Tmall and Other Marketplace Changes in 4Q 2019

This quarter saw a number of unexpected changes as and Xiaohongshu both announced their ambitions to build out livestreaming features. Alibaba also is building out more services for international merchants.

by Queenie Yao

This quarter saw a number of unexpected changes as livestreaming took off and and Xiaohongshu both announced plans to build out livestreaming features. 

We discuss this and other changes for China's largest e-commerce platforms in 4Q 2019.

Tmall & Tmall Global

Amorepacific Group inks partnership with Tmall to customize products for China (CN)– Dec 11

The two launched the Amorepacific X TMIC Innovation Center in December, with plans to tailor-make future Amorepacific products just for the Chinese consumer. Alibaba will leverage its data to help Amorepacific do this.

Tmall Global will partner with 600  brand service providers in 2020 (CN) – Dec 6

Tmall Global will invite more international brands to open a flagship store on its platform in 2020. To speed up the launch process and improve operational capabilities, Tmall is partnering with over 600 brand consulting firms, agencies, logistics companies, and other service providers

Alibaba sharpens focus on C2M business - Dec 4

The C2M model involves working with data and manufacturers to better customize products for certain customers

Tmall Global rolls out new rules for Black Friday shopping event (CN) – Nov 27

Tmall invited China’s top KOLs to hold live-streaming sessions at its bonded warehouse in Hangzhou.  Top live streamers Viya, Xiabobo participated, introducing imported products and selling over 100,000 orders in only three hours.

China's Singles Day sales growth bounces back to 30% - Nov 12

Despite slowing growth, Tmall recorded 268.4 billion RMB in GMV on Singles’ Day & JD Worldwide Live aims to build an e-commerce livestreaming ecosystem (CN) – Dec 24

Zhang Guowei, the person in charge of JD Live said that in 2020, will invest billions of resources in building the live streaming resources and tailor services for businesses at different stages of their development process. JD Live plans to focus on 100 core merchants, and ten 100-million RMB revenue merchants. opens 24/7 store chain 7Fresh Life in Beijing to offer mealtime solutions – Dec 20

JD 7FRESH's community-based fresh food store opened in Huilongguan, Beijing, its first location in China.  7FRESH Life is positioned as a gourmet fresh food community supermarket that combines food court with fresh food store and convenience store items.  JD 7FRESH life provides services 24 hours a day, and orders can be delivered to customers' homes within 1.5 KM. Orders can be delivered between 7: 30-22: 00. sees lower-tier market  revenues rise 50% during Double 12 festival (CN) – Dec 14‘s Double 12 figures show that revenues from China's lower-tier cities increased by 50% this year.’s Black Friday: More than 1,700 merchants doubled revenues (CN) – Dec 5

JD Worldwide’s data revealed that during JD's Black Friday imported goods promotions, over 30,000 brands from 100 countries participated, selling >20 million products. Over 1,700 merchants saw YoY growth of 100% or more.  

China's bids for relevance with luxury shoppers - Dec 4 will attempt to target luxury shoppers in China's lower-tier cities.

Kaola Global

Kaola aims to ramp up global merchant acquisition (CN) – Dec 11

According to NetEase Kaola ’s COO Liu Yiman, Kaola will onboard 10,000 new merchants and 10 million items in the near future.  Up until now, NetEase Kaola has worked with 1,000 worldwide merchants. Kaola stands out for its premium, Generation Z-age user base.

Alibaba doubles down on group-buying to compete with Pinduoduo (CN) – Dec 11

With Pinduoduo branching into first- and second-tier cities, Alibaba's group-buying platform Juhuasuan is now doubling its efforts to penetrate lower-tier cities. On the day before Double 12, Juhuasuan announced the official launch of its “Ten Billion RMB Discounts” program. 

Fenxiang Life & Kaola Global to partner on social cross-border e-commerce (CN) – Dec 4

Fenxiang Life is an emerging player in social commerce, with a fast-growing customer base. Kaola Global will source goods directly from overseas brand manufacturers to cut out middlemen. Fenxiang Life will use its social commerce business model to keep traffic acquisition costs and prices low.

Xiaohongshu / Little Red Book

Little Red Book tells influencers it's time to pay up - Dec 26

The platform will start taking a cut of marketing fees paid to influencers.

Xiaohongshu responds accusations of fake content (CN) – Dec 23

On December 23, state media press CCTV reported on Xiaohongshu's fake traffic and comments. In response, Xiaohongshu responded by providing details of its crackdown on such activity.

2020 will be the golden year for brands (CN) – Dec 20

The CEO of Little Red Book's branding department pointed out that 2020 will be a good year for merchants to focus on marketing and branding. He notes that domestic brands will see strong growth. Xiaohongshu will use its product recommendation tools to help brands engage and acquire customers.

Xiaohongshu to launch live streaming features – Dec 11

Xiaohongshu will launch live streaming features early next year to better engage customers. This will be good for KOLs, who can now use the platform to further monetize their fan base. Tmall Netease Kaola xiaohongshu

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