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China Cross-Border E-Commerce Unleashes Global Potential of Black Friday

amazon and alibaba

As China’s middle class’ interest to shop directly from overseas e-commerce sites for global products increases, the two largest global e-commerce companies, Alibaba and Amazon, both seek to tap into their spending power by introducing America’s BlackFriday to China this year.

Last week during the Black Friday sale, US retailers and brands including Macy’s, Gilt, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ashford, Ann Taylor, American Apparel and Aeropostale were able to offer their promotions to Chinese shoppers by partnering with Alipay, the payment service affiliated to Alibaba.

According to Alipay, Ashford broke its Black Friday sales record at noon on Nov 28th. Chinese consumers accounted for 40% of the traffic after midnight. Sabrina Peng, head of Alipay International, said that many of the partner merchants like Macy’s sent thank you notes via e-mail stating that purchases made by Chinese shoppers were beyond their expectations.

At the same time, Amazon China launched the Black Friday promotion on Nov 28th and 29th through its overseas online shopping service HaiWaiGou, aiming to ramp up its popularity in China.  HaiWaiGou, which translated literally as “shop overseas”, was just launched earlier last month on Amazon’s China site. It allows Chinese consumers to purchase selected products from Amzon’s English site in the US. Amazon did not disclose its sales during the Chinese consumer facing Black Friday promotion.

Given the expansion of cross-border e-commerce and the push from e-commerce giants, it is very likely that in the future Chinese consumers will increasingly play a role in global holiday sales without traveling.

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