E-commerce as a mitigation measure to deal with the blow of COVID-19

Major industry players in China discussed how e-commerce has helped fight the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic at the 2020 China E-Commerce Convention on Monday.

During the epidemic, the e-commerce industry has explored new models such as contactless distribution, unmanned retail stores and live sales, which have played an important role in ensuring supply, supporting recovery. labor and production and stimulate consumer replenishment.

JD Supermarket, an online store of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, for example, during the Spring Festival this year saw a 556% year-on-year increase in revenue. edible oil; sales of rice, noodles and cereals increased 20 times year-on-year; instant restaurant revenue has also increased more than 10 times.

China’s digital economy has 3 comparative advantages

Besides being helpful domestically, China’s thriving e-commerce sector also presents possible mitigation measures for other countries’ reference to offset the negative impact of reduced business activity on the economy. due to COVID-19 related lockdowns.

E-commerce under the BRI

Facing the epidemic situation which is now more serious overseas, Chinese e-commerce companies are also helping some countries and international companies, said Zhu Lian, an official with the ministry’s e-commerce and information technology department. Trade.

China launched an online shopping festival in April to support domestic consumption and ease the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on its economy after growth contracted 6.8% year-on-year in the first quarter .

“In the first half of the year, we have donated and supplied relevant epidemic prevention products to more than 100 countries, and shared our experience in epidemic control and supply assurance,” Zhu said.

During the festival, China invited ambassadors from partner countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to experience live sales. For example, the Rwandan ambassador promoted Rwandan coffee through the live broadcast and he was shocked that 3,000 bags of coffee were sold out in a single second, Zhu said.

By establishing bilateral e-commerce cooperation with countries along the BRI, it will not only help these countries benefit from the vast Chinese market, but also can diversify products in the Chinese market to meet the growing demand of consumers.

E-commerce: a new export channel to national sales

Affected by the more serious epidemic situation overseas, the production and exports of export-oriented enterprises in China have not yet fully recovered, said Zhang Xiang, industry general manager of 1688.com, the largest B2B e-commerce platform owned by conglomerate Alibaba Group. , adding that the platform has shared its know-how with small and medium exporting enterprises to help them resume production and expand domestic sales.

According to Zhang, 1688.com has mainly taken a series of measures to support the transformation of these enterprises, including providing data empowerment based on Alibaba Group’s network, direct sales model, financial assistance and support services. logistics and warehousing.

“So far, a total of 360,000 foreign trade factories have successfully migrated to 1688.com and started doing business online. We continue to empower factories at an average rate of more than 20,000 per month,” Zhang said.

“The whole of 1688.com covers 178 industry chains in 25 consumer categories and 13 industry categories nationwide. Since the start of the resumption of work, foreign trade factories on the platform have experienced an average growth of 30% by volume in the domestic market. So far, we have actually reached a trading volume of 50 billion yuan in the whole market,” he added.

(Cover via CFP)

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