Walmart is going toe-to-toe with online rivals Alibaba and Amazon in China after launching an online platform selling international products.
The world’s largest retailer, which operates in markets including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and the UK – where it owns Asda – has introduced its Walmart Global Shop service on its existing mobile app.
The move means Walmart will sell an additional 200 products via the ecommerce platform, sourced from its markets outside China.
US brands including Starbucks and Aveeno will be stocked, alongside its own-label products such as Spring Valley nutritional supplements and Asda’s Little Angels nappies.
As well as the online proposition, stores in southern China will also stock some of the products and offer a pick-up service.
Walmart China president and chief executive Sean Clarke said: “Cross-border ecommerce service is a good supplement and extension to our stores. Walmart aims to be the most reliable retailer in China, no matter online or offline.”
Walmart, which has more than 400 stores in China, said it has more than 500,000 customers in the country already using its app. It also owns a 51% stake in Chinese ecommerce business Yihaodian.
Its move to offer international goods via the app in China comes amid stiff competition from Alibaba, JD.com and global etail titan Amazon, which already imports global brands to China.
Alibaba has started to woo more UK brands onto its platforms in a bid to fight back. Asda’s big four rival Sainsbury’s launched on Alibaba’s Tmall website last September, before Mountain Warehouse struck a similar deal the following month.
It also boasts partnerships with a number of luxury brands from Western Europe, including Burberry, Estee Lauder, and L’Occitane.