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Chinese Retail Giant Suning to Use Blockchain to Fight Fakes in Preparation for Double 11

Chinese retail giant Suning has introduced a blockchain-based traceability and anti-counterfeiting system to confirm the authenticity of its overseas commodities ahead of the “Double 11” – the biggest shopping festival in China.

Chinese consumers are eager to buy foreign goods as they believe that foreign products are of a higher quality and are less likely to be counterfeit, especially when it comes to products like cosmetics, baby products and food. According to research firm eMarketer, Chinese consumers purchased $100.2 billion on goods from sellers in other countries in 2017.

As more and more Chinese consumers shop online and travel overseas, many are interest in buying foreign products online from domestic online hypermarkets, such as Alibaba’s Taobao, JD.com and Suning.

In an effort to ensure the authenticity of these overseas commodities, Suning Global – the cross-border online mall of China’s retail giant Suning – offers a solution by introducing a traceability system that will put an “ID mark” for each cross-border imported goods. Via the system, users can track the logistics information of their purchased foreign goods, including shipping origin, mode of transportation and import port, as well as list number of inspection and quarantine at the bonded warehouse and customs declaration number.

At present, Suning has 29 offline stores in Hong Kong, 38 Laox stores in Japan, 1 subsidiary company, 2 branches and 6 offices all over the world. The company also has its own professional buyer teams in Europe, America, Australia, East Asia and other major regions. Its supply chain around the world could ensure authenticity before the commodity info is migrated onto blockchain as consumers are wondering that blockchain technology can only protect commodities from being switched in the logistics chain.

E-commerce giants focusing on blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to transfer and improve the e-commerce industry and many retailers and producers have applied or are beginning to apply it. Last year, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has leveraged blockchain in tracing 150 million overseas commodities on last year’s Double 11; JD.com, the second-largest e-commerce firm in the country has also launched a traceability and anti-counterfeiting platform last year.

As Singles’ Day or Double 11 (November 11) draws near, all eyes are once again on the Chinese online shopping festival created by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009 and later promoted by all the other Chinese e-commerce firms.

According to Double 11 sales data, Chinese consumers spent US$45 billion within a 24-hour period on the shopping spree day in 2018, marking a jump of 23.8% percent from the previous year.

The use of blockchain technology in traceability could mitigate consumers’ concerns about possibly purchasing counterfeiting goods on these domestic shopping platforms. Will it help boost the sales in this year’s shopping spree? Let’s just wait for the sales figures on the upcoming November 11.

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