Europe and China Partner to Provide Mobile Payment Solutions by Alipay
Not quite a month we woke up with the news that two technological giants had joined forces in creating an alliance with huge chance of success. The alliance between Ingenico Group and Alipay is focused on payments innovation as part of a wider international push, but is also a recent demonstration of the growing momentum of Chinese companies in Europe.
Over recent years, Chinese ambitions in Europe are clearly visible: just in 2016, Alipay has forged alliances with Uber app and Wirecard to offer mobile payments services around the World.
The alliance is based in European mobile payments
Ingenico Group is a french company specialized in designing a wide range of payment solutions, whatever the sales channel or payment method is chosen, according to three main needs that merchants and consumer ask: a secure, easy and seamless experience.
In recent years, China has created a vast and well integrated digital ecosystem in which highlights Alipay– a Chinese equivalent to PayPallaunch by Alibaba– which is already China’s leading third-party online payment solution with no transaction fees. The company already has more than 400,000,000 active Users.
Although there are many reasons behind this alliance, the clear purpose was to tap into the huge Chinese tourist flow in Europe. As we wrote in our previous article “How to Acquire Chinese Tourists through Digital Marketing“, the Chinese tourism consumption is already estimated to be the highest in the World. Moreover, Chinese tourism market will keep growing even faster: in year 2019, estimations says that consumption will reach US 264 billion dollars.
The motivation to exploit the partnership is shared: on the one hand, Europe has become the major vacation destination by a sector of the population with high standard of living; on the other hand, Alipay seeks to exploit the existence of more than 120 million Chinese tourists arriving in Europe every year and an approximately cost of $ 875 on average, while offering a payment experience nearest to their day to day.
Chinese tourists in Europe will be able to pay via Alipay App at any store that uses the Ingenico solution
The announcement not only underscores the growing relationship in business between two increasingly interconnected areas, but also the enormous benefits that such collaboration can mean to both. With such a perspective, it is not surprising the happy ending. As Philippe Lazare, Chief Executive Officer of Ingenico Group said,
“We are very excited to partner with Alipay and contribute our unique omni-channel expertise, products and services to help them optimize the user experience and boost sales all over the world. Their choice for Ingenico is a tribute to our high success rate and ability to meet even the most demanding customers’ requirements.”
Chinese tourists are accustomed to using electronic payment methods, an innovation that fails to catch on among European citizens. Presumably, this cultural difference has become a barrier that discourages expenditure among Chinese tourists. As Jacques Behr, Ingenico’s executive vice-president for Europe and Africa said,
“Payment becomes a friction for business so we are removing this friction by allowing the retailers to capture sales to the Chinese tourist population.”
The measure therefore seeks to stimulate Chinese people expenditure in their major holiday destination, but also tries to take advantage of the huge market Alipay already has in China: more than 450 million users liable to become target audience, and a market share in mobile payments in China higher than 80%. As they themselves spelled out,
“We are building international business step by step. There is much still to do with our customer base, and is still expanding.”
Such collaboration not only benefits the Chinese people, but also means a qualitative leap in technological enjoyment for Europeans. The alliance seeks to provide to European online retailers and to customers the possibility to pay and accept payments through Alipay´s eWallet through some marketplaces. An excellent way to boost e-commerce and sales in China and Europe.
Although the operation has already begun, both companies estimate that Alipay won’t be fully operational in Europe yet.
Just to start
While Alipay makes its movements, the rest of the world watches. Only companies that have a deep understanding of Chinese market can cope with the changes that are to come.
In search of accurate and personalized information to your sector and business?
Visit our Digital Marketing and eCommerce Agency!
5 Bugs To Avoid When Doing E-Commerce In China
Have you ever tried to build a new overseas brand and fail in your attempt? In any approach to China, foreign brands often make some common mistakes when trying to sell their products in China mainland. Although such misconceptions are not exclusive to online environment, we will focus on those that particularly affect your approach to e-commerce in China. China is already the world’s first e-commerce market.
Are you going to miss its enormous potential?
First bug: China is mobile, and you better record it
It is not the first time we tell you this, and for sure it won´t be the last. As we mention before in our article “How to Take Advantage of the Latest Ecommerce Revolution?”, Ecommerce has been a great revolution for both companies and customers.
Nowadays, Chinese prefer to use their mobile devices rather than their laptops and according to the new trend, companies have already starting to adapt themselves to portable devices. Moreover, those companies using U-commerce are focused on improving the customer experience through customizing and navigation created in cooperation with the User.
Second bug: E-commerce may be an asset in your country, but in China is irreplaceable
We cannot fail to mention Frank Lavin, CEO of Export Now, when he says,
“In China, Ecommerce is the cake.”
This may mean that you will need to adapt your business to the new environment. Do not expect it to be China who suits you, this does not work this way.
Remember that whoever hits first, hits twice. Embrace e-commerce as the enabler of your business it is, and take advantage of the immense benefits that electronic commerce can bring to your company to start selling around the World!
Third bug: Social Media is there to stay. Register your account and start moving!
Surely you’ve never heard the words Baidu, WeChat and Weibo… and let us tell you that you have a huge problem in China.
Not only around the 93% of the online searches in China are done in their own search engines –Have you ever heard Google does not work in China?– but also about a 68% of the customers take a look on the official Social Media account before buying.
Do not miss the opportunity to have a voice in that huge chicken coop is the network, start developing a tailored communication strategy for your brand and gain your piece of the cake!
Fourth bug: Domestic and lazy thinkers, or how the triumph from a day doesn’t make it daily
Do you think you will keep doing in China pretty much the same things you were doing before and as a result you will achieve success?
A basic rule you should never forget again is, no matter the experience and the many different markets in which you have entered before, is that new horizons always implies a new starting on your understanding of the target, so we definitely encourage you to start a market analysis.
Will your brand be competitive in China?
Do you offer something different regarding your competitors?
Is there a suitable market niche in the country ?
These and a thousand more questions require a prior discussion, keeping in mind that China should not be underestimated: the country enjoys some peculiarities you definitely must know before starting your landing.
We strongly recommend you seek assistance from professionals focused on the Chinese market, in order to enhance your chances of success in the country.
Fifth buf: Do not try to do everything by yourself, ask for advice
We are not tired of saying it, and will do so again: China is not a flat road. Do not try to embark on this mission unaccompanied, but pick very well with whom.
Look for complementary partners interested in joining forces, go to Government agencies dedicated to external actions and internationalization and definitely search for specialized agencies in the country to start outsourcing some tasks.
Already in search of a consulting expert in digital marketing and e-commerce? You have come to the right place.
New Online Advertising Rules in China
New online advertising regulation in China will impact all digital business with presence in China. Here we bring you an analysis overview to start adapting to the new trend in advertisement.
It would be after the death of a college student who took part in an experimental health treatment found in Baidu, when popular pressure would force the Government to begin an ads regulatory change.
The Internet Ad Interim Measures, a new regulation prompted by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China, went into effect in September 1st. Therefore, it arises from the Government’s claim by adopt new rules over online advertisement: email, paid searches, embedded links, images, and videos are already subject to the new law. Its aim is avoiding the spread of misleading advertisements on the Net, and correct the prevailing liberality so far.
The new online advertising regulations are expected to impact on Chinese Digital Marketing as a whole: social media, search engines, apps and electronic commerce in the country will have to move under the new guidelines.
A step closer to the uses and customs in Western advertisements
For the first time in China, the new measure features a specific definition of Internet advertising; often, foreigners suffer from a lack of legislative safety in China. Therefore, conceptualization is a step forward to define clearly not only the concept, but also its extension:
“Internet advertising is advertisements that directly or indirectly sell commercial goods or services through the websites, web pages, internet applications and other forms of Internet media including text, images, audio, video and etc.”
Moreover, the regulation comes to underline its main purpose:
“To protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, and promote the healthy development of the Internet advertising industry.”
In what fields are these changes applicable? What changes will take place after its implementation?
The regulation is particularly focused on a list of fields described below:
-Healthcare and medicine
-Food and beverage
The main measures to be starting to apply can be summarized as:
–First, the Law requires to place the word “advertisement” in a prominent position and clearly distinguishable at first sight.
–Second, every field subject of special regulation needs a previous review and an approval process by authorities.
–Third, online advertisements for prescription medicine is banned. A special measure in health products is also extended to medicines, pesticides or medical supplies.
–Fourth, tobacco online ads are also banned.
–Fifth, any paid search results, links or content must be clearly identified by the word “advertisement”.
–Sixth, users should not only have the choice to close an ad, but also this has to be easy to them.
–Seventh, paid links and contents must be clearly detailed at a glance.
–Eighth, any attached ad and/or promotional links to an email should have been allowed previously.
–Ninth, any misleading and/or false ad is considered illegal from now on.
Who is especially affected by the new regulation?
Under this measure, the biggest impact falls on the largest Internet companies in China. Baidu and Bing should apply new restrictions on ads; it should not be forgotten that, much of the incomes of Baidu, Weibo or Alibaba come advertising.
But also traditional Social Media must change. WeChat or Weibo offer paid content; as we mention before, pop-ups, ads or links should be first permitted, which will force companies to evolve the way advertising is offered to Chinese users. Seems marketers should start creating better ads, or contravening the prevailing legislation with all the penalties that that means.
There are plenty of creative ways to sell your services and products in China. In search of a Digital Marketing Agency?
Why China E-commerce Goes So Fast?
All of us are very well aware of the magnitude of the Chinese online market and, although it is currently the largest Ecommerce market in the world, it is also the most changeable one.
From 2 Open, we want to enable your approach to China giving you some practical guidelines about the current state of Ecommerce in China.
Understanding what is happening in China needs time and a constant willingness to learn: sometimes its fast evolution makes it hard to follow the new trends, other times foreigners just find an incomplete analysis.
According to the analysis report done by Data Center of China Internet -from now on DCCI-, China has currently taken the first place as the greatest E-commerce country in the world, while the online shopping penetration rate of China is in the second place after United States.
The result of China E-commerce indicates the Chinese economic keystone in recent years, also their development trend of commerce in the future.
As a result, in 2 Open we strongly believe there are more opportunities in the future for E-commerce development.
There are a range of factors we should take into consideration in our approach to the country:
E-commerce market is booming, due to the existence of multiple factors which stimulate the development
In 2015 in China, penetration rate of online shopping reached to 56%. This means there is a huge space to further development comparing with the most-developed countries, and a great opportunity to companies coming to China.
Although there are many factors which are promoting the trend, the main reasons can be summarized in a set of main points:
- Population: Until June 2015, China has 668 million netizens, 594 million mobile phone users and 374 million online shoppers. This leads us to a great size of online shoppers and a strong demand in domestic market.
- Policy: China and its Government have adapted many strategies and measures to promote the E-commerce development. It is a fact that the confluence of two forces have achieved incredible results in recent times.
- Technology: The mature E-commerce relating technologies facilitates the promotion of various industries, especially those related to the Big Data, Internet security, Online payment and Mobile technology. A niche market that is worthy.
- Enterprise: Internet companies have finally joined and distribute to the whole industry, so the result has been that most of the traditional E-commerce companies are transforming to the New Model. Thanks to it, the industry chains of BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) cover a large area in China and it is expected to keep growing in future.
- Ecological Integration: The whole industry is getting into a mixture between online and offline industry. Take a look to Alibabas example: they have relied on the industry chain of E-commerce to integrate video, games, travel, finance and other fields into a complete unity. That is the future!
- Basic Infrastructure: Internet infrastructure develops rapidly, especially the Mobile Internet. But also 4G is changing the scene: in the end of July 2015, China 4G accumulated more than 250 million users and 4G base stations were over 1.53 million, of which the construction of TD-LTE base stations were over 1 million. Nowadays, 4G smart phone has already accounted for 82.7% of the domestic smartphone market and seems there is still a gap to fill.
Accommodating to the human-oriented strategy, the E-commerce marketing gets a standout result
With the diversification of E-commerce, the elements influence on the marketing result also became complicated, thus the marketing KPIs should be clear for the marketing themes and goals.
E-commerce marketing has changed from past into a new model of advertising, which is accommodated to the Internet users.
The Model of procedural purchase facilitates the result of advertising, optimizing the convention, and achieves 3 times of ROI:
- The user is the focus: Advertisement position of E-commerce marketing is transforming into human-oriented.
- Procedural purchase is pushing E-commerce marketing into OTG (On-The-Go) model.
Rapid growth of mobile terminal and Big Data brings more commercial values
Now in China Ecommerce market, users, marketing and advertisement investors are in favor of mobile terminal. With the development of mobile technology, the traditional business was greatly impacted.
¿The result? Big Data sharing connects user, product and service together; each data channel communicate with others can release a higher-value data stream.
Vigorously develop of the “festival event”
In recent years, the festival promotion has become an important way of arresting customers. Since November 2011, it has already turned into a battle for the Chinese leading E-commerce companies.
But also the advantage of big data sharing and innovated technology did a tremendous support in the precise marketing and advertisement.
Take Tmall as an example: in 2015, the turnover of Tmall reached ¥57.1 billion just in one day. A huge amount that can still increase.
The tremendous transformation that China lives, cannot be understood without experiencing it by firsthand.
From 2 Open, we have a global perspective and the expertise any company thinking on coming to China needs to develop its business in the country.
If you are looking to take advantage of Chinese Ecommerce, we will be happy to help you.
This article has been edited by Paula Vicuña, from 2 Open
Is Latin America a Strategic Spot for the Chinese market?
Over the last fifteen years, Chinese Government has experienced an increasing attention on the possibilities that Latin American market can provide to them.
This article seeks to shed light on the current situation between both regions, and their future possibilities.
According to Chinese policy, in recent years the country has developed a new global strategy: Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean have become as key-players on its rise to the international scene.
Since 2000, China has settle its action on bilateral free trade agreements and loan commitments. Despite its evolution, the role assumed by China is yet far from a real partnership with Central and South America.
In future, commerce and investment will be the basis for establishing a lasting partnership and a socio-economic development in manufacturing, labor, services and financial support.
Which are the main factors that define their relationship?
The relationship is based on three basic purposes:
- Political Relations:
China has currently become a permanent observer in the Organization of American States and a member of the Inter-American Development Bank. The country also participates actively in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition, China has signed free trade agreements and institutional arrangements with some of the regional countries.
- Economic Relations:
China plays a leading role in the future economic scene in the region. Latin America exports to China are raw materials, such as minerals, ores, oil seed, meat, cooper and soybeans.
Economic Relations are mostly conducted by Chinese Public Sector: Trade, Investment and Financing enhance the mutual cooperation and the collaboration is constantly increasing.
The Chinese investment effort has been particularly strong in two important fields: Energy and Infrastructure.
- Cultural Relations:
Chinese cultural expansion is closely linked of their latest conception of International Relations based on pragmatism and soft power.
In recent years, many Confucius Institutes have started their activity in Latin America, but also Spanish language has experimented a huge growth in China: educational and cultural exchanges are on the rise.
Is there ROOM ENOUGH for a common trade based on high value-added?
Latin America suffers from a scarce innovative effort, while China struggles to turn its economic system into an innovation model, highly rooted in the high value-added.
ICT-based services, Information technology and also Ecommerce are expected to grow in Latin America. The Global trends in Crossborder Ecommerce will be a challenge to the international integration of Latin America and a great opportunity for MSMEs.
Are you already familiarized with Crossborder Ecommerce and B2B, B2C, C2C, B2G and C2B Models? In search of an Ecommerce Consultancy Agency?
From 2 Open we can help you develop your business and to boost your company into International Sales.
How to take advantage of the latest E Commerce revolution? U-Commerce trend
Nowadays, we all are very well aware of the importance of Ecommerce on current business.
E-Commerce has been a great revolution for companies and customers, helping the exchange of goods and services without geographical barriers via Internet.
With most of famous brands selling via e-Commerce and the development of B2B, B2C and C2C markets, the last revolution has come to stay: the Mobile Commerce or better known, M-Commerce.
But, What do we mean when we talk about M-Commerce?
The increase of the usage of smartphones and tablets and the growth of its capabilities, lead to a higher percentage of the population using technological devices to purchase their goods or services. According to the increase of the demand and in order to take advantage of this new trend, Companies have already identified the need to adapt their ways of selling to the portable devices.
China, the biggest consumer via E-Commerce country and a technologically advanced market, is a good example to put into consideration: the Retail and C2C ecommerce sales have grown from the 9% to the 55.5% since 2013.
This information show us that nowadays, most of the C2C Chinese customers prefer to use the mobile device than their PCs or laptops.
Omnichannel Marketing, What´s its purpose?
At the same time, to E-Commerce has joined a new feature: the existence of the multichannel approach to sales, or “Omnichannel”.
This channel is looking for the continuous shopping experience of each customer. The aim of the Omnichannel Marketing is offering a continuous experience to the user, independent from the device or channel chosen.
In practice, this leads to a complete integration between phones, tablets and computers and it requires the combination of an anthropological and technological strategy in approaching the users in a smarter way.
From the combination of all this, arises the U-Commerce concept.
What is U-Commerce or Ubiquitous Commerce?
If we simplify, we would say that we are talking about U-Commerce when E-Commerce is based in the customer experience.
The user must be in the center of all Companies’ strategies. Those Companies using U-Commerce must be able to provide personalized service to their clients from the information they get from mobile devices and PC-s.
The keys are: customizing and navigation experience created in cooperation with the User.
How is this possible?
It is obvious that the technological development is responsible for this change and makes necessary to pay attention to the internal customer databases.
Companies must try to find out common interests between potential clients who visit their EShops, considering each potential customer as unique and with their own preferences and priorities.
Efforts should be directed to avoid high rates of leads who finally give up navigating in the last purchasing phase, and reach around 60-70%.
This is the crucial reason for companies to invest their efforts and resources in understanding the customers and their behavior: to boost sales.
A lack of privacy: How companies use data?
U-Commerce uses personal information in order to provide a personalized service. A big number of customers feel disrespectful that a company can get their personal information and manage it as they want. Therefore, we must emphasize the benefits that the data can bring to the user and treat delicately the data we are able to collect.
Times are changing and the number of E-Commerce consumers is increasing exponentially and also the M-Commerce is growing very fast.
It’s important to face it and consider user’s needs, their preferences and desires. So companies must rechange strategies and adapt to the new eCommerce “revolution”.
Are you thinking about improving the user experience and exploit the advantages that the use of Online Marketing gives us?
Come to us, We are expecting you!
This article has been edited by Paula Vicuña, from 2 OPEN.
Do other e-commerce platforms stand a chance against Tmall?
All of us are very well aware of the magnitude of the Chinese online market and, although it is currently the largest e-commerce market in the world, most of the market share is owned by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Nevertheless, there are some other companies that also want their piece of the pie and with their vertical e-commerce platforms they are starting to put up a fight. This article will focus mainly on those vertical platforms that constitute an important part of the diverse Chinese e-commerce environment.
In the 4th quarter of 2015 China’s online transactions surpassed 644.38 billion RMB, the pie chart shown bellow contains the market share of the top ten Chinese e-commerce platforms:
Before we continue, we first have to clarify the concept of vertical e-commerce. In this context, vertical refers vendors that offer goods and/or services that are specific to an industry or customers with specific needs. A vertical e-commerce platforms could be a independent brand or a specified category within a wide range of products such as clothes, 3C (computer, communication, and consumer electronics) products, cosmetics, etc.
If you already have a basic understanding of the Chinese e-commerce market, then you are probably familiar with JD.com. Currently the second e-commerce platforms in China after Tmall (owned by Alibaba Group), JD.com started as a 3C products vertical B2C website. Now, let us take a look at the market share of 3C products in China B2C online market:
Although Tmall is still on the first spot, the difference in market share of JD.com is considerably higher than with regular products. Tmall and JD.com combined own more than 80% of the Chinese 3C products market. Suning, on the 3rd spot, and Gome, on the 4th, both also started specializing in 3C products, however, nowadays they have also diversified their range of products. At the end, it seems that there are no actual vertical platforms anymore.
To study the online market, we cannot miss the biggest category, clothes. In the 4th quarter of 2015, the total transaction of clothes is 235.57 billion Yuan, market share is shown below:
In this case, Tmall is leading with an absolute advantage of almost 3/4 of the market share. In this category, JD has 8.7% of the market share, VIP.com has 6%, and surprisingly others do not even have 1% individually, so from the big picture the vertical market for clothes is not active enough.
Another category that has had such a rapid growth we cannot ignore is the maternal and children products. Shown below is a pie chart containing China’s maternal and children products market share figures of major competitors in the last quarter of 2015:
The most noticeable difference in comparison with other categories is the porcentage own by other platforms that adds up to almost 20 %. Although Mia, Beibei, Babytree and others are in that 20% it is still a big figure. In this category Tmall and JD.com own less than 70 % of the Chinese clothing market, so we can say, to some extend, that there is still space for vertical players.
The next category is books and, even though the books total transaction was just 5.31 billion Yuan, the market share gives us a slice hope of competing with general platforms, in this case Dangdang is leading with 43.8%, and Tmall is only on the 3rd spot, just after JD.com.
Finally, we cannot say all vertical online platforms are dead in China just because most of the categories are gloomy, there are still some worth a try, and you just need to know enough about the current situation. If you don’t, luckily you saw this article, and you know 2open can always help you to find the right channels. So don’t hesitate, contact us now!
All in all, even though Tmall dominates in the Chinese market, there is still space for other platforms to flourish. Vertical e-commerce platforms seem to be the wisest option, specify in a certain category, gather information about the current situation in the Chinese market, and carry out your business plan. If you need further information about the market, would like to help you find the right channels, or want us to set up your business in China, do not hesitate in contacting us. Our group of specialists will happily assist you.
This article was edited by Andres Arroyo Olson from 2 Open.
All products data from
3C data from
Clothes data from
Children products data from：
Books data from: