Shopee launches China Marketplace portal with free shipping to rival Lazada

Shopee launched a new China Marketplace portal on Mar 1.
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E-commerce platform Shopee is capitalising on high demand for China-sold products with the launch of its new China Marketplace on Thursday (Mar 1).

Singapore users will be able to order goods from Chinese sellers via the portal, without any shipping and agent fees.

With product categories such as women’s fashion, home & living and kids’ fashion, the new feature is similar to Lazada’s Taobao Collection option, where Singapore shoppers can order goods from Taobao sellers through the Lazada website.

Shopee is owned by Singapore-based firm Sea Ltd, which counts China’s Tencent Holdings as its biggest shareholder.

Lazada, also a Singapore-born e-commerce platform, received $1 billion in funding from Taobao owner Alibaba Group Holding in 2017.

Shopee’s management said in a press statement on Thursday that it found, through a study, that more than 60 per cent of shoppers here shop for products from China at least once a month.

Almost 90 per cent of survey respondents indicated that they had started to buy more China products over the past five years, thanks to large product varieties offered, convenience and cost savings.

However, there were a number of existing pain points identified by shoppers who did cross-border shopping, including high shipping fees, language barrier and poor user interface.

With the launch of its China Marketplace, Shopee is hoping to beat the competition by addressing these common pain points.

Parent company Sea Ltd had on Wednesday announced a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and the departure of its president Nicholas Nash.

Losses were said to have increased due to marketing expenses for Sea’s new e-commerce division, which Shopee comes under.

The firm’s chief financial officer Tony Tianyu Hou will now serve as director, the Business Times reported.