Alibaba, Look East to Japan to Boost Product Selection

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As the two main e-commerce companies in China, Alibaba (BABA) and (JD) are both looking to bring the best quality products to their marketplaces, and Japan is surfacing as one of the arenas for this battle.

Both Alibaba and JD have been making an effort to bring Japanese products on their sites to boost the selection for consumers.

On Monday, JD launched "Japanese Mall" to host Japanese products in a centralized location. Just a few days before that, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba announced that they are working on a partnership to help bring more Japanese sellers to Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-consumer marketplace. It's unknown at this time which brands the companies are courting to add to their marketplaces.

The moves signify the importance of selling imported goods, specifically from Japan, to Chinese consumers. With an increase in counterfeit and fake goods in China, Alibaba and JD are under more pressure to stave off any illegal behavior and sell only authentic goods. Turning to imports from other countries is one way to do that.

"Our country malls, including French, Korean and Japanese, offer a reliable way for brands and consumers to connect through a trusted channel," said Josh Gartner, a JD spokesman. "Japan has long been a popular country for imports on, so choosing it for one of our first country malls was a logical fit. Japanese brands in areas like electronics and baby products have always sold well, and Japanese Mall allows us to expand our offer in a wider range of categories."

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