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Alibaba teams up US stores on online shopping

E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba Group's payment affiliate Alipay is betting on the growing demand of Chinese shoppers on overseas websites as it starts to offer cash coupons and discounts for cross-border payments to boost its transaction size.

Alipay said it has teamed up with US department stores such as Macy's, Nieman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue to allow Chinese consumers to pay with their Alipay accounts when shopping at the official websites of these stores.

A total of 60 million yuan (US$9.8 million) worth of shopping coupons will be offered to Alipay users through the week ended December 1.

Last year, China's cross-border e-commerce transaction size rose 31.3 percent from a year ago to 3.1 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Commerce, and that figure is expected to more than double to 6.5 trillion yuan by 2016.

Cross-border payment is picking up as consumers are turning to overseas shopping websites.

The coupons could be used on the Black Friday, which falls on November 28 this year, a peak day for discounts at both brick-and-mortar retailers and online vendors.

Alipay said it aims to make “Black Friday” shopping experience as comfortable as that on Taobao, and to lower the barrier for ordinary shoppers to buy from overseas sites.

Other online vendors are also riding the wave as Chinese consumers are eyeing bargains not only from local sites, but from overseas vendors as well.

Amazon also said last month that it would offer direct delivery services for Chinese consumers who buy products on six overseas Amazon sites including the United States, Germany, Spain, France, Britain and Italy.

The market for Chinese online shopping of imported goods will surge to 120 billion yuan (US$19.6 billion) in 2014, a jump of 50 percent from a year earlier, according to Beijing-based Analysys.


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