The Chinese market is very important for Apple, and the long-awaited China Mobile deal underscores that. But the iPhone maker didn’t stop there: it has also launched an official online store on Tmall, a major online marketplace owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with the single aim of boosting sales.
The move is quite interesting: Apple has its own online store in China, but Tmall seems like a sure bet as a new channel to reach China-based online shoppers.
The Wall Street Journal points out that Alibaba’s two shopping sites, Taobao and Tmail, dominate the Chinese e-commerce market, which – according to some researchers – is close to dethroning the US as the world’s biggest market of online shoppers.
Taobao, for example, has seven million merchants and 800 million item listings, while Tmall is an online department store with trusted brand names such as Nike and Gap.
Apple’s message has been clear during the past couple of years: China is an extremely important market for the company, as it opened brick-and-mortar stores in the country.
Also, the company is preparing for a “special one-day shopping” event on January 10, right before the Lunar New Year celebrations called “Red Friday” sale, which is limited to China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.