Amazon Takes On Alibaba, Targets Chinese Shoppers Through Its Japanese Portal

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Amazon has quietly launched a Chinese language version of its Japanese website and offering reduced shipping rates to consumers in mainland China, reports Bloomberg.

Chinese tourists have long harbored an interest in Japanese products, from gadgets to television and merchandise. It’s another example of how Inc. is evolving in Asia to open up new streams of revenue and make up for the lack of a bigger presence in China, where Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. dominates.

Ecommerce demand from China to Japan is projected to almost triple to $22.5 billion in 2019.

“The opportunity is huge,” said Jasper Cheung, president of Amazon Japan. “We have already increased the selection that we can export by the millions over the last several weeks.”

Chinese shoppers are looking for authentic Made-in-Japan products as they are cautious of fake products available on web stores in China. 308 million Chinese tourists have visited Japan so far this year, it’s also boosting demand for, Wandou and other web outlets featuring Japanese goods.

What’s Amazon Japan got in store?

Consumers in Asia’s biggest economy are demanding access to authentic brands and quality, from clothing and cosmetics to baby products and health goods. This is the reason why Costco has a shop on Tmall, and US retailers such as Macy’s is accepting Alipay on their sites.

Most shipping rates from Japan to China is approximately $5. Regular delivery takes 2-18 days. Before hitting the purchase button, Chinese shoppers can see a breakdown of the shipping, handling and customs costs.

Amazon debuted in Japan in 2000 as the company’s first website in Asia, and now offers Prime members in the country video, same-day shipping and other add-on services for an annual fee. Amazon also operates an online store in China, featuring local products, and launched a shop on last year to reach more Chinese shoppers.

The Chinese version of Amazon’s Japanese site should be effective in drawing in more Japanese merchandise shoppers. Although the company is not aggressively pushing in Japan as much as India, Amazon surely isn’t dropping the ball on any of its countries.

A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on August 1. Read the full version here.