(Yicai Global) Jun 6 -- Chinese internet tech company NetEase plans to expand the range of quality products offered on its cross-border retail platform to maintain a lead over competitor sites run by e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding and JD.Com.
Beijing-based NetEase will also change the name of the site from Koala Sea Purchase to NetEase Koala, online news outlet TechWeb reported.
NetEase's platform ranks first in China's cross-border online shopping market with a market share of 26 percent in the first quarter, according to figures from mobile internet consultancy iiMedia. Alibaba's Tmall Global and JD Worldwide had 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
China's cross-border e-commerce trade has boomed in recent years, with turnover jumping 80 percent to more than CNY90 billion last year. The sector will likely receive a further shot in the arm after the finance ministry last week unveiled cuts in import tariffs from July 1 on nearly 1,500 consumer products, including home appliances and cosmetics.
NetEase's renewed focus on quality foreign goods is part of efforts to bolster its position in the sector. It announced plans last month to spend EUR3 billion (USD3.52 billion) on European products from more than 2,000 brands over the next three years in order to better appeal to China's expanding middle class.
Net income at the firm's e-commerce unit doubled to CNY3.7 billion (USD595 million) in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with a 3.9 percent gain in group net profit to CNY14.2 billion. The segment accounts for 26 percent of total earnings, second only to its gaming unit at 62 percent.
Editor: William Clegg