While the name 3Weidu may sound a little strange to western ears, there is nothing at all remarkable about China’s new start-up targeting the luxury-goods end of China’s ecommerce market. All you need is a few big western names behind you, and 3W certainly hit it bang on the button when it signed up London’s iconic department store. Why just a Harrods shopping bag was all I needed last time I was there to get top tables at the City’s leading eateries.
3Weidu Set to Become Top Luxury Brand in China
The media including Want China Times, and China Times its arch-rival seem to think that Harrods luxury goods are sufficient to make the difference for the online platform started in December 2011, with eyes set initially on social networking games, e-commerce and mobile finance. Acquiring the Queen of England’s ‘favourite department store’ is the first step in an ambitious plan to dominate the top end of Asia’s vast luxury ecommerce market not yet fully tapped, and no doubt there is more to come.
Can 3W Successfully Span China’s Ecommerce Divide
The Asian giant currently hosts more than 5,000 internet traders focusing on foreign brands, and 3Weidu will have its work cut out to navigate through a virtual logjam to where it stands out instantly identifiable with luxury goods in general, and Harrods in particular. While McKinsey reports that 2014 luxury online sales jumped 50% year on year, global players are still eying China cautiously following a few notable failures to connect.
I wonder whether Premier Li Keqiang will use the opportunity provided by his President’s visit to Buckingham Palace to hobnob with ‘Ma’am’ over the latest Harrod’s christmas cards on offer. 3Weidu CEO Zhou Junhao plans to tap into the Middle East next, although I suspect many Harrod’s customers there may prefer to fly to London in their private jets.