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Top Amazon executives travel to China to lure sellers in an annual summit

Krystal Hu
Reporter
Amazon hosts a two-day Global Selling Summit for Chinese sellers in Shanghai. (Credit/Amazon)

Amazon’s consumer business may be having a hard time in China, but its third-party sellers’ business is still thriving.

On Wednesday, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant kicked off a two-day event for Chinese sellers in Shanghai. Nine Amazon executives, including Eric Broussard, vice president of  international marketplaces and retail, Ed Feitzinger, vice president of global logistics, and Sachin Jain, vice president overseeing seller and vendor experience, spoke on the stage about Amazon’s initiatives with sellers. Over 7,000 Chinese sellers, along with officials from the Shanghai government, joined the event.

The event showcases Amazon’s strong business footprint in China even after it pulled most of its consumer business out from the country amid competition with local giants like Alibaba and JD.com. 

During the two-hour presentation, Amazon (AMZN) pitched itself to Chinese sellers as a one-stop solution to sell globally. Currently, Amazon’s online store is available in 16 regions. Last year, Amazon opened an India and Middle East marketplace for Chinese sellers. At this year’s event, they made Singapore available to Chinese sellers. 

China sellers are key

This is the fifth annual sellers summit Amazon has hosted in China. The ticket cost ranged from 58 yuan ($8) to 958 yuan ($136), which included access to workshops hosted by Amazon, where sellers can learn on how to sell on its site, including how to pick the next hit and predict inventories. Some successful Chinese sellers also spoke on stage to share their experiences.

Amazon has hosted sellers events in six cities around the U.S. this year, but the scale was not at the same level as the one in China, according to Sibao Chen, co-founder of SellerMotor, a software company serving Amazon sellers. 

“At the seller event in LA this August, only a few hundred sellers attended and it was Amazon product managers talking, not the VP level,” said Chen. “The trade uncertainty, and Amazon’s tightening rules have put some Chinese sellers at unease this year.” 

Amazon has been called out for product safety issues and relaxed scrutiny on Chinese sellers on its online marketplace. There are lawsuits regarding product quality issues on defect products and sellers say hijacks are frequent on the site.

Third-party sellers account for over half of Amazon’s sales. The company doesn’t disclose how many sellers on its platform are from China. In an online post in Chinese, the company claims it has helped over “several hundred thousand Chinese sellers” to sell globally. Thirty-six percent of the active sellers on Amazon U.S. are from China, according to Marketplace Pulse research.

Krystal Hu is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @readkrystalhu

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