Simply put, China’s e-commerce market is booming. As the largest online market in the world, China represented 40 percent of all e-commerce globally in 2016. Furthermore, 70 percent of domestic retail growth in China came from online channels during that same year. Online shopping has simply become the norm in China for many consumers and product categories.
While the Chinese e-commerce market has huge potential, it is also a completely unique online landscape. China’s comprehensive internet censorship, popularly known as “The Great Firewall of China”, has banned many of the most popular internet services and social media platforms from Western providers, such as Google and Facebook.
This has led to China developing their own ecosystem of digital services, in which the commonly known international companies’ services are replaced by, often evolved, Chinese equivalents. The foundation of the domestic digital ecosystem has been spearheaded by three Chinese internet giants; Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent - collectively known as BAT. Each of the three dominating certain segments of the digital landscape.
The unique online environment combined with the rapid growth and evolution of the China e-commerce market poses a number of unique challenges that Swedish brands in China must adapt to.