Online Marketplaces in China, Japan Focus on Cross-Border E-Commerce In the past week, Asian e-commerce companies made moves to bolster their cross-border appeal, both from an import and export perspective., Alibaba’s main competitor in China, launched a British Mall that will bring high-quality products from the U.K. to Chinese consumers who often prefer foreign brand names to domestic products.

“British Mall will be the shop window in China for the best of British products,” said Tony Qiu, general manager of Worldwide. “Demand for high-quality, imported goods is soaring in China, and Chinese consumers know that British brands represent quality, style, and reliability. U.K. brands and retailers have a massive opportunity to tap into this market, and with British Mall, we aim to give them the platform and tools they need to reach millions of Chinese consumers.”

Japanese company C-Connect, on the other hand, is focusing outward, launching its Ippin Online Shopping Mall that will offer Japanese products in other countries. The site launched with seven stores this week and expects to reach 20 by the end of this month and 200 by the end of this year. The company is targeting the rest of the Asian market first, including China, Singapore and Malaysia, with English, Chinese and Japanese versions of the site available now with Thai, Indonesian and others in planning. The site also will offer localized payment experiences in 16 currencies and several payment methods.