Date
18 October 2017
Mainland e-commerce sites aim to cash in on the Lantern Festival and Valentine's Day on Friday. Photo: Bloomberg
Mainland e-commerce sites aim to cash in on the Lantern Festival and Valentine's Day on Friday. Photo: Bloomberg

The Big Picture: SEDUCTIVE E-COMMERCE

The Chinese and Western romantic heavens will align on Friday when the Lantern Festival and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day, a coincidence that e-commerce websites, including Alibaba Group’s Juhuasuan.com and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s (00700.HK) Wanggou.com, aim to cash in on.

The two internet giants will ramp up their marketing gimmicks to seduce shoppers, with Wanggou.com offering cash rewards of up to 1,314 yuan (US$216.8) to buyers who purchase three products on its website between Jan. 27 and Feb. 14. Say 1,314 yuan out loud and it sounds like “love you forever” in Chinese.

Tencent has also been boosting traffic on its Weixin messenger service over the Lunar New Year through a special program that lets people send red packets of money to friends via their mobile phones.

Juhuasuan.com, meanwhile, is up and away with a new flower delivery service that will air-freight 20,000 bunches of tulips from the Netherlands to China. The service’s website features a photo of Dutch consul general Peter Potman, who helped broker the deal between supplier Holex Flower B.V. and Alibaba. Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistic unit, will transport the flowers once they arrive in China and the service is expected to be flooded with orders thanks to bad weather on the mainland pushing up the price of local flowers, observers said.

But, Valentine’s Day is unlikely to rival Alibaba’s Singles Day in the shopping stakes over the next few years because mainlanders have yet to really embrace the Western festival. Also, e-shops can only sell a limited range of products for the event and must ensure delivery for the day.

Govt crafts new measures to spur overseas push, paper says

China will unveil a package of measures to help companies expand overseas, including financial and tax support, in a bid to reduce industrial overcapacity, the China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing unidentified sources. Banks will also be encouraged to set up overseas branches and strengthen service networks to meet the firms’ foreign investment financing needs, the report said. The latest efforts are expected to spur overseas acquisitions and exports by Chinese firms, particularly in infrastructure, electronics and carmakin, analysts were quoted as saying.

Alibaba offers to buy rest of amap.com, paper says

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has offered to buy outright the rest of online mapping service amap.com to make it a wholly owned subsidiary, the Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday. Alibaba, which now owns 28 percent of amap.com, offered to buy the remaining stake at US$21 per unit of amap.com’s American depositary receipts, or roughly a total of US$1.1 billion. Meanwhile, amap.com, China’s top mobile mapping service by market share, said it will form a special committee to assess the offer, the report said.

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/SK

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