eBay's website. (Internet photo)
eBay on Nov. 12 announced a bid to return to the Chinese market in partnership with luxury e-commerce company xiu.com.
Chen Xiaofeng, vice president of eBay, said that the company's Chinese e-commerce partners are also increasing.
For luxury retail, the key to business is the commodity channel, which has been a weakness for Chinese e-commerce companies. Xiu.com expects that the deal can fill in that part of its business map and provides service and customer experience for eBay in the country.
The partnership reveals eBay's ambition to return to China. The US-based company started operating in China in 2002 and purchased a Chinese overseas goods purchasing agent, eachnet.com, as its subsidiary in the country in 2003. However, eBay started selling the stake in eachnet.com from 2006 due tofierce competition from other Chinese e-commerce companies such as tmall.com, which slashed the US company's market share to 24% in 2005 from 80% in 2003.
eBay sold 51% of its stakes in eachnet.com to TOM Online Limited, a Chinese mobile internet company, at the end of 2006 and signed an agreement with the latter to promise that eBay would not operate a business similar to that of eachnet.com. By April, TOM Online completely owned eachnet.com.
Li Chengdong, Chinese analyst specializing in e-commerce, said that the operation now will be harder than before for eBay because the e-commerce business has seen the rise of major platforms such as alibaba.com and 360buy.com.