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Firms banking on Black Friday sales

Shoppers reach out for television sets as they compete to purchase retail items at a store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday. Photo: Agencies
 
Major cross-border e-commerce players are betting big on Black Friday, the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States, to boost Chinese online purchases overseas.
 
They are wooing Chinese consumers with a wide range of authentic and high-quality overseas products and quicker delivery services, as the demands of country's middle class shoppers are becoming increasingly diversified and personalized.
 
Amazon.com Inc kicked off its biggest-ever Black Friday promotion by gathering deals from Amazon China and four overseas sites including the US, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany, as well as speeding up logistics and delivery operations.
 
Chinese consumers will enjoy authentic deals from overseas markets and purchase authentic products shipped directly from Amazon's overseas fulfillment centers, the company said.
 
"At present, Amazon Global Store has covered the top destinations of China customers' cross-border shopping, a result of efforts to provide Chinese customers with authentic international products," said Elaine Chang, president of Amazon China.
 
She added that Amazon Prime members can enjoy exclusive deals with up to 50 percent off on some of the best Prime-eligible products. They are also available at just 288 yuan ($43.8) for various benefits, including extra coupon packages.
 
Last October, Amazon launched Amazon Prime service in China, the first unlimited free cross-border shipping membership program globally. The Shanghai-based cross-border e-commerce site Ymatou.com provides a more diversified shopping service during this year's Black Friday carnival.
 
"With users' demands becoming more and more personalized and diversified, not only more high-quality goods are needed, all-round services are also necessary," said Zeng Bibo, chief executive officer of Ymatou.
 
The company will recommend products with excellent quality and reasonable prices to customers by utilizing big data technology and analyzing commodity sales, user ratings, brand influence and price information.
 
It also announced a strategic cooperation with Eastern Air Logistics Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines Co Ltd.
 
Ymatou said more than 40,000 orders were transacted during the first minute, and it sold 100 million yuan worth of goods in seven minutes 53 seconds when the sales started last Friday, a week earlier than the official start of the shopping season.
 
Chen Tao, an analyst with Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said: "Black Friday, as a cross-border shopping carnival has been growing in popularity in China, but its size is small compared with China's homegrown online shopping festival Singles Day."

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