US rides China's e-commerce wave

By Chang Jun in San Francisco and Linda Deng in Seattle | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-04 07:33

US rides China's e-commerce wave

A grower of the Yakima Valley in Washington state, the largest supplier of cherries in the United States, relocates the hives from one orchard to another in order to keep up with the cherry bloom. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A California-based company is selling to China's vast middle class, the fastest-growing consumer segment in the world, through Alibaba. In the process, it's helping Jack Ma, the chairman and founder of the e-commerce giant, to realize his pledge to create 1 million jobs in the US over five years, report Chang Jun in San Francisco and Linda Deng in Seattle

American small and medium-sized businesses such as retailers of cosmetics, apparel, maternal and baby products, and health supplements and even farmers are cashing in on the huge purchasing power of China's vast and fast-growing middle class through e-commerce while creating jobs for the Americans.

A prime example is 100% Pure, a San Jose, California-based company with a 15,000-square-foot complex from which Chinese consumers can buy organic cosmetics and other beauty products directly through, e-commerce giant Alibaba's business-to-consumer or B2C platform.

Ric Kostick, founder and CEO of 100% Pure, said that when he and his two business partners started their business, they were concerned that the hefty service fee they had to pay to brokers and middlemen for packaging and ingredients would impede their company's growth.

Then, in that same year, "I found a packaging store through browsing Alibaba and couldn't wait to share that with my partners," recalled Kostick. "Why wouldn't we just go to this website and contact suppliers directly?"

They became adept at using Alibaba's search mechanism and rating system to find reputable suppliers worldwide without wasting time traveling or vetting vendors. "We can spend our time and money more wisely on developing our products and, ultimately, benefit our customers," said Kostick.

On June 20-21, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will host a conference in Detroit to teach US businesses what Kostick has learned: How to sell to the company's 443 million customers in China on the world's biggest e-commerce site.

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