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Posts Tagged ‘ China ’

China Research Centre of Ecommerce has published a report showing that the country’s ecommerce trading recorded USD 2.03 trillion in the first half of 2017.

 

The ecommerce sector in China continues to see rapid growth on all fronts. Business-to-business transactions reached USD 1.3 trillion, while online retail sales were at USD 470 million.

 

Cross-border ecommerce has also seen strong growth in the first half of 2017, increasing by 30.7% year-on-year, accounting for 26.97% of China’s total ecommerce trade volume.

 

The boom in the sector created new investment opportunities and developments. As of the end of June 2017, more than 3.1 million people worked directly in ecommerce and more than 23 million indirectly, the report revealed.

 

Currently, China holds 40% of the total global ecommerce transactions. The most recent reports confirm that the country’s ecommerce sector will continue to grow with online retailers also expanding into other markets.

 

Tencent has opened its credit scoring system to limited group users on QQ, WeChat’s older sibling.

 

This marks a big step forward for Tencent:  not only does this fill in a glaring gap in their product lineup, it also puts them in direct competition with Alibaba’s Sesame Credit.

 

According to previous screenshots from early testers, the credit scores—ranging from a maximum of 850 points and a minimum of 300 points—were calculated from five indexes: social connections, security, wealth, the ability to honor an agreement, and consumption behavior.

 

Social data constitutes a major part of Tencent Credit’s rating system. The data collected from WeChat and QQ—which claim 900 million and 860 million monthly active users respectively. The consumption data was mainly gathered through Mobile QQ and WeChat payment.

 

Tencent is also partnering with financial institutions like WeBank, China Construction Bank and local service institutions for complementing the credit rating mechanism.

 

Both Alibaba and Tencent have set early sights on the credit scoring sector, an essential component for financial services to solve the rising online security issues by leveraging big data. In 2014, when Alibaba’s Ant Financial was tinkering on Sesame Credit, Tencent also laid out in the sector with plans to launch a similar product. Both the companies obtained government approval to run their consumer credit rating services two years ago. 

 

 

China’s government has told telcos to block individuals’ access to virtual private networks (VPNs) by February 1. According to sources to Bloomberg, state-run telcos like China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have been ordered to bar people from using VPNs – tools perceived as a loophole around the Great Firewall.

 

China’s access to the internet is an extremely restricted one, heavily censored with the intent of suppressing dissent. Plugging holes in the Great Firewall is in line with President Xi Jinping’s ‘cyber sovereignty’ campaign.

 

Businesses and corporations are reportedly exempt from this if they keep their VPN use internal, but they will have to lease lines with access to the internet as is known by the rest of the world, with their usage of such services registered for the record.

 

So while corporations can still access the free internet, it’s no dice for individuals, especially those who do not work for any corporation with corporate VPNs.

 

China remains the largest global eCommerce market in terms of trading value, accounting for over 40% of the total transactions.

 

Transactions through eCommerce platforms have reached CNY 26.1 trillion (USD 3.8 trillion) in 2016, increasing by 19.8% from 2015, according to a Sina news report citing data from the Ministry of Commerce.

 

Ecommerce-related services have accumulated a value of CNY 2.45 trillion (USD 357.5 billion) in 2016, growing by 23.7% from 2015.

 

This growing market is sustained by the increasing number of internet users who reached 731 million or 53.2% of the country’s population. Online shoppers account for 467 million, or 63.8% of internet users. Another 441 million use mobile phones to place orders showcasing an annual growth rate of 29.8%.

 

The eCommerce market’s growth in China is due to the fast expansion of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces and Tencent-backed JD.com platform. The report shows that clothing, electronic appliances, mobile phones, digital goods, food and drink are among the most traded goods on eCommerce platforms.

 

 

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, has claimed that its number of daily active users doubled in 2016.

So far, the company has not yet disclosed data about the total number of active daily users, but it has reported that over 450 million people use its Alipay service for payments and various financial services like wealth management and insurance.

Launched in 2004, Alipay provides payment services for Alibaba’s ecommerce platform. Currently, it controls 54% of the total market shares, but competitor Tencent has made significant advances in 2016 to secure a wider market share. Now, Tenctent’s WeixinPay has a 37% market share.

Both competitors have expanded their payment services to physical stores. Tencent said that 29% of all in-store Starbucks purchases in mainland China were made through WeixinPay. In a similar move, Ant Financial managed to sign a deal with First Data that could give the company access to a potential 4.5 million merchants in the US. Similar agreements have also been signed in Europe with Ingenico and BNP.

The market has been expecting on an IPO from Ant, valued at USD 60billion at its last funding round in 2016, but it is currently off the agenda, at least until the end of 2018, the Financial Times reported.

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The race between Apple and Samsung in launching their respective mobile payment service is on.

According to The Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the matter claim that Apple will be launching Apple Pay in China by early February next year. Apple reportedly has signed deals with China’s big four state-run banks, which will allow Apple users to link the mobile payment service to their local bank accounts. Regulatory hurdles in the Chinese banking and e-commerce sectors may ultimately delay the launch before Chinese New Year 2016.

SamMobile reported last week that Samsung is planning to launch its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay in the UK, Spain and China by Q1 2016. As the Chinese market is the biggest in the world, having a head start is critical for both companies.

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Is drone delivery the future of ecommerce? That’s an open question, but the concept looks to be taking a big blow in China this month, with authorities slated to roll out regulations that will reportedly ban urban drone delivery.

 

Currently, drones exist in a relatively unregulated space in China. But at the General Aviation Development Summit in Beijing last week, China Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) secretary Ke Yuyu revealed that a new set of draft regulations on drones are due to be released this month. These new rules have already been passed by China’s Civil Aviation Administration and are currently in the middle of other approval procedures.
As they stand, the regulations don’t look good for those who were hoping that drones would one day replace China’s fast-delivery bike couriers. Ke says the regulations would require registration and aviation authority approval for drones over 25 kg (55 lbs), and drones capable of carrying cargo or weighing more than 150 kg (330 lbs) would be subject to even more stringent restrictions. But passing those restrictions won’t change things for ecommerce players, because according to Ke the regulations ban drone delivery outright in congested urban areas.

 

These regulations haven’t been formally passed or even released yet, so it’s possible that Ke is mistaken or that the final draft could include changes. Certainly, ecommerce players with plans for drone delivery (like Alibaba) may want to lobby aviation authorities for looser rules. And of course, we still don’t know the specifics, so it’s possible the regulations sound harsher in summary than they are in actuality.

 

Whether they’re as harsh as they sound or not, the new rules likely aren’t a permanent ban. Instead, they’re more of a recognition that drone technology isn’t sophisticated enough yet. In its current state, drone delivery in urban environments could be dangerous due to the high number of obstacles and the high probability of people getting hurt if there is an accident. So while urban drone delivery will be banned for now, it might well be unbanned at some point in the future if authorities are convinced the technology is there to do it safely.

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Chinese internet company Sina has revealed plans to release an online banking platform in September 2013.

 

The new service, dubbed WeiBank, will allow consumers to make financial transactions, complete bank transfers, make remittances, manage credit card and perform other money-related tasks online.

 

Sina has yet to disclose specific details of business model and the degree to which the product is integrated with Sina’s other products. Sina started to explore the internet payment business in 2011. The company launched the online payment tool SinaPay and upgraded the service into WeiboPay (micro-blogging wallet) in 2012. Every Weibo user automatically has a WeiboPay account.

 

In Q1 2013, Sina has seen its net revenue reaching USD 126 billion, up by 20 percent y-o-y. During the same period, its advertising revenue has jumped 20 percent to USD 94.3 million and non-advertising revenue has increased by 14 percent to USD 31.7 million.