How to do an e-business website in China?


A boom in the e-business Chinese market

According to Bain & Company, the Chinese e-business market should become the first one in the world, in terms of consumption, surpassing the USA.

Moreover Alibaba Group says that the e-business sales should represent half of the total sales in China within 10 years. One reason is that Chinese people are more and more connected, 80% of them owning a smartphone or a tablet.


Chinese e-business market grew of 71% between 2009 and 2012, and this market is expected to reach 3,3 trillion Yuan (539,03 billion dollars) by 2015, according to Bain.

This means if a company wants to succeed in China should be present online, selling its products online or offline.

Suning Commerce Group’s e-business sales reached 10,6 billion Yuan in the first half of 2013, which represents a year-on-year 101% growth.

Studholme-Wilson, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial in Hong Kong thinks that to sell real stores is very expensive due to the land cost and the labor costs. It constrains the  margin, while opening a shop on Tmall is much cheaper.

However logistics remains a problem for e-business in China, and that is why Alibaba works nowadays with logistics companies in China in order to find solutions to expand their efficient distribution network all over the country.

To get started with your business online in China, the first step is to have a good website:

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via this blog


Tips to be a successful e-business website

Localization: the website should be hosted in China to avoid the government’s censor, and also because Baidu, the main Chinese search engine, ranks the website hosted in China higher than the others.

– Logistics: As we just said, organize logistics and partner with local companies is every e-business’s challenge.

Pricing: Chinese consumers are used to compare price from a sea of price labels online, and are not used to pay a lot of money for online products. The best solution is then to offer something that the competitors don’t have at a very cheap price (exclusive offer).

Respect the standards of Chinese websites: For example Chinese don’t use Paypal, they use Alipay or Tenpay. Moreover there are other things to respect such as shorter text and more information on a single webpage. It is then better to adapt your website to Chinese consumer then to just translate an already existing western website.


Organization: Most of Chinese e-business website allow consumers complete purchasing in only 3 steps. It is better to have less steps while buying, also because the loading time of webpages is sometimes longer in China.

Promotion: Chinese people are used to bargain when buying a product in everyday life. It is then important to have special prices and promotions.

Visibility: To be more visible in the Chinese web, it is better to do SEO on Baidu. In fact Pay Per Click can be very expensive on Baidu. You should also do community management on Chinese social networks, because Chinese are very connected to social networks and are used to get information about products and brands on these networks.

Instant Messenger: Chinese people use email at a very low frequency, they prefer to communicate with a salesman through an instant messaging platform, like QQ for example. Promotions sent via mobile work also very good.




It is then important to adapt to the Chinese market when you want to do e-business in China, which is very important these days, as Bain showed us. In fact, there is a boom in the Chinese e-business market and it is important to be there, and follow the trend now.

If you want to know more you can read this article about SEO on Baidu, which will help you increase the visibility of your website.


Marketing to China