Shanghai helping firms find customers

PUBLISH DATE:2020-05-28     Source:China Daily
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The municipal government of Shanghai has rolled out a number of measures to salvage export-driven companies whose business has been hammered by shrinking overseas demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The local authority pledged to connect over 1,000 such enterprises with leading e-commerce platforms where they jointly promote goods, said Hua Yuan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.


The city aims to make 100 million yuan ($14 million) worth of export merchandise available domestically through online channels, spanning 10 major categories and 500 types of products.


For instance, e-commerce site Pinduoduo has organized three training sessions for exporters, helping them tailor offerings to better suit the needs of domestic consumers. The platform is looking to introduce over 1,000 such companies to open stores on the site, according to co-founder Da Da.


Discounts are steep. For instance, a 20-inch suitcase made of recyclable materials, which was priced at 1,580 yuan, is being offered for just 299 yuan online, bringing benefits to customers and valuable cash flow to enterprises, said Yang Yanfeng, a partner at Shanghai Haichen International Trade Co Ltd.


Aikucun, an online portal featuring discounts and sales, has set up a dedicated "export merchandise zone", allowing qualified trading companies and OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers, to sell on the site with a number of fee waivers, with preferential policies in place, said co-founder Leng Jing.


Textile company Donglong Group is feeling the pinch of the pandemic, with foreign customers calling off orders and profits expected to be halved this year, according to company executive Qian Hao.


"We are actively engaging with e-commerce platforms like iBailian and moving online as quickly as we can. On the other hand, we are transforming export orders to domestic orders and are getting prepped for the shopping spree widely anticipated at home," Qian said.


"We will help market over 12 million pieces of merchandise from over 30 export companies which manufacture apparel, bags, suitcases, stationery and household supplies," said Pu Jingbo, vice-president of department store operator Bailian Group.


Bailian's digital shop has set up a dedicated online channel to display and sell merchandise, and will host a weeklong sales event at its four physical outlets amid government attempts to stimulate spending citywide.


E-commerce platforms and brick-and-mortar stores are scheduled to hand out vouchers worth billions of yuan over the next couple of months to encourage spending online and offline.By HE WEI in Shanghai