BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) – With the rise of emerging technologies such as the Internet, big data, and cloud platforms, as well as the booming home economy amid COVID-19 epidemic outbreak, many export-oriented enterprises in China have begun to carve up online business opportunities in the domestic market.
Statistics show that the local sales of China's export-oriented enterprises increased by 17 percent in April of the year, showing that quality products intended for export are also popular with domestic consumers.
The demand from the international market has dropped sharply due to the epidemic, presenting an unprecedented challenge to China's foreign trade in 2020, according to Zhong Shan, Minister of Ministry of Commerce (MOC) at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on May 18.
MOC would do its utmost to stabilize the fundamentals of foreign trade, including helping enterprises tide over current difficulties, optimizing the layout of the international market, and fostering new forms and models of business, added Zhong.
--- Booming online business in the domestic market
Ali1688.com, the largest domestic wholesale platform in China under Alibaba Group, has been helping export-oriented enterprises to switch to the domestic market, including helping factories access online marketing resources, and clearing up their inventory collectively, according to Luo Xuan, General Manager of Alibaba's CBU.
It is noted that Ali1688.com helped factories in Dongguan city in South China's Guangdong province to clinch an aggregate domestic sales volume worth of 900 million yuan in April.
Besides, the 12th China Processing Trade Products Fair Online Exhibition held on Ali1688.com was officially launched on May 13.
Gao Feng, the spokesman for the MOC, said that attending the exhibition is an essential way for export-oriented enterprises to secure new orders. Gao adds that the MOC endorsed holding online shows, by encouraging government-sponsored offline exhibitions to synchronized explorations of both online and offline events.
Building new platforms like online cloud exhibition and promoting innovation of exhibition formats mark a prerequisite for improving the digital transformation of industry amid the COVID-19 epidemic, according to Wu Qi, a senior fellow with Pangoal Institution said in an interview with the reporter from Securities Daily.
Wu added that the negative impact brought by the epidemic is enormous for export-oriented enterprises, at the same time they can gradually shift their offline sales to online ones, taking this opportunity to expand their share in the domestic market further.
--- Export enterprises show confidence in cloud exhibition
Especially given a sharp drop in foreign orders, export-oriented enterprises are likely to use the cloud exhibition to reduce their operating costs further, improve their operating efficiency, and expand the new market, which overlap with what the industrial digitization aims to achieve, added Wu.
It is noted that the circular on innovating exhibition service modes issued by the MOC on April 13 this year put forward to actively build new platforms for online exhibitions, promote innovation of exhibition formats, and support enterprises to hold online shows.
Liu Zhe, Vice President of Wanbo New Economic Research Institute, noted that, in general, the epidemic has generated a sudden and uncertain impact on export enterprises.
Liu said that the outbreak of the epidemic put Chinese enterprises in predicament of indigestible short-term inventory, disrupted liquidity, and surging fixed cost as they were given limited time to cope with the emergency.
In this context, cloud exhibition to a certain extent could be a better choice for some export-oriented enterprises to further exploit their domestic market and improve their market expansion efficiency in this period, added Liu.
(Edited by Jiang Feifan with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)