Amazon is poised to establish an innovation centre in Shenzhen, China, to support local businesses in boosting their exports. This initiative aligns with the strategies employed by Alibaba and the broader Chinese e-commerce sector.
Cindy Tai, Vice President of Amazon, stated during a seller conference in Shenzhen that the innovation centre’s goal is to enhance the international competitiveness of Chinese companies by facilitating communication, learning, and innovative practices.
The centre will assist sellers with various aspects such as product introductions, brand building, digital operations, green development, and adopting new business models.
In September, Amazon reported a significant increase in Chinese sellers generating over $1 million on its platform, with a year-on-year growth of over 25%. Those achieving over $10 million also saw a nearly 30% rise.
While Amazon’s efforts seem primarily directed at Asian buyers, it’s worth noting that Chinese entities are also actively engaging in similar endeavours. Alibaba, for instance, injected $845 million into its Southeast Asia retail business, Lazada, in July. Additionally, Bytedance’s TikTok reentered the primary e-commerce market in Indonesia by acquiring a majority stake in the local e-commerce platform Tokopedia.
Adding to the intrigue, China’s e-commerce powerhouses are setting their sights on Europe. Alibaba recently acquired Visible, a German B2B market platform provider, signaling its intention to pursue growth throughout the continent.
Alibaba President Zhang Kuo Zhang emphasized the substantial scale of intra-regional trade in Europe, which surpasses its work with the rest of the world by two or three times. He identified Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy as top considerations for expansion, citing criteria such as GDP, stability, and economic growth rate in that order.
JD.com, another prominent Chinese e-commerce platform, is also honing in on Europe. This involves the expansion and enhancement of European warehouses and collaborations with international parcel delivery services based in Europe.
In a September statement on its corporate blog, JD.com declared its commitment to being a dependable channel for European brands entering the Chinese market, with plans to extend supply chain services globally.
While a specific timeline for completing Amazon’s Shenzhen plans was not disclosed, the company announced its strategic priorities for 2024 during the conference. These priorities include streamlining global operations, optimizing the supply chain, and supporting global expansion.