There is no other word to describe Chinese e-commerce than booming. As a matter of fact, Chinese eCommerce is expected to represent 64% of total retail sales in the country. There are 800 million Chinese online shoppers (as of 2020) and the Chinese eCommerce market is expected to reach 1,556.2 billion dollars in revenue by 2024.  A big chunk of these transactions are happening through the Alibaba Group marketplaces: Tmall (B2C) and Taobao (C2C), as of 2021, the group holds over 50% of China’s e-commerce market shares.

Although competition is rising, Alibaba still is the incontested leader of the Chinese e-commerce landscape, and its local and cross-border version of Tmall is all of the rages with buyers and merchants! Today we are digging more in-depth into Tmall and more specifically Tmall vs Tmall Global. After this read, you should have a good idea of which of these two Chinese online marketplaces is the right one for your business and what are the main distinctions between Tmall and its cross-border counter-part.


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Here is how the company found an answer to the growing demand for genuine foreign goods by Chinese online shoppers:

Chinese e-commerce market without legal red tape

In 2014 the Alibaba Group launched its new platform: Tmall Global. Tmall Global enables foreign businesses to directly sell goods to Chinese online shoppers without needing a Chinese business license.

Tmall Global is the international version of China’s leading online marketplace: Tmall. It is THE most famous and largest Chinese cross-border B2C platform.

Tmall Global, as a cross-border eCommerce platform, allows international merchants to save some time and money by avoiding the legal regulations difficulties known to brands that don’t have a physical presence in China yet.

Tmall Global vs Tmall

Conditions to become a merchant on Tmall Global

  • Owning an overseas company entity
  • Be the brand owner / have brand authorization, and provide complete product purchase certificates from the brand side.

Merchants requirements to sell on Tmall Global

Businesses must be registered outside of China with trademarks in any country but China. The merchants must be qualified to retail overseas and have good operating conditions. They must also be able to certify that their stock is located outside of China.

Foreign merchants have 3 different possibilities to open a store on Tmall Global.

  1. The first possibility for the foreign merchant is to open a flagship store if they are trademark brands.
  2. The second one is for merchants who possess authorization from the brand to distribute and sell their products in China; they can then open a specialty store.
  3. The third and last option is to open a franchise shop; this is possible for merchants who have brand-licensed goods.

Products Requirements to be sold on Tmall Global

Products must be authentic, and provide origin and Chinese custom certificates. Products also have to be labeled with product information in Chinese. Their delivery should be completed within 5-8 workdays and their returns must be possible in mainland China.

GMA is a certified Tmall & Tmall Global Partner, we have solutions to help you register and increase your sales/conversion rate on the marketplace!

Other differences between Tmall and Tmall Global International

  • Comission on Tmall is range from 0.5% to 10% but are commonly set around 2% to 5% per transaction. Commisions on Tmall Global are rather, as the platform charges an average of 3% to 5% on each sale.
  • On Tmall Global the security deposit is at $25,000 for all merchants. China Tmall deposit ranges between 30,000rmb to 150,000rmb applied just once.
  • As for the yearly technical maintenance fee, it will also be more expensive for overseas merchants on Tmall Global than for domestic merchants on Tmall with 30,000rmb to 60,000rmb on Tmall Global versus 30,000rmb to 60,000rmb on Tmall.

Alibaba found the perfect compromise between the growing demand of Chinese online shoppers to buy quality international goods and the will of overseas businesses to sell directly to the huge Chinese consumers without having to register in China. Since the opening of Tmall Global, More than 29000 foreign companies already opened an online shop on the platform.

Want to start selling on Tmall/Tmall Global?

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