June 27, 2014, 12:17 PM

Amazon opens up new markets to Chinese sellers

Chinese companies now can reach online shoppers in Canada and Japan, making eight Amazon marketplaces where they can sell.

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NINGBO, CHINA—Chinese companies are rapidly increasing their cross-border sales on Amazon.com Inc. marketplaces and now can sell in two more countries, an Amazon executive said today at a conference in Ningbo, China.

Amazon’s marketplaces in Canada and Japan are now open to Chinese sellers, Ye Weilun, vice president of Amazon China’s third-party platform, announced at the 2014 Chinese Consumer Brands E-Commerce Summit in this port city south of Shanghai. They were already selling on Amazon sites in six other countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Amazon China began facilitating sales on its marketplaces outside of China in 2012, a program it calls “open store in the world,” and those sales have been growing rapidly, Ye said. “The number of Chinese retailers selling to overseas consumers on Amazon’s platform increased 196% to more than 1,000 in 2013. For Chinese merchants on Amazon, their sales from overseas markets grew 64% in 2013,” he said. In the United Kingdom, those sales grew 560% last year, he said. He did not provide dollar figures for those sales.

In Japan, Amazon provides Chinese sellers with Japanese-speaking customer service agents and marketing services, the Amazon executive said. Amazon’s Japan e-commerce site attracts 4.8 million visitors each month, according to web measurement firm comScore Inc.

Amazon operates e-commerce sites in 13 countries, including in three Asian countries: China, Japan and India. Besides the 10 countries mentioned above and China, the other three are Brazil, Mexico and Australia.

Amazon entered China in 2004 with its acquisition of Chinese online bookseller Joyo.com. The U.S. e-retailer rebranded the site Amazon China, and Amazon.cn generated $3 billion in 2013 web sales, according to Internet Retailer estimates, making it No. 4 in the China 500.  

Amazon operates 13 fulfillment centers across China, and more than 50,000 Chinese merchants sell 20 million products in 32 categories on Amazon.cn. Amazon China has its own delivery service in China and provides same-day or next-day delivery to 133 cities in China, the company says.

Amazon is not the only U.S.-based e-commerce powerhouse helping Chinese companies sell to online shoppers abroad. EBay Inc. released a report this week showing that Chinese sellers are increasingly active on eBay’s localized marketplaces in 25 countries. 

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