Analysis: Why are UK retailers coming off Alibaba’s Tmall?

Sainsbury's has launched in China through Alibaba's Tmall

Alibaba’s Tmall platform has been heralded as the gateway to sell to the Chinese consumer, but many notable British brands have left it in recent years. Retail Week looks into why.

It holds a mammoth 58% market share of the Chinese ecommerce market (compared with Amazon’s 1% market share) and claims that its 600 million users open its shopping app nearly seven times a day on average.

It is viewed as a gateway to reach the world’s biggest markets, and hundreds of western brands have raced to sell their wares on the platform.

However, some of the UK’s biggest retailers have failed to make Alibaba work for them. Businesses such as NextSainsbury’s Topshop, New Look and Marks & Spencer have all come off of Tmall in recent years.

So, why have some of the UK’s most established retailers tried and failed to crack Tmall?

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