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Internet shopping pioneer eBay returns to mainland

eBay links with Xiu.com to deliver international fashion brands to domestic consumers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2012, 3:53am

Global internet shopping and auctions giant eBay is making a comeback on the mainland through a new partnership with Xiu.com a leading online apparel merchant.

The two companies said their new eBay Style online platform, which was launched yesterday, offered up to 5,000 brands of clothing, handbags, shoes, accessories, health and beauty products, and other lifestyle-category goods to consumers in the world's largest internet market.

Shenzhen-based Xiu.com is handling all sales, logistics and customer service on the mainland, while eBay connects the mainland's online shoppers to so-called trusted sellers in the United States and its other large markets.

Melanie Tan, a vice-president for eBay, said the selection on offer "will be unmatched" on the mainland, where more and more consumers are making purchases from its international online marketplace.

"We have seen a 40 per cent year-on-year increase of goods bought by Chinese consumers navigating eBay.com in English," Tan said.

It is a tactical return to the mainland for eBay, which closed its domestic eBay EachNet website in 2006 after losing ground to Alibaba Group's Taobao online shopping platform.

Since then, eBay has focused on helping mainland companies, such as clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing), sell goods overseas.

In 2010, eBay chief executive John Donahoe said the company had exited the domestic online retail market. But he added it would target opportunities to partner with Chinese companies.

The Xiu.com partnership pits eBay against Tmall.com the mainland's largest business-to-consumer e-commerce service provider, in just the apparel segment of the large online shopping market.

Data from market research firm Analysys International shows Tmall.com part of Alibaba's Taobao online shopping platforms, had a 45.1 per cent share of the mainland's business-to-consumer e-commerce market in the third quarter.

Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace, Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform, generated a record total gross merchandise value of 19.1 billion yuan (HK$23.76 billion) from their special online sale on Sunday.

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