Tesla opens online store on Tmall, offers accessories and test drives

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/16 20:48:42

A Tesla store in Beijing Photo: IC

Tesla, the US-based electric vehicle giant, opened its first online flagship store in the world on Alibaba's Tmall.com on Thursday, as it seeks to expand its online business to third-party platforms. 

However, as of press time, no Tesla vehicles were available on the site, although customers could book test drives. The first batch of products shown on the online store was limited to customized car accessories, pedals, charging bars and safety kits. 

Like all other brands that are opening stores on Tmall, Tesla will start an eight-day livestreaming shopping campaign on April 21, according to a statement from Alibaba sent to the Global Times. 

Tesla's decision to launch on a third party e-commerce platform is another step to further penetrate the Chinese market, Alibaba said, as it will create a full service line, including after-sales services and test drive bookings. 

Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times that China's robust e-commerce sector offers a huge opportunity for companies such as Tesla to expand their market share, especially under the mounting pressure of the COVID-19 crisis. 

"Many big brands' offline businesses around the world are being hit hard by COVID-19," Liu said. "The pandemic is accelerating the pace at which companies are digitalizing their operations, especially in China's growing and lucrative market."

Tesla has given increasing attention to the Chinese market. Earlier this month, it introduced the Model 3 Long Range in China, and sales of the Model 3 have reached 10,000 in total. 

Every week, more than 50,000 people search for Tesla products on Taobao.com.

Apart from Tesla, more brands are opening up to the potential of e-commerce amid the COVID-19 crisis. Since March, 12,000 brands, including IKEA and Prada, have launched stores on Tmall, Alibaba said. 

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