After launching its own Chinese Microsoft Store online in October, the software maker has opted to partner with popular Chinese seller Tmall to launch another online store in the region. The new partnership will see over 50 products made available on Microsoft's Tmaill store, including Surface, Office, Windows Phone, and other hardware and accessories.
Tmall is a significant move for Microsoft in China. The online shopping site handles goods for more than 50,000 merchants, including major brands like Dell, Gap, Lenovo, and Samsung. The move is expected to help boost Windows Phone sales in the region, as well as Microsoft's new Surface tablet. Surface RT has been reportedly off to a slow start worldwide, so additional online outlets in major markets can only serve to help increase its prospects.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft's Brandon Yoon explains that the company will "go where the customers are," adding that Tmail is a popular destination for Chinese consumers. Microsoft's Kevin Eagan believes the company "sees great potential in China's e-commerce market." It's no surprise that Microsoft wants to be present in a big way in China. With a huge smartphone market that the country is concerned is dominated by Android, and Apple struggling to make a dent with its iPhone, the market is ripe for disruption. It's a big ask to take on Lenovo, Samsung, and others in China, but big partnerships in the region are a key part is creating the brand recognition required to see success.