JD.com & Tmall.com: What Do You Need to Know Before Selling in China?

By Summer Liu

Imagine the possibilities when you unlock the door to the thriving online shopping empire of China. This lucrative market may hold the key to transforming your business into an unstoppable force. However, before you embark on this exciting journey, it is vital to build a solid foundation and prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Fear not, in this blog post, we will delve into some crucial aspects you must consider and the essential steps you need to take. We’ll make sure you are well prepared for the journey as we guide you towards success in the Chinese market.

Introducing JD.com and Tmall.com

China’s e-commerce landscape is undeniably dominated by industry giants like JD.com and Tmall.com. They offer immense opportunities for businesses looking to expand their reach in the Chinese market. 

Both companies are renowned for their vast market share and loyal customer base, and stand out as excellent platforms to connect with a wide audience of Chinese consumers. Additionally, they both offer a diverse selection of products across various categories including beauty, electronics, fashion, home appliances, food and more.

There are many similarities, but the table below shows the differences between the two platforms which can help in you deciding which one to select:

OwnershipOperated by JD.com, a leading e-commerce company in ChinaOperated by Alibaba Group, a multinational conglomerate
Business ModelDirect sales model, owns inventory and warehousesThird-party marketplace model (acting as a agent between sellers and buyers)
Brand PresenceWell-known for selling authentic products and ensuring product qualityFavoured by established brands and luxury goods
Customer BaseAttracts a broad customer base, including both urban and rural consumersAppeals to middle-class and affluent consumers


Manages its own logistics network and offers fast delivery servicesCollaborates with various logistics partners for efficient delivery

New entrants

Has programs Like “JD Retail Innovation Plan” that aim to support new brands and help them launch and grow their presence on the platformHas various programs for new entrants, including the “Tmall Global” program for international brands and the “Tmall Partner” program for domestic brands.


  • Direct retail mode provides control over the supply chain.
  • Own logistic network enables faster and efficient delivery.
  • Strong reputation for selling authentic products.
  • Massive consumer base provides businesses with access to a large and diverse pool of potential customers.
  • Tmall Global enables international brands to enter the Chinese market and sell directly to Chinese consumers
  • Renowned for hosting flagship stores of well-known brands.
Preparing for the Chinese Market

It’s true that merely understanding these two platforms, or even preferring one over the other is not enough to instantly win the hearts of Chinese consumers and achieve sales. There’s a vital step you must take before setting foot onto these platforms – capturing the attention of Chinese consumers and creating brand awareness. Welcome to the world of Chinese marketing, where the real magic happens.

Here are some things you may want  to consider first:

  • Build brand awareness – it is essential to stand out amongst the competition. Invest in marketing strategies that resonate with Chinese consumers so they get to know your brand.
  • Build a strong brand image –  crucial for earning trust and credibility. Tailor your branding efforts to appeal to the preferences and values of the Chinese audience you want to reach.
  • Be active on social media  – choose platforms that are popular in China, such as WeChat, RED etc. This will enable you to engage with your potential consumers and build a loyal following of purchasers and influencers.
How Chin Can Help You with Your Marketing in China

Marketing in China is complex. To carve your niche in this vast market, you must familiarise yourself with the current Chinese marketing landscape and harness the power of the media platforms that resonate most with your ideal Chinese consumers. This is where you may need the assistance of professionals who have a thorough understanding of the Chinese market.  The marketing experts at Chin are well-versed in Chinese social media platforms. Here’s how we can assist you:

Chin Communications understands the intricacies of the Chinese market and can support you in navigating these marketing strategies effectively. Click to see how Chin helped Madame Flavour and Topa achieve their marketing goals in China.

Before diving into the vast potential that China offers, it’s crucial to understand the landscape and prepare accordingly. By leveraging platforms like JD.com and Tmall.com, building brand awareness and image, and utilising unique marketing strategies specific to your Chinese target audience, you can position yourself for success in this thriving market. 

Remember, proper preparation is key to reaping the rewards of selling in China.


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