Horsten International Signs an Agreement with Alibaba Group's Tmall Global Platform to Sell Belgian Food & Beverage Brands to Chinese Consumers through the Belgium Flagship Store
20 November 2019 - Horsten International today signed an agreement with Alibaba Group’s dedicated cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global to set up the first and only Belgium flagship store dedicated at selling Belgian food & beverage brands directly to Chinese consumers. The agreement is signed at the occasion of the Belgian Economic Mission to China, presided by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium and in the presence of several high-level officials from Belgium and more than 600 businesspeople.
The flagship store will be operated by Horsten International in close cooperation with Arctic Solutions, a Dutch service provider based in Shanghai, offering a unique chance for Belgian brands to enter the Chinese market without having their own legal entity or distributor in China and sell directly to Chinese consumers.
Cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) is the process of Chinese consumers buying products directly from foreign suppliers via the internet, without the specific need for an intermediary business entity in China. This is different from the traditional e-commerce platforms in China which require a Chinese legal entity or a Chinese importer/distributor.
Chinese consumers buying products via CBEC platforms search for a higher level of quality and better product safety. Consequently, food products are one of the best sold product category on CBEC platforms, making cross-border e-commerce the perfect first entry into China for Belgian food brands.
With this project Horsten aims to provide the 654 million annual active consumers across Alibaba’s marketplaces with access to high-quality food & beverage products from Belgium. Horsten joins a growing list of international brands that have chosen Tmall Global as their partner of choice to grow their online business in China, one of the most advanced and fastest growing digital consumer markets in the world.
The cooperation between Horsten and Tmall Global underlines the growth potential of the food & beverage category in China and in particular high-quality products from Belgium, such as chocolates, beers, cookies, biscuits, bakery products, candies and other food & beverage products.
“The new Belgium flagship store on Tmall Global will introduce Belgium’s renowned food and beverage culture and heritage to Chinese consumers and aims to enable them to enjoy an excellent shopping and food appreciation experience. Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce player in China, but it is not easy for food brands from a small country such as Belgium to sell their products on one of Alibaba’s platforms. Through this exclusive Belgium flagship store many Belgian food brands can share resources and maximize their chances of success.” said Bart Horsten, Managing Director of Horsten International.
About HORSTEN International
Horsten International is a China consulting company, set up in 1996 by the late Joos Horsten, the man behind the successful joint venture of Janssen Pharmaceutica in China. With its 13 professionals in its offices in Belgium and China, Horsten International is by far the most experienced and broadly skilled China consultant in Belgium. In 2016 Horsten started MyChinaWeb, the first China online marketing agency in Belgium, helping its customers to be active on e-commerce and social media in China.