Yihaodian to Offer More Choices of Imported Food
    2013-10-25 12:23:56     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Fei
Yihaodian, a Chinese e-commerce company, is about to offer domestic consumers more imported food choices by strengthening its cooperation with six foreign governments.

Yu Gang, Chairman of the Board with Yihaodian, the Wal-Mart-backed online grocery website based in China, speaks at an event on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, in Shanghai celebrating the company's deepening strategic cooperation with six countries: U.S., Australia, South Korea, Italy, Spain and U.K. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Yihaodian, a Chinese e-commerce company, is about to offer domestic consumers more imported food choices by strengthening its cooperation with six foreign governments.

Along with the expansion of food import deals,Yhd.com board Chairman Yu Gang has announced that his company will continue to apply rigid standards in the quality control of their imported food. CRI's Xu Fei has more.

 

Yhd.com sells more than 18,000 types of imported products on its website, 78 percent of which are imported foods, ranging from milk to wine and candy.

Yu Gang, Chairman of the Board, talked about the growth of Yihaodian's import business at an event celebrating Yihaodian's deepening strategic cooperation with other nations.

"Since the start of 2011, Yihaodian began to import commodities from overseas markets. After two years, Yihaodian has developed into China's largest online trader of imported food products. Take imported milk for example, Yihaodian imports over 70 brands of milk from 29 countries around the globe with daily sales volume in China reaching more than 10 containers."

The Shanghai-based business-to-customer firm recently announced that it would develop partnerships with trade commissions and agricultural organizations in the United States, Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

The partnership with the six countries will allow Yhd.com, also known as Yihaodian, to gain more firsthand information about those countries' top-quality food brands and products and enable the company to set up direct contacts with suppliers there. This will help bring more food products to Chinese customers while avoiding the cumbersome middleman process.

Linston Terry, deputy director of the Agriculture and Trade office from the US Consulate General in Shanghai, speaks at an event held by Yihaodian, a Chinese e-commerce grocery company, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, in Shanghai. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

In relation to the partnership, Linston Terry, deputy director of the Agriculture and Trade office from the US Consulate General in Shanghai notes that they are pleased to be entering into cooperation with Yihaodian, as this will enable American products to reach more Chinese consumers.

"Yihaodian gives us a wonderful opportunity for accessing the market; to help consumers access US products, reaching places throughout the country not just in Shanghai but in second and third-tier cities as well. So, it's tremendous potential and a great opportunity."

As Chinese consumers develop a taste for international lifestyles, leading to a rise in the popularity of imported food in China, problems concerning labels, additives and the quality of imported food are also coming into the spotlight.

China's Xinhua News Agency reported earlier that the country's top quality supervisor found more than 300 batches of illegally imported food in August of 2013.

Jin Bangquan, a food expert with Nanjing Normal University suggests Chinese consumers should be cautious when selecting online shops where imported food can be purchased.

"Online shopping is sometimes inevitably risky. Online shoppers might know about online stores with a relatively high level of credibility where they feel safe to make purchases. I advise customers to be cautious particularly when they are about to buy baby formula."

Regarding the safety of imported food, Yihaodian's chairman Yu Gang thinks Yhd.com is regarded by experts as a safe website through which to buy imported food and he bases his self-confidence on the company's strict quality control efforts.

"We have a team around 50-members strong in charge of quality supervision and control. They work closely on asserting the qualifications of suppliers to evaluating the quality of commodities. In addition, because the guarantee period for food is usually pretty short, we've developed a special monitoring system related to the food guarantee period. When the guarantee period or sell-by date approaches, we receive an alarm, which reminds us to get it off the shelves and avoid any possible channels by which expired food could reach consumers."

China's National Bureau of Statistics said that sales of imported food amounted to 63 billion yuan in 2012, with an average annual growth of 15 percent over the previous five years.

Meanwhile, the US Association of Food Industries has forecast that by 2018, China will become the largest consumer of imported food, with a market worth 480 billion yuan.

For CRI, I'm Xu Fei.

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