ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Companies

Alibaba lets Chinese tourists preorder Japan shopping sprees

Partnership with Laox offers duty-free service as visitor spending tops out

Chinese shoppers will soon be able to pick up their prepurchased duty-free goods at Laox stores. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- Chinese visitors to Japan will soon get to squeeze more into their trips by doing much of their tax-free shopping in advance.

A new service from Laox, a Tokyo-based operator of duty-free stores, will enable foreigners to browse through gadgets, skin care products and other items on a travel guide website run by Alibaba Group Holding before leaving for Japan, buying them tax-free via the Alipay platform. They pick up the goods at Japanese Laox locations of their choice within a month of purchase.

Travelers will be able to get their hands on the items and complete the tax exemption process by showing purchase records on their smartphones and their passports.

Cosmetics and beauty devices will be among the 100 or so products available when the service starts as early as this month. The selection is expected to eventually broaden to about 5,000.

This will spare visitors from hunting for stores carrying products they want. Laox, owned by Chinese parent Suning.com, hopes to see new business coming from the partnership with the travel website, said to draw some 8 million users a day.

The service marks the first of its kind for Alibaba as well.

Travelers from abroad spent a record 4.5 trillion yen ($40.2 billion) here in 2018, according to preliminary statistics from the government's Japan Tourism Agency. But their shopping expenditures fell 74.4 billion yen on the year to just 1.56 trillion yen. Travel spending per visitor has been plateauing in recent years as well, spurring Japanese retailers to scramble for ways to lure more customers.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media