Global Marketing News – 3rd February 2016
International ecommerce sales fuel Alibaba growth
Alibaba, one of the most popular ecommerce sites in China, has released its sales figures for 2015.
The figures reveal that online shopping is growing in the country, despite the Chinese economy in general suffering a slowdown.
Alibaba’s 2015 sales totalled a staggering 449 billion US dollars, accounting for three-quarters of the Chinese ecommerce market, which totalled 589 billion US dollars last year.
This is an increase of 32% on last year, with mobile sales seeing a massive increase of 192% on last year.
Alibaba also saw strong cross-border ecommerce growth in 2015.
Sales on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform, which allows foreign companies to sell their products in China, increased by 179% compared to the previous year.
AliExpress, which allows Chinese businesses to sell their products overseas, also saw a year-on-year increase of 14%.
Internet censorship strikes South East Asia
Internet censorship struck South East Asia on three different occasions last week.
Indonesia blocked the video streaming platform Netflix just a few weeks after it launched in the country. The country’s strict censorship laws ban content that portrays nudity, gambling and scenes that could provoke violence. The Indonesian censorship board, the LSF, deemed that Netflix’s content broke these rules and banned the service outright in the country.
A short while later in Malaysia, the blogging platform Medium was blocked after one of its users published a piece of investigative journalism on the platform, looking into corruption allegations involving the Malaysian Prime Minister.
And last but not least, the Thai government has been putting pressure on big name internet giants including Google, Facebook and Line to censor their services. They are especially keen for the companies to take down content that is critical of the Thai government.
DHL eCommerce delivery to launch in Thailand
The international logistics company DHL is to launch its DHL eCommerce delivery service in Thailand.
This makes Thailand the first market in South East Asia that DHL has expanded its delivery service solution to, and will help Thai ecommerce sites to distribute their products throughout the country.
In order to achieve this goal, DHL plans to build a distribution centre in the Thai capital Bangkok and build a network of 20 depots spread out across the rest of the country. It will also increase the number of vehicles in its fleet and open a multilingual call centre to handle any queries.
Once the delivery service is up and running, DHL aims to deliver items within 1 day in cities and within 2-3 days in more rural areas.
The Thai ecommerce market is expected to triple in size over the next 4 years, and is set to reach 3.9 billion US dollars in 2020.
Just 5% of Saudis do online shopping
Just 5% of Saudis engage in online shopping, according to research by the Saudi Arabian government.
The key reasons behind this reluctance to shop online are the high levels of fraud in the country and slow delivery times.
Underpinning the high fraud rates is the fact that there are no laws in Saudi Arabia that punish unscrupulous sellers or protect online shoppers.
Legal experts are currently penning a draft law that would regulate ecommerce, but so far no implementation date has been announced.
Buddhist monks for hire on Amazon Japan
And finally, a rather unusual new service has appeared on Amazon Japan.
Grieving Japanese families can now hire a monk via the ecommerce platform to come to their home, funeral home or family grave, transport their loved one’s ashes and perform Buddhist rituals.
The basic “Mr. Monk Delivery” package costs 35,000 Yen, equivalent to 300 US dollars, and is much cheaper than the costs charged by most Buddhist temples.
A spokesperson from Minrevi, the company behind Mr. Monk Delivery, has commented on why it chose to take to Amazon to promote its services: “Many people don’t have ties with temples and they have no idea where and how to arrange Buddhist rituals, while monks are increasingly concerned about their declining temple membership. We can cater to the needs on both sides and hopefully we can bring them together.”
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