December 21, 2012, 1:38 PM

Chinese e-retailer 360.Buy.com and Nokia ring up a smartphone deal

The smartphone maker will sell gear on one of China’s biggest online malls.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

One of the biggest mass merchandise and web-only retailers in China wants to sell gear from Nokia Corp., and lots of it.

360Buy.com, also known in China as JingDong Mall and a business-to-consumer marketplace selling online since 2004, has signed an agreement with Nokia, a manufacturer of smartphones and related accessories, to procure 2 billion yuan, or $321 million, of gear to sell online in 2013.

For 360Buy.com, which says it has more than 60 million registered users and a network of nearly 10,000 suppliers across China, the deal expands the retailer’s consumer electronics inventory. For Nokia, the deal means the manufacturer has a much bigger electronic commerce channel to sell smartphones online in China. “The partnership will make 360Buy Nokia's largest e-commerce partner in China,” the retailer says.

Nokia has established a web store on 360Buy’s consumer marketplace. The web store lets consumers search for Nokia smartphones by type, price and operating system. Shoppers can also sort and purchase a smartphone voice and data subscription by carrier, purchase additional minutes and buy accessories, such as cases. “Through partnering with Nokia, 360Buy will allow customers to buy their latest handsets as soon as they become available,” Nokia says. “In addition, Nokia's newly launched e-store on 360Buy.com will complement traditional distribution channels such as proprietary shops and license vendors.”

The deal with Nokia caps off a busy end of the year for 360Buy.com. In October the online retailer launched an English-language version of its site to sell Chinese manufactured goods in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and elsewhere.

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