China's love of foreign brands to push cross-border e-commerce sales above $100bn by 2018

China cross-border e-commerce sales will pass $100bn by end of 2017, according to eMarketer

Chinese consumers love of foreign brands is helping to drive cross-border e-commerce sales in China, with a new report predicting total sales will reach $100.17bn by the end of 2017.

The findings from a report by eMarketer reveal China’s growing middle class, which has a high propensity to purchase foreign brands is helping to increase cross-border sales, with the average Chinese cross-border digital buyer spending $882.

More than a fifth (23%) of digital buyers in China will make at least one cross-border purchase via the internet.

eMarketer said Chinese consumers have a greater awareness of overseas brands in China and believe foreign goods are of better quality, these factors along with better logistics were key drivers of cross-border sales.

The growing momentum of Tmall Global and JD Worldwide platforms are also big drivers for cross-border sales, this year's 11.11 Singles Day featured more than 60,000 international brands on Alibaba alone, with the United States, Australia, Japan, Germany and South Korea, the top performing countries selling to China.

However, eMarketer predicts growth will begin to slow over the forecast period as more residents choose local brands for some categories such as fashion, as local brands start to adapt to this change.

Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst, eMarketer, said, “The factors fueling the trend toward greater cross-border shopping are nothing new, as the average Chinese consumer is now more tech savvy, more exposed to foreign brands through overseas travel and the internet and, crucially, more willing to spend.

“With shopping sites such as TMall Global, JD Worldwide and Kaola adding more brands to their offerings and improving cross-border logistics and processing times, there is an opportunity for foreign brands to tap into the demand for high-quality products, especially in categories like baby, maternity, health and beauty.”

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Danielle Long

Danielle Long is APAC Correspondent for The Drum with a remit to cover news from China, Australia and New Zealand. Danielle has 15 years experience as a marketing journalist and has worked on publications in the UK and Australia. She has interviewed some of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and creative brains and has written about almost every standout brand and marketing campaign from the last 15 years.

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