Amazon has made a breakthrough in the Chinese ecommerce market... however, only through the express consent of Alibaba.
Amazon now has a store on Tmall, the Alibaba marketplace. Amazon has struggled against the likes of Alibaba’s two main marketplaces (Taobao and Tmall). Amazon was China’s eighth biggest estore at the end of 2014, with just 1.3 percent market share of transaction value, according to iResearch. Tmall dominates the market with 57.6 percent market share.
This piggyback-ing effectively means that Amazon has become Alibaba's customer, paying a commission on each sale.
Jack Ma famously said that whilst eBay is the shark in the ocean, Alibaba is the crocodile in the Yangtze river - well it looks like the crocodile has asserted itself once again!
Amazon has opened an online store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s fast-growing online marketplace, Tmall.com, as it seeks to expand in China, an Alibaba spokesman said. Alibaba’s Tmall offers virtual storefronts and payment portals to merchants. Several western retailers, including Zara owner Inditex, Britain’s Burberry and ASOS, have joined Tmall this year as they look to boost their presence in China. Imported food, shoes, toys and kitchenware are listed on Amazon’s store, one of the many on Tmall that sell brand-name goods to Chinese shoppers, Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said on Thursday. Amazon also operates its own e-commerce site in China. U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp last year opened an online store in China using Tmall, entering the country’s booming e-commerce market to combat slowing sales at home.