Alibaba celebrates 1.2 million users on Taobao in Hong Kong
A report shows the HK's online trade last year was HK$14.8b and is growing
Mainland e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said its customer-to-customer online trading platform Taobao has been growing robustly in Hong Kong.
Group spokeswoman Florence Shih said: "With more than 800 million product listings at any given time, consumers can select and purchase products they may be unable to find in their local markets."
Taobao announced the number of registered users in Hong Kong surpassed one million in June and in September said the number had reached 1.2 million.
"We have observed consumers see online shopping as a fun activity, and given online shopping is not constrained by time or location, consumers have the flexibility to shop anytime, anywhere."
Shih didn't elaborate on Taobao's next target in Hong Kong, saying the top priority is to improve users' shopping experience by further streamlining logistics and offering more payment methods.
Taobao recently partnered with 7-Eleven to offer Hong Kong consumers an electronic voucher at the latter's more than 920 stores in the city.
But competition in the Hong Kong market, which isn't huge given its population of seven million, may be increasing. A Nielsen research report shows total online sales in the city last year reached HK$14.8 billion.
China's biggest internet company, Tencent, expanded into Hong Kong's online shopping business in September. Customers can pick up their orders from convenience stores 24 hours per day, via 200 OK stores, 15 Vango and 30 7-Eleven outlets.
Tencent boasts the most popular social network in China with its instant messaging service QQ. The service had 784 million monthly users at the end of September, the company says.
Shih said Alibaba welcomes other e-commerce players into the ecosystem. "We also view this as a positive move to encourage Hong Kong consumers to develop their understanding of e-commerce and drive them to engage in online shopping."
Tmall is the mainland's largest business-to-consumer e-commerce service provider. A spin-off from Taobao, both platforms are owned by Alibaba Group.
Alibaba had forecast sales on the two online-shopping websites will reach one trillion yuan this year, but it managed to reach and exceed its target a month in advance. Last year, the company's GMV totalled 632.1 billion yuan.