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Adways to expand analysis of China cross-border e-commerce

NetEase Kaola sales data offers further insights into this growing market

Jack Ma Yun, Chairman of Alibaba Group, delivers a speech in front of a giant electronic screen showing the Gross Merchandise Volume from online shopping on Alibaba's marketplaces during the Tmall 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2016 in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province, on Nov. 11.   © Imaginechina/AP

TOKYO -- In a move designed to give Japanese companies better understanding of their sales activities in China's booming e-commerce market, internet advertising agency Adways will include Kaola in its analytic services. 

Operated by China's internet giant NetEase, Kaola is the country's largest cross-border e-commerce site. It joins three other Chinese sites tracked by Adways, including Alibaba Group's Tmall Global.

Dubbed "Nint for China," Adway's service provides sales data from the four sites in graphs and other easily understood formats, offering Japanese companies timely and regularly updated information about e-commerce behind the Great Wall. The data includes names of retailers and their products, sales by product category, brand share and other essentials. Clients can sort and view the data in different ways.

Fees for the service start at 50,000 yen ($433) monthly. Adways hopes to have 100 Japanese companies aboard by next June.

Cross-border e-commerce in China is skyrocketing. According to estimates by Fuji Keizai, a Tokyo-based marketing research company, Chinese consumers shelled out more than 1 trillion yen on Japanese merchandise in 2016 via cross-border e-commerce platforms. This is projected to more than double in 2019 to 2.1 trillion yen, the estimate said.

There are caveats, of course. While Chinese consumers may have an insatiable desire for foreign goods, getting them to actually open their wallets can be difficult. As it becomes increasingly obvious that Japanese companies can longer rely on brand appeal alone, they will have to start reading stats and crunching numbers in order to formulate sales and marketing strategies that will keep them relevant in this dynamic market.

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