Kao teams up with Alibaba to reach China's online shoppers
Expansion is the name of the game for Asia's e-commerce giants as they strive to capture millions of eager online shoppers with cross border platforms that offer access to thousands of local and international brands.
Kao, Shiseido and Kosé are dominating Japan’s beauty industry as they better engage consumers, but there is still some work to do to ramp up their popularity throughout the rest of the region and indeed globally.
As a result, Kao is ‘proactively investing’ in overseas development, committing ¥40 billion last year to expand its manufacturing capacity in Thailand and Indonesia and creating ranges that better serve Southeast Asia.
2015 witnessed explosive growth in online shopping overseas, with new buyers accounting for 28 per cent, and with a preference for local specialties in other countries and regions.
This new venture with China's e-tailer Alibaba, due to launch at the beginning of November is part of its goal to reach more consumers.
Online shoppers in China expanded their foothold to more than 100 countries and regions in 2015, the most sought after products are reported to be cosmetics and skin care products.
Online shopping leads the way
Alibaba has just opened a Singapore center which will act as the 'headquarters of international business' and cater to two-thirds of its outbound investment to Southeast Asia.
The facility will be Alibaba's seventh globally and leverages on the e-tailer's US$1 billion investment for cloud computing, enabling more businesses to benefit from secure and reliable cloud services while riding on record foreign direct investment flows in Southeast Asia.
With direct connections to Aliyun's data center network via Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Silicon Valley; Chinese businesses will also be a key focus.
"We are seeing healthy demand for cloud-related data management services in Singapore because of the ease of doing business, comprehensive transport and telecommunications connections and robust intellectual property regime. The stable geo-political climate and abundance of highly skilled talent are advantages too," says Sicheng (Ethan) Yu, Vice President of Aliyun.