Selling on Amazon China
Electronics, toys, home & garden, fashion, books, technology, film, gaming.
Number of registered users
Amazon.cn covers a broad demographic of men and women, and of all ages. Today, cross-border ecommerce represents one of the most dynamic driving force of China e-commerce development.
4.0 - 15.0% (category dependent).
One-off registration fee
RMB 10,000.00 - 50,000.00 (Legal requirement in China. Varies depending on category)
Parcel tracking required?
Business hours (China), 8am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday
Amazon China, owned by Amazon (NYSE:AMZN), is an invitation-only B2C online marketplace with just under two percent market share of the China e-commerce market at 2016.
To qualify to sell on Amazon China you must have a legal entity outside China and be the brand owner or authorised distributor or retailer of a brand, proved through holding Trademark Registration Certificates and Brand Authorisation verified by the brand owner. Eligible product categories include consumer electronics, beauty, apparel, jewellery, homeware, baby products, grocery, pet products, personal healthcare and wine.
The process to get started on Amazon China is kicked off by completing a short form followed by registering your seller account, submitting documentation online, paying a variable deposit and finally uploading your listings. If you already sell on another Amazon marketplace, and have a proven sales record, your launch on Amazon China will be faster and easier.
Your Amazon China branding, artwork, photography, video content, promotions and product descriptions must be designed with your Chinese target audience in mind - repurposing existing collateral is not enough. You’ll also need to support your storefront with social campaigns and promotions. Amazon offers paid advertising on the platform through either Sponsored Products or Display Ads. Right now Amazon.cn only accepts credit cards as payment method for its advertising.
Amazon’s A9 search engine uses an algorithm to list products based on relevance and popularity. Things like sales volume, product keywords, title tags, product bullet points, image alt tags, video content, positive product reviews and return rates are taken into account. This means that being ranked highly on Amazon China requires not only understanding your target customer and having exceptional customer service, but also executing a well thought out keyword plan as well as technical optimisation of your product listings.
Helpful links for Amazon China
- Amazon University for sellers in China walks you through step-by-step videos for pre-launch and product information guidelines. A seller account is required to access the University.
- Display advertising on Amazon.cn
- Sponsored products on Amazon.cn
- Schedule of fees on Amazon.cn
- Service providers recommended by Amazon.cn
- Amazon’s global solution provider network lists third party providers.
Things to think about
Your brand name or trademarks must be registered in China before applying to join Amazon.cn. Registration is administered by the Trademark Office of China (CTMO) (in Chinese only) and is a 'first to file' system. Applications from non-Chinese nationals must be made through an accredited agent. You can do a preliminary trademark search yourself here, but there can be a delay of up to six months from filing to visibility in the database. A search by a trade mark attorney is recommended for accuracy.
Be aware you may need to develop a separate brand for China. You will need to set aside a reasonable marketing budget each year in order to sell successfully in China. You can run Pay Per Click (PPC) ads and promotions within Amazon, and support this with local paid social media activity.
Goods will need to comply with all local health and certification procedures, which can be undertaken by specialist suppliers or a nominated partner. All food and drink products need to be fully compliant with Chinese Food and Drink Regulations and you will need to design and print a Chinese label to file for registration with the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine for Food and Drink. Additionally, your first shipment will require a Sanitary Certificate upon entry, which can typically take 30 days. This is a legal requirement for you to be allowed to sell your product.
Any branded products, such as beauty and cosmetics, must be checked to see if they require testing to obtain pre-market approval or notification from the China Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).
Free Trade Agreements and Customs
In a world first for any developed country, New Zealand entered into a free trade agreement with China in 2008. New Zealand is now the first developed country to launch an FTA upgrade with China. Read more on MFAT's website. To find out more about China’s Customs requirements, take a look through the English language website.
I want to find out about packaging and labelling for exportPackaging and labelling requirements can be very different from country to country, so get as much information as you can before making the decision to export.
Depending on where your products will be sold, you might need to use different materials or labels, and include different types of information. In some countries, you might have to translate all your packaging or labels into the local language – in others, applying a sticker with a few key details will do the job.
Make sure that you check out all of the requirements for packaging and labelling before tackling a new market, including anything that’s needed during transport or distribution.
You’ll find more details on the kind of things you need to think about in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.
We suggest that you work with a customs broker or freight forwarder, or get advice from a lawyer in-market, to understand all the requirements for your product and the place where it’s headed. The Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Federation (CBAFF) has a list of customs brokers and freight forwarders within New Zealand.
I want to find out about regulations and tariffs for exportRegulations and tariffs should be one of the first things you find out before exporting. They often determine whether a market will be easy or hard for you to export to, or whether you should try to do business there at all.
Understanding regulations in your export destination is a must-do. For an introduction to what you need to think about, see our guide on understanding international compliance requirements. This includes tips on how to research regulations, as well as insights on local regulations, standards, health and safety, and dealing with local bureaucracy.
It’s a good idea to take a look at the rest of the international compliance process while you’re doing your work on regulations – see more information in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.
If you’re planning to export food or food-related products, you should also check out the food exporting page on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. MPI maintains a list of Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs) for New Zealand food products in different export markets – search and identify OMARs for your product online.
Tariffs can make your products more expensive and less attractive to overseas buyers, so you need to know the charges your products will attract before you commit to a new market.
You can get a big head start in finding tariff information by using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) tariff finder or the World Trade Organisation’s tariff download facility. You can search the databases by product name, but they work best when you know the approximate Harmonised System (HS) code for your product. HS codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products and apply tariffs. The longer the code is, the more precisely it describes your product. The first six digits of an HS code are usually the same worldwide – after that, there can be up to eight further digits, which often vary from country to country.
New Zealand Customs can help you to find out the first six digits of your HS codes – email VOC@customs.govt.nz.
To get a longer and more precise HS code for a particular market, look up and contact the local customs authority online, or talk to a customs broker or freight forwarder who has done business in that market.