China Post makes foray into online shopping

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-8-2 23:21:00

By Sun Zhe

State-owned China Post is building an online shopping website with a Chinese portal. Ule, the site China Post co-founded with, is to be launched August 10.

Ule has been on a test run for about one year, according to a marketing staffer named Jiang Feng. But most Chinese consumers still are unaware of the site.

Ule sells clothing, makeup, electronics, food and beverages. And the site will take advantage of its parent company.

All Ule goods will be sent free of charge by EMS, the express delivery service under China Post.

Ule will not likely get a big market share in the short run, said Su Huiyan, an e-commerce analyst with IT consulting iResearch in Beijing.

The inefficiency of EMS, however, may scare off some customers, such as Zheng Lei, a 28-year-old IT engineer in Beijing. Zheng's mother once sent him live fish May this year via EMS, but when it arrived four days later, the fish was no longer edible. Some private express deliveries can guarantee one-day delivery.

But most private delivery services have still failed to penetrate much of China's interior, leaving EMS an essential monopoly in rural and remote regions, prime locations for e-commerce.

In 2009, web-shopping sales doubled from 2008 to total 263 billion yuan ($38.82 billion), Taobao had a share of around 80 percent.

The express delivery revenue from web shopping in 2009 totaled 19.3 billion yuan ($2.84 billion), 60 percent more than the previous year, according to iResearch.

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