E-commerce

A person walks past a JD.com advertisement for the "618" shopping festival displayed outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China, 14 June 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo/Reuters)

Chinese internet giants gear up for global e-commerce push

Amid tightening Covid-19 controls, disrupted logistics and e-commerce user base plateauing in 2020, Chinese e-commerce companies are facing tightened scrutiny and slowing growth in revenue. Furthermore, advertising — the most important source of revenue for internet companies — has been weak for more than a year. This leads Chinese tech companies to turn their attention overseas, and those without an overseas development plan will be left behind. Caixin journalists tell us more.
Short video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou have focused on a new model of "goods seeking people". (Internet)

Newcomers Douyin and Kuaishou takes on tech giants to refresh the face of e-commerce

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi delves into the differences between traditional e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and JD, and “interest-based” platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou, and explores the possibilities for what e-commerce might look like in the future, as both types of platforms operate alongside each other.
Sensing that I'm drawn to such content, Douyin’s algorithm recommended more stories of Chinese families that tug at the heartstrings. (Screenshots provided by Jessie Tan)

Singaporean in China: China's poor no longer beg, they livestream

Former journalist Jessie Tan muses over the phenomenon of those in need transitioning from begging on the streets to selling goods on Douyin. While the poor or disabled have been given a more dignified and effective source of income, this is just one aspect of the good that comes with social media and technology.
People walk past a Xiaomi store in Mumbai, India, 11 May 2022. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters)

Once ‘the world’s factory’, China now builds global brands

In the sixth of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at how brands from China are going international, particularly among Gen Z consumers in Southeast Asia.
Staff members walk past a logo of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 27 May 2022. (AFP)

China tech companies draw up war plans for ASEAN battleground

In the second of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Zaobao senior correspondent Chew Boon Leong looks at the strategies adopted and challenges faced by China’s tech companies in Southeast Asia.
Workers in protective suits disinfect an old residential area under lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 15 April 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Shanghai's Covid shutdown is disrupting domestic and global supply chains

As Shanghai battles with its worst Covid-19 outbreak, stringent anti-epidemic measures confining almost everyone at home have ground the city to a halt. It is believed that if Shanghai is not able to resume production by May, industries with supply chains in the area will not be able to function, and the automotive industry will be hit the hardest.
New Oriental founder Yu Minhong started selling farm products online from last month. (Internet)

China's 'godfather of overseas study' now selling farm produce, regrets listing

For New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. founder Michael Yu Minhong, the year 2021 has been a rollercoaster ride of losses amid a crackdown on the off-campus tutoring sector. The company seems to be bouncing back with livestreaming farm sales, but is this all just bravado and a further move away from the company’s origins as an educatonal provider assisting those preparing to study overseas? Yu himself has lamented in the past that the minute the company listed on the NYSE, it went off course. In the aftermath of the chaos, will it be able to recentre itself, or will it continue being swept by the tide?
Delivery motorcycles parked by a road.

A Singaporean in China: Going green is a hard thing to do in Beijing

With many apps in China to choose from to make quick and affordable purchases, Jessie Tan finds that her previous environmentally conscious self who used to forgo plastic takeout containers and seek out pre-loved goods has succumbed somewhat to easy consumerism. A guilty conscience pricks at her, but the conveniences of daily life in China are hard to give up. Even as China commits to carbon emission reductions, aspirations for a better, easier life has continued to rise. How can China enable people to have a life of comfort without leaving a negative impact on the environment?
In this file photo taken on 23 October 2019, a Facebook employee tries out an Oculus device at the company's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

China-US competition: Who will set the rules in a digital world?

Analyst Zheng Weibin says that while the China-US competition is a tussle for power that some would compare to the Cold War of the 20th century, digital technology is making all the difference in the 21st century. Today's competition is taking place amid changing definitions of national strength and economic power, and China needs to catch up in terms of growing its digital economy and meeting the challenges that come with it.