Leaked Alipay Black Friday data: Is cross-border shopping the new Taobao?

Tingyi Chen WeChat news

Increasing number of Chinese shoppers demand higher quality products from abroad. Shoppers used to have to travel abroad to avoid price arbitrage of foreign brands, now they can purchase products at the same or even even cheaper price with a few taps on the phone thanks to cross-border ecommerce platforms. Even beter: they don’t even need to worry about exchange rate, the purchase is in RMB.

What are the platforms?

Chinese platforms:  Amazon China, yMatou.com, Xiaohongshu.com, Tmall International, JD global

US department stores also joined the cross border ecommerce war by enabling users to checkout using Alipay. Stores include: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, GNC, Carter’s, Skinstore.com, Oscar de la Renta and MotoSport

Alipay Black Friday Cross Border Data

To make cross boarder shopping easier for Chinese shoppers, Alipay setup a special website to http://5.alipay.com/ for Black Friday sales. Users can view products from major US retailers. Each featured product directly takes user to the official shopping website of the US retailer, and users can make payment in RMB using Alipay. 

Alipay released data about the Black Friday shopping for cross-border commerce:

  • The number of users participating in cross-border e commerce was multiplied by 7 compared to 2014
  • Average spending of each user decreased to 699RMB/person, as this cross-border shopping behaviour is becoming more popular for average users. 
  • Tier 3 and tier 4 cities are the fastest growing cross border shopping groups
  • 80% of users participating in cross border shopping event are first time customer. More Chinese shoppers sees cross border shopping as an alternative to Taobao 
  • 75% of shoppers are female 
  • Clothing, cosmetics, baby product and health supplement makes 75% of total sales. 

Alipay Black Friday data

Number of Chinese users participate in Alipay Black Friday cross border shopping is 7 time more than last year.

Slide375% of shoppers are female.  Gender directly impacts the product category: clothing, cosmetics, baby product and health supplement makes 75% of total sales. 

Cross border shopping 1 Shanghai and Beijing make up over 30% of total Alipay Black Friday cross border sale volume.


More than half of Alipay Black Friday cross border sales happens in south part of China.

Cross border shopping 2

Average spending per shopper decreased to 699RMB compared with 2014. More users sees cross border ecommerce as an alternative to shopping on Taobao, rather than a “luxury shopping trip”.

Note, if we rank this data by Province, instead of cities,  Tibet ranked as number one province with an average of 1,284 RMB spent per shopper.

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