On June 11, 2023, the 7th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit themed “New Tides in Qiantang River” opened in Hangzhou. The summit was sponsored by the Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government and Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce; organized by the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Construction Steering Group Office of China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area and the Binjiang District People’s Government; and undertaken by Ebrun.

The opening ceremony of the 7th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit was held concurrently with the China International Silk Expo; CES Asia; and the 10th International E-Business Expo, Hangzhou, China.

Sun Xudong, the Vice-Mayor of Hangzhou; An Baojun, the Deputy Head of the Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce; Xiao Lu, the Deputy Head of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce; Zhang Qianjiang, the Deputy Head of the Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province; Zhu Jun, the Party Group Member and Chief Economist of the Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province; Li Yongwei, the Chief Engineer of the Economy and Information Technology Department of Zhejiang Province; Wang Yongfang, the Head of the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce; and Zheng Di, the Head of Binjiang District, jointly touched the light columns to kick off the opening ceremony of the China International Silk Expo; CES Asia; the 7th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit; the 10th International E-Business Expo, China; and the China Time-honored Brand Expo.

Speaking at the event, Sun Xudong, the Vice-Mayor of Hangzhou, said that on the new journey in the new era, Hangzhou expected to promote exhibitions through conferences; boost trade through exhibitions; and link exhibitions with trade by hosting higher-level the West Lake International Expo and other exhibitions, so as to serve as a major hub in China’s “dual circulation” development pattern; become a pacesetter in Zhejiang’s No.1 Openness Project; and create a strong engine boosting consumption. He also called for greater efforts to build Hangzhou into an international city of exhibitions; develop a new-type consumption and e-commerce; and showcase Hangzhou’s attractiveness as an open economy.

As it was an event for the cross-border e-commerce industry launched by Hangzhou — the first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot area in China — the 7th Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit, themed “High Quality and Globalization”, focused on topics like how to forge cross-border e-commerce brands; how to digitalize foreign trade and manufacturing; and how to expand presence in the global market in an innovative way.

At the start of the main forum of the summit, Xiao Lu, the Deputy Head of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce; and Zhang Qianjiang, the Deputy Head of the Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province, delivered speeches, expressing the government’s strong support for establishing a “dual circulation” development pattern in which the domestic economic cycle plays a leading role, while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. Todor Petrov, a senator of Municipality of Gazi Baba, North Macedonia, expressed the hope for increased economic exchanges between China and North Macedonia, and spoke highly of the summit.

For now, China is pushing for foreign trade at a higher level. And as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP) came into force for the Philippines, the world’s largest free trade zone by trade size and population coverage has taken flight.

In South America, China has added a new chapter to the Belt and Road Initiative by reaching a Cooperation Plan with Argentina; and has taken the number of free trade agreements signed with other countries to 20, by inking a free trade agreement with Ecuador.

These moves in international cooperation have created room for the global operation of Chinese enterprises, with over 100,000 cross-border e-commerce operators and over 200,000 independent stations to boost China’s foreign trade and “dual circulation” goal.

Long Yongtu, a former minister of foreign trade and economic cooperation; former director and secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia; co-chairman of the Global CEO Development Conference; and chairman of the Center for China and Globalization, attended the summit and delivered a speech titled “Cross-border E-commerce Leads High-quality Internationalization and Global Innovation”. He also shared his ideas about the direction of China’s cross-border e-commerce industry.

Noting that cross-border e-commerce led to industrial upgrades under the Belt and Road Initiative, Xu Ningning, the Executive President of the China-ASEAN Business Council, or CABC; and chairman of RCEP Industrial Cooperation Commission, or RICC, said: “RCEP is vital to increasing regional cooperation through width and depth; and reflects the demand for and trend of multilateral cooperation and free trade in the global economy.”

Wang Yongfang, the Party Group Secretary and head of the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce, released the Report on the Development of Hangzhou as a City of New-type E-commerce, which elaborated on the achievements of e-commerce in Hangzhou.

Digitalization has played a crucial role in helping Chinese manufacturers transit to global brands. And as a pioneer and major player in the internationalization of supply chains, Wang Licheng, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Holley Group; Yu Yong, the President of Taotian Group 1688; and Song Xiaojun, the Vice-President of Amazon China and Head of China Seller Development for Amazon Global Selling, respectively, spoke on Cooperation between Cross-border E-commerce and Worldwide Production Facilities; How Industrial Enterprises Seize New Opportunities from Globalization; and High-quality Development of Cross-border E-commerce from a Global Perspective. They highlighted the underlying logic that high-quality development and globalization promoted each other; and jointly advance the internationalization of brands.

Endowed with unique resources, Hangzhou —  a city of e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce — has prospered in recent years and yielded fruitful results.

The main forum of the summit witnessed a chain of events, including the unveiling of the Global Cross-border E-commerce DTC Brand Innovation Center; the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement between the Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province and Taotian Group; and the centralized signing of contracts for key cross-border e-commerce projects, all of which were aimed to promote the integration of cross-border business and local industries. Also, the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce commended 35 local cross-border e-commerce operators as “Units making Outstanding Contributions” and “Excellent Demonstration Enterprises” in 2023; and released the list of the top 100 leaders in Hangzhou’s pan-e-commerce industry. The list included NetEase Yanxuan, Alicloud and Cainiao.

On the afternoon of the summit, the Industrial Innovation Theme Forum; the Emerging Market Industrial Innovation and Development Sub-forum; and Category Innovation and Development Sub-forum were held concurrently, discussing the models of internationalization for a range of areas, from industrial supply chains and blue ocean markets to consumer reach and commodity selection. Also, enterprise decision makers shared practical experiences about addressing the pain points at the start of brand internationalization.

The Industrial Innovation Theme Forum discussed how to unlock the potential of local industrial belts in innovation; and foster high value-added brands that could both leverage the advantages of the Chinese manufacturing industry; and capture global consumer demand.

In her speech titled “Brand Internationalization Leads the High-quality Development and Globalization of the Hangzhou Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area”, Wu Changhong, the Party Group Member of the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce and Chief Economist, spoke about new trends; entity cultivation; model innovation and ecosystem optimization in brand internationalization;and interpreted local policies related to brand internationalization.

Among enterprise representatives, Yan Weihua, Co-partner of Ants Capital, spoke on “High Quality and Globalization from the Capital Perspective”, forecasting the development opportunities for cross-border e-commerce. Liu Chen, Co-founder of Ebrun; Chen Shirong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eskimo; Pan Zhongjian, Founder of Xiao Qiao, Li Feng; Senior Vice-President of GreatStar; and Ding Yansong, Head of Payment of WorldFirst, had a roundtable dialogue focused on the “high-quality innovation in the globalization process”. They agreed that “cross-border e-commerce had moved from simple distribution to brand premium; from export-oriented production and processing to digital supply chain overall service; and had cultivated prosperous cross-border e-commerce services and knowledge innovation represented by digital technology; digital content; and brand added value to lead the high-quality development of foreign trade.”

At the Industrial Innovation Theme Forum, centered on the path to efficient supply chains and industrial internationalization, Wang Weifa, the Founder and Board Chairman of Xingyun Group, spoke on “Efficient Digital Supply Chains Empower Internationalization of Chinese Brands”.

With regard to brand positioning and commodity selection, Qian Shuai, the co-founder of POSEE; and Chen Yongqiang; the co-founder of Insta360, shared inspiring stories of their respective brands and the process of internationalization, while speaking on “How the Soft Slippers That Sold 300,000 Pairs in One Minute Conquered Overseas Users”; and “Forging a Global Brand in the Vertical Field by Focusing on a Panorama Image”.

When it came to empowerment by technology, Kathy Jiang, the head of Corporate Ecology of Canva; and Hao Xijie, the CEO of International Market of Beijing; and Jiaoge Pengyou of Digital Technology Co., Ltd., respectively, spoke on “From Online Design to Visual Communication: How Does AI Accelerate Internationalization of Brands?” and “How to Increase Performance Tenfold through Global KOL in the Era of Video Era”, interpreting how digital technology boosted user experience.

At the Industrial Innovation Theme Forum, Emerging Market Industrial Innovation and Development Sub-forum and Category Innovation and Development Sub-forum, Jin Wenhong, the Party Committee Secretary of the Internet Industrial Park and Director of the Development Service Center in Hangzhou High-tech Zone (Binjiang), spoke on  “Promoting High-quality Development of the Livestreaming E-commerce Industry”.

Representatives of global enterprises, such as Amazon Business; inCapital; Maersk; Mercadolibre; Pongo; Ozon Global; Apollo and Mediamz; appeared on the stage, sharing their experiences in market tapping; consumer reach and category innovation, etc.

As a pioneer in cross-border e-commerce, Hangzhou has set the goals of increasing its cross-border e-commerce turnover to RMB140 billion; and the number of cross-border e-commerce operators with a size of over RMB20 million to 1,000 or more.

While pushing more Chinese brands global, the Global Cross-border E-commerce Summit will continue to serve as a platform for communication, and join all cross-border e-commerce operators in diverse trades in Hangzhou in a bid to tap new markets and drive high-quality development and globalization.


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