An eBay-backed Asian e-commerce company grows sales 26% in 2013

Qoo10.com specializes in offering consumers in seven Asian markets goods from other countries.

Frank Tong

A Singapore-based company 49% owned by eBay Inc. is growing steadily as it offers Asian consumers products from other countries, mainly China and South Korea.

Giosis Pte. Ltd., which specializes in cross-border e-commerce, increased the value of goods it sold 26% in 2013 after selling $300 million worth of goods in 2012, Giosis China’s sales manager Li Meiling tells Internet Retailer.

The founder of Giosis is Korean entrepreneur Young Bae Ku, who founded South Korean online marketplace Gmarket in 2000 and built it into one of the country’s leading retail web sites. He sold Gmarket to eBay Korea in 2009 and agreed not to compete by selling South Korean products online to consumers in that country.

However, Ku was free to sell online elsewhere in Asia and in 2010 launched Giosis as an online marketplace for Asian countries. Ku holds 51% of the shares in Giosis and eBay owns 49%.

Giosis operates Qoo10.com and seven sub-sites in local languages and currencies that cater to consumers in Singapore, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China. For example, the Japanese site, Qoo10.jp, is in Japanese and offers payment options geared to Japanese consumers. Li says 80% of the sales on Qoo10.jp are generated by Chinese merchants; popular products include apparel and accessories.

Overall, 80% of the purchases consumers make on Giosis sites are from merchants in other countries, with most of the retailers selling on the site coming from China and South Korea. “We have to differentiate ourselves from Chinese e-commerce giants, such as Alibaba and JD.com,” Li says. “So in China, we focus on selling products from other countries to Chinese consumers.”

To accelerate its entry into China, Giosis acquired a stake in Chinese fashion e-retailer Mecox Lane Ltd., and has been selling its products through Mecox Lane’s e-commerce site, M18.com, in China since 2012, according to the company. Mecox Lane ranks No. 266 in Internet Retailer's 2014 China 500. JD.com is No. 1 in the China 500. Alibaba is not ranked because it is a pure online marketplace that does not sell goods on its own behalf; but its two big shopping portals, Taobao and Tmall, account for about 80% of online retail purchases in China.

In most Asian countries, it takes two days for goods consumers order online through Giosis sites to pass through customs, Li says. It takes two to three days to get goods into China. To accelerate fulfillment of orders to Chinese customers, Li says Giosis is shopping goods through the cross-border e-commerce pilot zone in Zhengzhou, one of five cities where the Chinese government is testing expedited processing of imported items.

The average shipping time for cross-border orders is five to seven days, and the average shipping cost is about $3 dollars per kilogram (2.2 pounds).

Giosis has about 500 employees and operates two warehouses, one in Japan and the other in Singapore.


China 500, China and South Korea, eBay-backed company, Giosis, Li Meiling, Mecox Lane, Qoo10.com, Young Bae Ku