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  • Andrew Collins

Top 5 Chinese Shopping Websites

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

E-commerce is in its golden age right now. Convenient, cheap, fast delivery time (usually 1-3 days), good service, and reliable return policies are the key reasons which make e-commerce highly popular in China. But who are the major players in this industry? Where do the masses flock to in order to buy what they buy?

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 shopping websites in China.

Taobao

Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma


Without a doubt, Taobao is the No.1 online shopping place for the Chinese. The secret of its success is that it gathers thousands of individual stores that provide nearly every product that one can imagine. There are two parts of Taobao. First, there is “Taobao”, the general  “Market”(淘宝集市). It gathers individual micro-sellers that can easily open a Taobao store without any payment. The second part of Taobao is Tmall, which are online-stores that are owned by companies with registered licences and are more like official online-stores. This distinguishes Taobao from other e-commerce sites because it is a platform for both buyers and sellers rather than a company simply conducting direct sales.

You can find just about anything you want on Taobao. For example, aside from food or clothes, you can also find some weird stuff like living scorpions or an old lonely orange.

JD

Founded in 1998 by Qiangdong Liu


Jumei

Founded in 2010 by Ou Chen


Jumei started by selling cosmetics at prices up to 40% percent off. On a daily basis, they would release unique discounted products, creating a unique experience for consumers and incentivizing them to return to the site on a regular basis. Now, other products like shoes, clothes, and accessories are also sold on Jumei in addition to cosmetics. In 2012, CEO Ou Chen shot an advertisement for the company himself which went viral and propelled Jumei and Ou Chen’s popularity. The caption for the advertisement is “You smell the fragrance of Jumei, but you didn’t see my sweat (hard work)”. (你只闻到我的香水,却没看到我的汗水. see the full text)

Yihaodian

Founded in 2008 by Juling  Liu & Gang Yu


Weipinhui

Founded in 2008 by Xiaobo Hong & Ya Shen


The slogan for this website is “It’s a website only for sales”(一家专门做特卖的网站). The website’s concept is like an “online outlet”. The products sold are all from popular brands and sold at a good deal, mainly for clothes, shoes, and accessories.

Honorable Mention

Other than the websites above, there are plenty of other options as well. Dangdang (http://www.dangdang.com/) is famous for books and CDs, while Suning (http://www.suning.com/) and Gome (http://www.gome.com.cn/) have both e-commerce and retail stores for electronic appliances.

The Chinese e-commerce market is growing as companies collaborate to create a seamless online shopping experience. With Alipay and WeChat Wallet, buying imported fruits or cookbooks online can be completed in a few seconds, with your purchase arriving right at your doorstep in a few days. There are no questions with regards to “if” e-commerce will continue to grow in China but it’s still yet to be determined which platforms will be able to retain their users. It will be interesting to say how the various groups’ marketing efforts and business strategies shake out in the months and years to come.

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