Ireland’s Emerald Green Baby launches on China’s NetEase Kaola platform

Company will sell mother and baby, health and beauty products on cross-border e-commerce site

 Emerald Green Baby co-founder Brian Goff: The company started off selling products in China directly using the Taobao platform, initially from Dublin, in 2015.

Emerald Green Baby co-founder Brian Goff: The company started off selling products in China directly using the Taobao platform, initially from Dublin, in 2015.

 

Irish food company Emerald Green Baby has launched its mother, baby, health and beauty products on the potentially enormous Chinese market using the cross-border e-commerce site NetEase Kaola.

Company co-founder Brian Goff officially launched the sale of Ovelle Pharmaceuticals’ brands Ovelle and Elave and Irish Breeze’s WaterWipes on Koala, the e-commerce platform of Chinese internet major Netease, at an event attended by Zhang Lei, chief executive of NetEase Kaola, and witnessed by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at an event in Shanghai.

China is the most exciting marketplace you can enter, very difficult but very rewarding. We envisage Emerald Green Baby as being a one-stop shop for Irish products in Irish mother and baby/health and beauty products in China,” Mr Goff told The Irish Times.

The company will also sell Kinvara Skincare and Seavite, and other brands not yet on the platform.

Mr Goff said the growth online is business-to-consumer, and China is mindful that it needs to boost B-to-C business.

Challenging

The company started off selling products directly using the Taobao platform, initially from Dublin, in 2015 but logistically it was challenging. In 2016, Emerald Green Baby set up a site on the hugely popular Chinese social media platform WeChat and moved all logistics and fulfilment to Shanghai.

“We looked for Irish companies that had the capacity and the ambition, that were China-ready, and we represent eight of those. We looked at various platforms. We looked at Taobao, which was essentially C-to-C and we realised we’d need to set up a warehouse in the free-trade zone,” said Mr Goff.

Founded in 2015, NetEase Kaola is a cross-border platform offering imported products to Chinese consumer. It is the biggest player in China’s cross-border e-commerce sector with 25.8 per cent of the market in 2017.

Emerald Green Baby used WeChat to build an awareness of Irish products, which was basically focused on infant milk powder and Riverdance, in the same way an Irish consumer wouldn’t have a great knowledge of China, said Mr Goff, who co-founded the company with Felim Meade in 2014.

“Our ambition is to get as many quality Irish products into the hands of the Chinese consumer. We have targets, but the way to get into this market is to decide what your strategy is and build slowly,” said Mr Goff.