more and more Europeans are buying Chinese goods from Chinese e-commerce apps such as AliExpress, Joybuy, GearBest and Banggood. Opening a store on the Chinese e-commerce app has also become a new trend for Chinese and European companies.
According to the “European E-Commerce Report” published by International Post in March this year, respondents like to shop on the mobile side (38%). Among the 2018 cross-border packages, 38% are from China, followed by the United States (15%). At the same time, Chinese goods purchased by European countries through e-commerce apps are also increasing. According to the Swiss “Business Daily”, only Switzerland received more than 10 million packages from China in 2017, more than double the number in 2015.
The Swiss bank white-collar Mia, who lives in Zurich, told the Global Times that he would shop on several Chinese e-commerce apps such as AliExpress every week, mainly to buy some clothing, small appliances, mobile phone sets, home decorations, daily necessities and so on. “I spent less than 1.5 Swiss francs and bought a mobile phone case. A dress is only 19 Swiss francs. It’s too cheap, and there is no need to pay extra postage. If in Switzerland, the total price of these items must be Increase it by 5 to 10 times.”
Why can Chinese e-commerce be sold in the European market at such a low price? Rodolfo, an economist at the University of Cologne, Germany, pointed out to the Global Times reporter an important advantage of Chinese e-commerce. Under the UPU’s current terminal fee framework, since China is a developing country, it is only necessary to pay a lower terminal fee to the country of mail delivery in cross-border mailing. For example, a small parcel sent from China to Switzerland, Chinese e-commerce only needs to pay 1-2 Swiss francs postage, while the same package of Swiss e-commerce is sent in the country but it costs 7 Swiss francs. Moreover, recipients in most European countries do not have to pay customs duties or pay VAT when receiving such parcels.
“The low-price culture in Europe is also the reason why Chinese e-commerce is favored.” Rodolfo pointed out that in recent years, the European economy has been sluggish, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened, and more low-income people have been born. These people especially like China. commodity. Even the middle class and high-income class are more and more like “Made in China”. They usually buy Chinese goods on the App and save money for travel.
Many young Europeans also reported to the Global Times reporter that Chinese goods attach great importance to new technological elements and are in line with today’s development trends. Oliver, who lives in Munich, bought Xiaomi’s electric scooter through the e-commerce app. He said that China’s Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo and other brands have a high reputation in Europe and are already at the forefront of technological development.
“When China’s e-commerce market is becoming saturated and competition is fierce, China’s e-commerce should go to Europe.” Wang Ping, a Chinese businessman and a Chinese-European economic adviser who has been operating online sales in Düsseldorf, Germany, told the Global Times reporter. Small e-commerce companies can open stores on AliExpress, Wish and other e-commerce apps. These platform apps are different from traditional Amazon and Yibei, which have large warehouses in countries such as Germany.
Many Chinese e-commerce companies will also send goods to these warehouses first, and then Amazon will help deliver the goods. Although this is a short delivery time, e-commerce must pay local taxes. Chinese e-commerce companies on platforms such as AliExpress generally send their goods directly to European customers. The time usually ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months, but most do not pay local taxes. “If it is a large-scale organization, you can also make your own e-commerce platform App, then sell your own products on the platform, or absorb other smaller e-commerce to join the platform, and charge the latter for promotion, management, etc.” Wang Ping said.
There are also many issues to be aware of when selling Chinese goods on an e-commerce platform. First of all, you can’t sell fakes. If the European side investigates and sells counterfeit goods, the merchant will not only face huge fines, but may even be subject to criminal proceedings.
Second, do not evade taxes and tax evasion. Over the years, Chinese e-commerce has avoided high taxes in EU countries through various means. For example, some goods enter the EU through British customs because the UK import tax is low. However, with the Brexit, this “advantage” will probably disappear. At the same time, many European countries have increased their taxation on Chinese e-commerce. For example, in Germany, since January 2019, e-commerce providers such as Amazon and Yibei have been required to pay tax guarantees for online stores on their platforms. These practices will increase the price pressure of Chinese e-commerce. However, due to different tax policies in European countries, Chinese e-commerce can still formulate countermeasures according to local conditions.
In marketing, Chinese e-commerce is going to do as the Romans do. Pay special attention to holiday marketing, launch special products on Christmas, New Year, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, late summer promotion, winter promotion, Black Friday and other festivals, and give discounts. Of course, e-commerce can also introduce China’s “Double 11” and so on.