Kaola – China’s import eCommerce platform
NetEase Kaola, the no. 1 import eCommerce platform in China, now part of Alibaba’s Tmall Global
Kaola is an eCommerce platform established in January 2015. Since then, it has sold mainly imported goods sourced from overseas suppliers. At the same time, Kaola acts as a marketplace which allows other third-party vendors to sell their products on the platform. However, revenue is generated mainly through merchandise sales.
According to iiMedia Research Group, a domestic consulting agency, NetEase Kaola ranked first in the import retail eCommerce market in China. It accounts for 26% of the market share in the first half of 2018. Tmall Global, better known as Alibaba, came in second with a market share of 22%, followed by JD Worldwide with a market share of 13%.
Today, import retail eCommerce platforms, where authentic overseas products can be purchased, are highly popular among Chinese consumers. For this reason, Alibaba acquired Net Ease Kaola for nearly US$2 billion in September 2019 and integrated it into Tmall with the intent to create the largest import retail eCommerce platform in China. Together, NetEase Kaola and Tmall Global reach nearly 50% of the import eCommerce market in China. Kaola will however continue to operate independently under its own brand.
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