Alibaba’s Group-Shopping Website Expands to Hong Kong and Taiwan

Alibaba Group today introduced a Hong Kong and Taiwan version of its popular group shopping website, Juhuasuan, as the e-commerce company continues to expand its global reach among Chinese speakers.

Juhuasuan Overseas is geared to provide Hong Kong and Taiwan consumers with daily deals on products and services currently available on Alibaba-owned Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest online shopping platform.

Juhuasuan Overseas will feature between 12 and 20 fresh group shopping deals each day offering discounts on clothing, housewares, mother and baby products, consumer electronics, toys and other merchandise, according to Alibaba officials.

Within a few weeks, the Chinese-language website will also start offering lifestyle services and travel deals tailored for Hong Kong such as hotel and travel packages for the nearby cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.

In the past, Hong Kong and Taiwan consumers were usually unable to participate in Juhuasuan deals because cross-border shipping was not supported by the mainland China website. Launched in 2010, Juhuasuan recorded RMB 20.75 billion ($3.33 billion) in transaction volume last year, more than double its 2011 volume.

Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba has been cautiously expanding its footprint in overseas markets through its e-shopping platforms Taobao Marketplace, Tmall and AliExpress, and its e-payments provider Alipay. “In 2012, we continued to improve upon platform infrastructure and introduced new features such as the Alipay Card to make online shopping more convenient for Hong Kong and Taiwan consumers,” said Daphne Lee, director of Taobao’s International business, in a prepared statement. “Users can expect an even more diverse and comprehensive set of new and localized features and services to be rolled out in 2013.”

At the end of 2012 there were more than 1.4 million registered Taobao users in Hong Kong and 600,000 in Taiwan.

Purchases through Juhuasuan Overseas are expected to be delivered to consumers in as little as two days after deals end. Payments can be made through Visa, MasterCard or JCB. Hong Kong users can also pay via PPS or Alipay Card.