Apple has opened an official online store on popular Chinese e-commerce gateway Tmall.
Run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tmall was launched in 2008 and hosts more than 70,000 merchants — including global brands such as Nike and Gap.
While Apple hasn’t officially commented on its Tmall store opening, an Alibaba rep has confirmed that this is an official Apple page and that it opened recently.
Apple already runs it own online store in China, but the new Tmall platform opens up a new channel to help reach the country’s rapidly growing population of online shoppers — estimated to have spent $265 billion by the end of 2013.
Tmall requires each seller to pay a deposit and annual service fee. It also charges a commission on each transaction.
Combine this new move with the Chinese New Year holiday sale Cult of Mac reported on earlier today, and Apple is clearly hoping to get Chinese sales off to a good start in 2014.