Business China

Beginners Guide to Launching a Tmall Store in China

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The explosive growth of e-commerce in China has propelled online retail sales in the country to a whole new level. In 2017, the number of Chinese online shoppers reached an all-time high, with over 533 million locals using internet based stores and websites to purchase products of their liking. Foreign investors expanding their business to China can take advantage of the growing online business environment of the country, by launching an online store on popular local e-commerce platforms, like Tmall. 

Initiated by the Alibaba group, Tmall is a widely used B2C website in China that is transforming the relationship between Chinese consumers and brands, both local and international, as Tmall Global allows foreign businesses without a physical presence in Mainland China to operate remotely. 

Tap into the Chinese e-commerce ecosystem as a foreign investor by developing an understanding of Tmall Global’s environment through these basic guidelines:

1.What should I know about the pre-requisites?

Every e-commerce website has some basic requirements businesses need to fulfill before they can be allowed to set up their store on the platform. According to Tmall Global’s regulations, all international prospective store owners are expected to check the following boxes: 

√ Registration: The platform only allows those businesses to operate if they possess a valid registration in their respective countries
√ Overseas Trading License: Overseas trading license that allows business to partake in international trade is mandatory for all Tmall Global store owners.
Stock Certificate: This includes documented proof of your shares in the business. 
Active Operation: The business must have sales exceeding $10 million and should be operational for two years or more.

2.Which type of a store can I own?

Depending on your needs, there are different types of stores that can be set-up on Tmall Global.

1. Brand Flagship Store:

Considered the most popular type of Tmall Global stores, Brand Flagship Stores allow owners to sell commodities only under the corresponding brand name.

2.Franchise Store:

Owners of such a store are allowed to sell commodities from a brand, with proof of authorization from brand owners.

3.Exclusive Store:

Products sold from such a store could originate from different brands but are expected to belong to a single category. For example, an exclusive Tmall Global store that sells formal dresses for women cannot be selling accessories from the same platform.

4.Merchant stores: 

Merchant stores are much like regular shopping place type stores, where commodities from several brands belonging to different categories can be purchased from a single platform.

3.How much will it cost me? 

Other than convenience, the greatest advantage of setting up an online store for business overseas is affordability. Traditional retail can incur a large amount of upfront investment which is a hurdle that can be avoided through a Tmall Global store. Storeowners only need to cover the following:

Deposit Fee: 

The minimum deposit fee required to launch a Tmall store is $8,000. The fee largely depends on the category of product being sold and the fee is used to reimburse unsatisfied customers that might receive counterfeit products.

Annual Service Fee:

A fee starting from $5,000 is charged from international business store owners on a yearly basis, for the services rendered by the platform. 

Are you ready to take your business to China’s massive e-commerce landscape through a Tmall store?  Let Business China be your guide! Our extensive experience in setting up digital storefronts for international clients allows us to streamline the Tmall store launch for you. Simply send us your incorporation needs at or give us a call at +86-020-2917 9715 and set up your company in China with minimum hassle. 

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