SHANGHAI Oct 18 China's biggest online retailer
360buy.com will start selling directly to overseas buyers on
Thursday, the first such move by a major Chinese e-commerce
firm, as it struggles with increasing competition at home.
Its move into the global market, where it wants to take on
Amazon.com Inc, will be closely watched by other
Chinese e-commerce companies.
An August price war between 360buy, Suning Appliance
, and GOME Electrical Appliances Holding,
now under investigation by the government, is also pushing the
firm to seek new business outside China.
The privately-owned firm's English-language website,
en.360buy.com, will open for trade with almost 400,000 new
products for sale, from electronic appliances to baby milk
powder. It will deliver some of those free of charge, a company
official said, confirming a report in the China Daily newspaper.
The firm will ship to 36 countries, the official added.
"In the initial stage, we want to buy made-in-China products
domestically and deliver them to overseas clients," 360buy's
Vice President Shi Tao told the China Daily newspaper.
The company also plans to set up warehouses outside China to
shorten delivery times.
In China, 360buy competes with Alibaba Group's
Taobao operations, as well as Amazon and Ecommerce Dangdang Inc
. Though Taobao is by far the country's biggest
e-commerce firm, it hosts other companies which sell goods,
whereas 360buy sells and delivers products itself.
China's e-commerce industry grew 45 percent year-on-year in
the second quarter to reach 278.84 billion yuan ($44.58
billion)in transaction volume, a research firm said this week.
Alibaba expects its Taobao sites to sell merchandise this
year worth more than that sold by Amazon and eBay