Kaola.com, the cross-border e-commerce arm of China’s internet major NetEase, is strictly sharpening its focus on bringing new European brands to China – a particular category in which it sees strong growth potential, as it ratchets up its competition against larger e-commerce players, such as Alibaba Group and JD.com.
Kaola plans to buy €3 billion (US$3.18 billion) worth of European products over the next three years, spread across more than 2,000 brands, which it hopes will appeal to high-spending Chinese shoppers.
“We are not looking to significantly boost the total number of foreign brands sold on our site,” Zhang Lei, chief executive officer of the Hangzhou-based Kaola, said in an interview with the Post.
“We want to be choosy, providing only high-quality, hand-picked brands that meet the demands of our customers.”
About 5,000 foreign brands currently sell directly on Kaola’s site, mostly from Japan, South Korea and the United States.
Koala was launched in 2015 by Nasdaq-listed NetEase, and its founder and chief executive officer William Ding Lei, hopes it can become an online retail powerhouse that can potentially double the size of his business, that has so far been heavily reliant on games revenue.