Tmall, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is currently the world’s second largest online retailer, behind Amazon. Some analysts predict that it is set to overtake Amazon by 2015. While that remains to be seen, Apple seems to have figured out that having an official presence on Tmall would serve its purpose of increasing market share in China. The company has launched an official storefront on Tmall and is now selling its products through it, despite the fact that its own online store functions in China, where its brick-and-mortar stores exist as well.
More than 70,000 merchants sell their goods through Tmall, which takes a commission of the sales as well as a deposit fee. The design of Apple’s new storefront is actually quite similar to its Chinese online store, however on Tmall, the payments are routed through the online retailer. Apple’s fight in China isn’t just with its arch rival Samsung, which also sells its products through Tmall, the company’s local vendors have also been giving Cupertino a run for its money. Having yet another sales channel improves chances for further increasing market share. Apple also finally clinched the coveted deal with China Mobile which will see its new iPhones being offered to hundreds of millions of China Mobile subscribers in the country.