Chinese companies used to be known for making cheap and low-quality stuff for other firms’ international brands. No longer. The “Made in China” of cheap, brandless, low-quality stuff is ending. “Branded in China,” complete with cheeky English names and savvy, localized social media branding strategies, is just beginning. Chinese companies are flocking into overseas markets, but with a twist: Many of their devoted customers don’t know they’re from China.
In China’s ecommerce sector, the practice is known as building “independent sites (独立站)” overseas. It’s a clear pivot away from the earlier practice of selling via third-party ecommerce platforms like Amazon and AliExpress. In 2020, China’s crossborder ecommerce exports totaled $174 billion, up 40.1% from 2019, according to a recently published industry report by Equal Ocean, a tech-focused Chinese think tank. This compares with the 4.5% growth rate in domestic ecommerce.
Read More: Protocol.com