TOKYO -- Japanese cosmetics companies will be able to sell directly to consumers in China through a partnership between a popular customer review website and Alibaba Group Holding, helping to cushion the blow from a drop in big-spending Chinese tourists.
The company behind the @cosme review site and retail chain in Japan, istyle, will open an @cosme store page as early as mid-December on Alibaba's Tmall Global, an online marketplace linking overseas companies with Chinese shoppers. Products will be shipped directly from Alibaba warehouse facilities in Japan to customers in China.
Generally, cross-border e-commerce involves complex product management. Goods are stored at bonded warehouses in China and cannot be taken out until purchased.
The new scheme simplifies the process. Products will be managed in Japan, making inventory adjustments easier. It will also allow for small-lot shipments, and these features are expected to remove barriers for smaller cosmetics brands to tap the robust Chinese popularity of beauty products from Japan.
Shipping costs and tariffs will be shared by Alibaba and istyle. They expect 300 brands to come on board over a year.