Small scale China crustacean exporters get push on Aliexpress
China’s leading e-commerce firm has opened up the Russian market for Chinese crayfish producers, according to Russian media.
The Alibaba-owned Aliexpress dispatch service is shipping crayfish to distributors in Russia from what are termed “Taobao villages” – named after the eBay-style Taobao online marketplace, also owned by Alibaba – where rural dwellers sell produce online for distribution to buyers via Aliexpress. This model allows for the securing of new markets and better prices for producers, according to a report on Russian business news TV channel RBC.
The Taobao village model has been promoted by the government, which has come to see Alibaba as a partner in reducing rural poverty by getting produce to market. Large volumes of fruit and vegetables are being moved around the country in this way, but the move to crayfish will be watched closely to gauge its effectiveness.
The sale of crayfish may be a logical next step given China has long been the go-to destination for Russian traders seeking consumer goods, which are often trucked north and over the border. It remains to be seen if Aliexpress will see the end of huge wholesale markets in cities like Beijing and Harbin, which operate Russian language sales and service huge numbers of buyers from cities like Vladivostok.
In recent years, Siberia has also become a destination for Chinese agricultural companies drawn by cheaper and larger land plots farmed for both the Russian and the Chinese markets.