Recently 360buy, China’s largest B2C e-commerce platform, announced that it will expand it’s services to 40 countries outside of China, mostly in North America and Europe.

Shi Tao, 360buy’s vice-president, told the China Daily, “In the initial stage, we want to buy made-in-China products domestically and deliver them to overseas clients.” Gradually, plans to set up warehouses in specific countries, allowing it to buy and store Chinese products in large quantities in these countries. The delivery period will be greatly shortened, offering overseas customers more satisfaction, Shi said.

360buy, which is known for offering Chinese made products at some of the lowest prices along with quick delivery, will attempt to expand this model to a global customer base.

With an eclectic offering of products including bridal wear, handsets, tablet PCs, electronics, books, sports and outdoor goods and automobile accessories it will certainly be interesting to see how they stack up to other global ecommerce retailers– most notably Amazon, who is their self-proclaimed “role model.”

And at the same time, eBay has recently announced a second attempt to enter the Chinese market. The company initially ventured into China in 2004, using their Silicon Valley model without much adaption. This resulted in underwhelming sales and being continuously outmaneuvered by local competitor Taobao. eBay left the China market soon after and is often refereed to as the most high profile failure of a western brand in China. In their second attempt, eBay will be partnering with domestic luxury retailer, attempting to bring the US company’s power and reputation to this high-end e-tailer.

The online retail space continues to get crowded– both in China and abroad. Local retailers continue to dominate the domestic Chinese space, mostly by Taobao and Alibaba which both offer exclusive deals, free shipping and other consumer perks. But 360Buy is the first of the domestic companies to go global, and all the others will certainly be watching to see how it plays out…

360buy PR Newswire press Release

China Daily interview with Shi Tao, 360buy’s vice-president

Background on eBay in China