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Post-Coronavirus Learnings in China: Companies Promote Products from Virus-Hit Hubei

Post-Coronavirus Learnings in China: Companies Promote Products from Virus-Hit Hubei
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On April 8, 2020, Alibaba launched several measures to revive businesses in China, including helping merchants from Wuhan to sell local products.

  • Alibaba’s payment unit Alipay launched a section called “Wuhan Special” on its home page. By tapping into the special section, consumers across China can use Alipay to browse products offered by merchants based in Wuhan, Hubei province. They can buy Wuhan-made snacks and find out details about tourist attractions in the city.

Alipay’s “Wuhan Special” section

Source: Alipay

  • Alibaba’s local service units Ele.me and Koubei will provide ¥100 million (around $14 million) worth of support to catering businesses. It aims to support around 300,000 restaurants to launch pre-order, self-pickup and contactless delivery services.

Ele.me’s pre-order page

Source: Ele.me

China has been leveraging the popularity of livestreaming to sell products from Hubei. On April 6, national television channel CCTV had Zhu Guangquan—a well-known key opinion leader—host a livestreaming session via Taobao Live to sell products from Hubei. The live broadcast also featured Austin Li, “the Lipstick King” join, who once sold 15,000 lipsticks in 15 minutes during a livestream show. The live broadcast was 130 minutes long, and the two hosts promoted a dozen of local products from Hubei, including dry noodles, lotus root, mushrooms and tea. The livestreaming session attracted around 10.9 million viewers, with 160 million likes. It achieved ¥40.1 million (around $5.7 million) in sales.

Zhu Guangquan and Austin Li sell products made in Hubei via livestreaming

Source: Taobao Live

US companies could support the recovery of the retail sector in similar ways, by launching dedicated spaces on e-commerce apps and sites to promote products from areas/retailers that need the most support, as well as by using livestreaming to promote products/brands and boost sales.