Tmall Global becomes the most preferred online market for international brands which desire to penetrate in the Chinese market.

Tmall is a popular marketplace online in China where many international brands have opened their stores in order to increase their number of customers. Tmall is part of Alibaba, the e-commerce platform in China has consolidated its success through the recent IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Because of that, the company has increased its popularity and recognition abroad.


Alibaba owns different shopping platforms such as Tmal (B2C) and Taobao (C2C), which are very successful in China. Through these websites, Alibaba offers a huge number of products and brands that are not available in physical stores in China.

What is Tmall?

Tmall was created by Taobao, the largest online sales platform in China. Tmall was launched in 2008 as an e-commerce website with the exclusive aim to host official brand shops. That means that brands will have the chance to offer their products around China and reach up to a largest number of potential shoppers.

Last February, Tmall created Tmall Global with the purpose to include foreign brands and facilitate their access to the Chinese market. Nowadays, Tmall has more than 70.000 brands in 50.000 stores.


Due its nature, Tmall has become a popular e-commerce platform where Chinese shoppers are able to purchase both international and local brands. In contrast to another e-commerce sites, Chinese consumers trust in the veracity and quality of the products which are selling via Tmall.
Another advantage of Tmall, is the chance to buy products that are not available in physical shops.

What means Tmall for companies?

Firstly, create a Tmall store provides to companies a kind of business’s validation in China and is the perfect tool to reach Chinese high-end online shoppers.

Also, it’s an efficient and easy method to have an important presence in the Chinese market without the necessity to open stores in every city.

Tmall benefits:

Tmall uses Alypay as payment system which are very popular in China and therefore is a trustful tool for Chinese shoppers.
Tmall only includes verified stores and for that, consumers trust in the product’s quality and veracity.


In order to allow sales analysis, Tmall includes analytic tools as “Daily Update” which provides daily sales reports. These tools are helpful for marketers in order to take strategic decisions based on their competitors’s sales data.

Tmall in numbers:

During 2013, the whole transactions of online apparel market in China accounted more than US$71 billion, which involves the 23.1% of the total online shopping market in China.

Since its creation, Tmall has rapidly grown and the Singles Day’s revenues are proof of which. In 2009 the sales value were US$8 million while in 2010 accounted US$153 million and in 2011 sales reached US$549 million.


Taobao, Tmall and Juhuasuan are three online retail marketplaces property of Alibaba. All together, these three e-commerce platforms have generated US$296 billion in only one year. During that year, those marketplaces had 279 million active buyers and 8.5 million active sellers.
For consumers, mobile devices play an important role in order to make purchases. That’s why, in the second quarter of 2014, the number of transactions via mobile reached US$28 billion in China.

The most popular products in Tmall:

Clothing, accessories and household items are the main products that are selling through Tmall. However, the sales of luxury imported cars have increasing up to 400% in one year.

China is becoming the largest wine online market and Tmall includes wines from France, Brazil or the U.K. Food products such as baby formula, cookies or meat, have a big popularity due to the consumer’s desire to try foreign food.

Foreign brands in Tmall:

There are a huge number of international brands which have joined to Tmall. Fashion brands such as Zara, Burberry and Calvin Klein have seen their revenues increase thanks to Tmall.

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Other companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Beats, Gap, Levi’s, Disney, New Balance and Estee Lauder are also part of the Tmall’s conglomerate.

Store formats:

Tmall has three different store formats.

  • Flagship Store: this kind of e-shop is an exclusive shop with the trademark (either ® or ™). To open a flagship store, the owner has to be a formal representative of the brand or have exclusive authorisation documents for open a Tmall Flagship Store provided by the formal representative of the brand.


  • Specialty Store: For e-shop owner with the required authorization from the brand to distribute with China
  • Monopolized Store: marketers who want sell two or more brands within one of Tmall’s product categories.

How to open a Tmall store?

There are some requirements in order to launch a Tmall store. Firstly, the brands have to be registered outside China and have a good credit. Also, the companies have been run for over 2 years and annual sales must be more than US$10 million.

Tmall required a deposit between US$8,000 to US$25,000 depending on the store format. The e-commerce platform also charges annual service fee, which vary according to the product category and could be between US$5,000 or US$10,000. However, marketers have the opportunity to avoid pay either half or the full service fee if they reach Tmall’s predefined sales targets for the product sold. In addition, Tmall keep 5% of the sales value as commission.


Products’s requirements include that foreign products have to be vetted by Tmall Global security and go through Chinese international customs. Products must have descriptions in Mandarin language and international units of measurement.
Tmall prefers products from industries such as maternal and child apparel, health care products, clothing, shoes and accessories.

Creating an online store through marketplaces as Tmall Glolbal is an easy and effective way to start your business in China. That’s why many well-known brands have already launched their shops in Tmall and have seen their revenues increase. If you are interested to be part of the Chinese market, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will boost your presence in China.


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E-commerce in China has rapidly developed due to the internet penetration, the economic growth, the increase of middle and upper class and the consumer’s desires to purchase international items that are more available via e-commerce platforms.