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DHgate.com: a "pathfinder" in China-Turkey cross-border e-commerce cooperation

April 25, 2019


Abstract : The Turkey-based DHgate Digital Trade Center is jointly built by Chinese DHgate.com and Turkish QT Holding to meet Turkey's market demand.

DHgate.com's Digital Trade Center in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 27, 2019. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- When people walk into the Blackout business center at Şişli District in Istanbul, Turkey, DHgate Digital Trade Center (DTC) will come into view. Here, there are nearly 1,000 items sourced from China and made locally, like 3C electronics, mother and baby products, household supplies, hardware, outdoor goods, etc. With an area of about 500 square meters, this trade center is jointly built by Chinese DHgate.com and Turkish QT Holding to meet the demand of Turkey's market.

DHgate.com, a pioneer in Turkey's cross-border e-commerce industry

According to CEO of DHgate.com Diane Wang, the Turkey-based DTC, as a new digital trade model, integrates offline display, online transaction, China-Turkey dedicated logistics line, double customs clearance services, after-sales service, overseas warehousing and business training, delivering completely new procurement experience to local buyers. Under the model, buyers can observe samples on-site, place orders and complete transactions online, and enjoy after-sales services, thus enabling a remarkable improvement in consumer experience and helping Turkish consumers gain access to quality products from China.

In addition, the DTC also offers Chinese sellers one-stop services covering branding, offline display and channel cooperation on Turkish market. For Chinese sellers, the "globally localized operation" can help them more quickly enter the Turkish markets.

DHgate.com's Turkish partner Ozkan Kara said that, cross-border e-commerce is still a quite new business mode in Turkey and many Turkish proprietors of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs are still unfamiliar with it. Therefore, DHgate.com organizes industry operation skill trainings at the center to help Turkish SMEs and students run a business on its platform, and keep them informed of selection recommendations, business reports and other updated industrial developments.

Moreover, DHgate.com has also forged a partnership with Turkey's KOC University on e-commerce training, offering college students many key courses like e-commerce start-up, logistics management, tariff law and market environment, which is proved to be very popular among Turkish students. Over the past three years, a total of nearly 2,500 Turkish people including proprietors of SMEs and college students have enrolled DHgate.com's training sessions. Among them, over 300 college students and nearly 1,000 SMEs have managed to develop a business online, completing over one billion U.S. dollar transactions.

As a student, Hamdi Karadas used to attend DHgate.com's e-commerce courses for several times, and after graduating from KOC University, he decided to start his career at this website's Turkish DTC. When being asked why he made such a decision, he said that "this job is bound to give me a nice salary and more importantly, many opportunities to improve myself."

"Cross-border e-commerce is expected to be on track as a new business growth driver, and China has an advantage in this field. So working in a Chinese e-commerce enterprise can help me gain experience in global e-commerce, which will certainly improve my career prospects," Hamdi Karadas added.

B2B platform DHgate.com helps Turkish sellers "sell globally"

At the invitation of the Turkish government, Diane Wang as well as her team went to Turkey for investigation for many times in 2016, managing to blaze a new trail for China-Turkey cooperation on cross-border e-commerce. Now, DHgate.com has not only established a DTC in Istanbul and launched a Turkish e-commerce platform, but also earned the distinction of being Turkey's first cross-border business-to-business e-commerce platform.

In 2019, DHgate.com will continue to progress towards trade facilitation for tens of thousands of Chinese and Turkish SMEs, and to help sell Turkish products globally.

According to a relevant head of DHgate Turkey, Turkey boasts a prime location as a transcontinental country that spans Asia and Europe, and made-in-Turkey products also sell well in Europe where it enjoys some tariff incentives by the European Union. So far, China and Turkey have made major strides in their efforts to advance trade, engineering contract and bilateral investment, and have become each other's important partner. No doubt the ancient Silk Road has given an introduction to China-Turkey bond, but today's Belt and Road Initiative is poised to make this long-standing bond closer and closer.

According to Diane Wang, business-to-business operation model is the most distinctive feature of DHgate.com's operations in Turkey. With time, this e-commerce platform has identified a "three-step" strategy: first, establishing a Turkish e-commerce platform for online display and sales for all kinds of products from Chinese manufacturers so that Turkish consumers can get quality products from China at affordable prices; second, setting up a DTC in Istanbul downtown for on-site display of Chinese goods as a way to attract more Turkish clients to make transactions online; third, developing more operation concepts and advancing technological transformation as a way to attract more Turkish SMEs to establish a business on DHgate.com and help them sell their products to global consumers, especially the European ones.

So far, DHgate.com is available in eight languages including English, German, Italian and Turkish with more than 2 million registered sellers selling over 22 million kinds of products online and supporting more than 21 million buyers placing orders online.

Win-win B&R Initiative

Communication with DHgate.com's Turkish partners has constantly made Diane Wang ponder over a question: what is the Belt and Road Initiative in essence and how should the commercial operations be under the Initiative?

Diane Wang holds that, to make money for oneself must start with helping one's partners to do so. Therefore, Chinese enterprises should help host countries improve their capacities for economic growth before striving for earning a profit for themselves. By nature, the initiative aims for a win-win scenario through commercial operations, in a bid to make more countries benefit from fast growth.

Take China-Turkey cooperation for example. As Turkish e-commerce market development is gaining momentum, DHgate.com has tried to forge partnerships with many Turkish leading enterprises like IS Bank and MNG. By doing so, it hopes to offer technological support to Turkish enterprises which have long been beset with financial payment channel and cross-border logistics problems, thus giving a great boost to their operation capacity. Like Diane Wang, Ozkan Kara also believes that there is great scope for China-Turkey cooperation in building the "Digital Silk Road". According to him, the "Digital Silk Road" is an upgraded version of the ancient Silk Road, and Chinese and Turkish products also complement each other in many ways. In the context, DHgate.com, an e-commerce platform oriented towards Chinese and Turkish SMEs, has in practice filled the business needs of SMEs from both countries. On this very note, it has not only helped these SMEs improve their transaction efficiency, but ensure their compliance with laws in business operation and product quality, giving rise to a sharp cut in transaction costs for them.

As DHgate.com helps Turkish sellers "sell globally", the Turkish government also gives high marks to its role in activating Turkish SMEs and is planning on a subsidy to businesses registered on the platform. Going forward, DHgate.com will continue to work for its Turkey-wide presence. (Contributed by Zhang Chao, Qin Yanyang, edited by Yang Yifan)

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Keyword: e-commerce China-Turkey BRI-NDRC-digital DHgate.com

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