China’s major e-commerce platforms are racing to be the first to put US beef under their online sales portfolio, with the arrival of the first commercial shipment of the meat and its products to China due over the weekend, marking the end of a 14-year import ban. Womai.com, the online platform run by the country’s largest food trader China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp, has stood out as the champion with its offering of 301 kilograms of ribeye since last Friday [23 June 2017]…Full Article: China Daily June 2017

Key Point

  • COFCO Group’s e-commerce platform, Womai, sold US beef at CNY 38 (USD 5.60) per 180 grams, which was 50% more than similar cuts of Australian beef. The beef was limited to only to residents of Beijing. In Shanghai, Alibaba’s Yiguo.com e-commerce platform was selling US beef (sirloin, rib-eye, etc.).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In late June 2017, after a 14 year hiatus, the USA began beef exports to mainland China.
  • In May 2017, Alibaba announced it would purchase an 18% stake in Lianhua Supermarket Holdings from Yiguo.com, a fresh produce e-commerce platform (see Suning). Yigou.com will retain a 1.17% stake in Lianhua.
  • In 2017, COFCO’s Womai e-commerce food website hopes to launch an initial public offering (i.e. listed on a stock exchange).
  • In December 2016, Suning Commerce Group was leading a new round of financing (~US$200 million) to invest in Yiguo E-Commerce.In November 2016, Alibaba’s Tmall (November 15th to 21st) and Yiguo.com (November 17th to 30th) held online promotions for Ecuadorian mangoes (Tommy Atkins variety).
  • In October 2016, Yiguo E-Commerce invested S$24 (~US$17.25 million) in SunMoon Food Company, a Singaporean fresh fruit distributor. During the same month, Suning and Alibaba announced they would jointly invest CNY 1 billion (~US$148 million) to establish an e-commerce company in Chongqing. The Chongqing e-commerce joint venture will be 51% controlled by Suning (CNY 510 million or ~US$75.1 million) and 49% by Alibaba (CNY 490 million or ~US$72.3 million).
  • In October 2015, Chinese search engine company, Baidu, invested US$20 million in COFCO’s Womai e-commerce site.
  • Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Shanghai, Yiguo E-Commerce is an e-commerce platform that focuses on selling of food products including fruits (domestic and imports), meat (e.g. beef, pork, lamb), poultry eggs, dairy, seafood, vegetables, processed foods (e.g. snacks, frozen food, sausages, sauces, etc.), juice, and wine. In March 2016, Yiguo E-Commerce received an undisclosed amount of financial investment from KKR (private equity firm) and Alibaba (shareholder of Yiguo).

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