Apple has opened two official online outlets for sales in China, after it opened its virtual doors on Tmall.com, a huge marketplace online operated by the largest e-commerce website in China named Alibaba Group.
It is still not clear when Apple opened its shop on the marketplace, but an Alibaba representative said the page was official and recently went live, reported one international news agency.
The Apple webpage on Tmall is almost identical to the Apple Store online, but with minor modifications of codes and links to the payments system of the Chinese marketplace.
Instead of products being sold directly, Tmall charges a fee and a commission for sales. The site caters to large merchants and brands that are worldwide, with companies such as Levi’s and Nike amongst its retailers.
Apple’s biggest rival Samsung Electronics has a presence on the Chinese marketplace and is currently featuring its latest handsets.
The new Apple Chinese outlet, which will join the Online Apple Stores and its ten physical locations, was created presumably to create a wider net across the important Asian region, while the battle for supremacy in the smartphone sector heats up.
Apple recently signed a new deal to have its iPhone sold by China Mobile for use on its new TD-LTE network. Although, there have been less expensive smartphones run on the Android platform that have flooded the Chinese marketplace.
As the economy in China strengthens, Apple is showing an increased interest in the huge marketplace. As an example, in its first quarter 2013 earnings report, Apple included Greater China as a standalone business segment.
Along with its new page on Tmall, Apple is planning to move ahead in China with an annual Red Friday, a one-day sale that is scheduled for online in stores this week. In addition, Apple stores online in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan will participate in the same event that is meant to celebrate China’s Lunar New Year.