Tesla Opens Online Flagship Store on Alibaba’s Tmall, Tapping into China’s Digital Market

US electric car company Tesla opened its first official flagship online store on China’s leading e-commerce platform Tmall.com on April 16 and announced an 8-day live-streaming campaign starting April 21 on Taobao, in a bid to embrace China’s robust digital economy.

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The store mainly sells auto parts such as foot pedals and other interior Tesla accessories. According to the sales volume, the best-selling product is the Model 3 Key Fob, priced at 1,200 yuan. Consumers can also make test-drive reservations on this platform.

Tesla said its move to a third-party platform like Tmall helped establish an online closed-loop service system to better serve the younger generation of consumers in China.

Tesla is known for actively engaging with China’s young consumers through marketing strategies and other car features since it entered the local market. It said that Chinese car owners can play Mahjong and send real-time comments to online video-streaming platforms like Bilibili once the Over the Air (OTA) service is upgraded. Tesla also opened official accounts on China’s widely-used social media platforms Tik Tok and Kuaishou to ramp up exposure.

Other car brands like Tesla, such as VOLVO, BMW, and Jaguar, have all turned to Tmall to sell products, considering the digital habits of young Chinese. It is reported that thousands of 4S stores held live stream shows during the 2019 Double Eleven (or Single Day’s) Shopping Festival hosted by Alibaba.

According to Tmall Global, over 25,000 brands from 92 countries and regions are now featured on the platform. Over 80% of them are entering the China market for the first time.

Tmall Global recently announced it would expand its efforts to help international brands reach the China market, aiming to bring 1,000 new brands onto its e-commerce platform in the coming 12 months.