Undercurrent News

The booming nature of e-commerce and “new retail” in China means it has never been easier to launch a brand there, according to Anthony Wan, co-founder and vice president of Gfresh.

New payment methods like Alipay — which can now be used to pay with a mobile device in even the smallest shops in Chinese cities — and even paying by facial recognition, are opening new routes to reach consumers.

This isn’t just China now either. Wan noted at the Sydney fish market, Australia, he was able to pay with Alipay, at a better exchange rate than if he had picked up Australian dollars on the high street.

“New retail” — a phrase coined by Alibaba chief Jack Ma — now sees live streaming viewed by millions of people at home, with the ability to purchase ingredients or goods they’re watching in one click, and have it delivered to their homes the same day.

Wan spoke of one live streaming event recently in which one million people watched someone cook and eat a lobster. It is this kind of spontaneous marketing that could see any supplier or country suddenly explode in a marketplace, he said.

Meanwhile, Gfresh itself has seen sales rise to RMB 3 billion in its first three years, and it expects to see RMB 10bn in 2017, said Wan.