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Amazon Prime to touchdown in China

As per Amazon’s latest move, it’s all set to introduce a version of its Prime membership program to customers in China. This program will feature free, cross-border shipping from the Amazon Global Store as well as no minimum free domestic shipping. The service, which will compete with local rivals like Alibaba and JD.com, will cost 388 yuan ($57.23) per year after the first year, a discounted rate.

Unlike the U.S. version of Prime, there aren’t a host of perks for Chinese customers outside of the shipping deals – instead, the main focus here is on increasing Amazon’s footprint in China by making it more affordable to buy foreign products from its site.

According to iResearch, Amazon doesn’t have a noteworthy footprint in China, which is less than 1.5 percent of the market.

Rising incomes and increased demand for foreign products has ignited growth of cross-border e-commerce trend in China. According to a McKinsey study, cross-border consumer e-commerce amounted to an estimated $40 billion (U.S.) in 2015, more than 6 percent of China’s total consumer e-commerce. The report also said annually it’s growing to 50 percent.

Chinese Prime members will be able to shop over 4 million international products from the Amazon Global Store. The localised store’s millions of products range across 30 product categories, including those that appeal to Chinese consumers like apparel, shoes, baby, toys, home, kitchen and beauty.