenpay.

The retailer has operated in China since 1996 and even launched a mobile app that helps shoppers find stores. It also has an informational website at Walmart.cn.

Walmart officially staked its claim in the Chinese online marketshare by acquiring a 51 percent stake in Yihaodian, a retailer with a large e-commerce operation in China that ranked No. 7 on the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500. Yihaodian mainly sells food and household items, but Walmart has also built out its online and offline presence in China through its Sam's Club division, which already offers a mobile shopping app.

Amazon is also moving forward with its China expansion. The e-commerce giant is increasing the number of imported items it sells in China twentyfold. Amazon entered China last November with an offering of 80,000 items and has since increased that number to 1.6 million.

"The mission of Amazon China is to allow Chinese consumers to purchase high-quality products from all over the world," Niu Yinghua, Amazon China's vice president, said last week. "We also help Chinese manufacturers, especially small and midsize companies, to reach global consumers."

Amazon launched a cross-border shopping subsite called Haiwaigou, which means "buy from overseas" in Chinese, on Amazon.cn in November. It allows Chinese consumers to buy directly from brands on Amazon's global sites. To expedite delivery, Amazon distributes popular products from its warehouse in the Free-Trade Zone in Shanghai, an area from which products can move more quickly through Chinese customs, Niu said.

Amazon China is warehousing the inventory of some brands and conducting sales through a variety of Chinese e-commerce sites, not just Amazon.cn, Niu said. She did not specify the sites, but Amazon is selling imported goods from two storefronts on Tmall, a marketplace operated by Alibaba, China's dominant e-commerce company.

Amazon is also making progress in selling products from Chinese companies on its websites around the world through its Global Store project, which launched in 2012, Niu said.

For more:
-See this Internet Retailer article
-See this Internet Retailer article

Related stories:
Walmart's plan to win back shoppers
Walmart pressures suppliers to reduce prices
Walmart to open 11 supercenters in Canada
Amazon to enter South Korea
Costco partners with Alibaba to sell in China

Suggested Articles

Costco changes up its menu items, and Alibaba and Guess partner for a physical store.

Janey Whiteside, Walmart's new chief customer officer, is well acquainted with the importance of customer service in modern retail.

Whole Foods will offer deals on Amazon's Prime Day, and tariffs against China are causing pricing hikes.