Understanding the Challenges and Growth Potential For China Cross-Border E-Commerce

China has become a major player in the global e-commerce market, thanks in large part to its thriving cross-border e-commerce industry. Cross-border e-commerce refers to the process of selling products to consumers in a foreign country through online marketplaces or direct selling through the brands’ online stores.

China’s cross-border e-commerce industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by several factors, including the rise of the middle class in China, the increasing popularity of online shopping, and the government’s push to promote cross-border trade.

One of the key advantages of China’s cross-border e-commerce industry is the access to a large China consumer market. With many consumers across China looking for high-quality products at affordable prices, China’s e-commerce platforms have been able to tap into this demand and offer a wide range of products from different countries all across the globe.

Another advantage is the efficiency and convenience of cross-border e-commerce. Online marketplaces such as Alibaba’s Tmall and JD,com have made it easy for overseas merchants to sell products in China with buyers enjoying a seamless shopping experience. However, the cost of using marketplaces have risen over the years and this created opportunities for overseas merchants to develop their own ecommerce stores to sell directly to Chinese consumers.

Indeed, the cross-border e-commerce industry in China is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the regulatory environment. Cross-border e-commerce transactions are subject to a complex set of rules and regulations, including customs clearance procedures and tax requirements. This has led to some uncertainty and confusion for both sellers and buyers.

Another challenge is the issue of counterfeit goods in marketplaces. While China has made significant progress in cracking down on counterfeits in recent years, the problem still exists, and it can erode consumer trust in Chinese products. This is especially problematic for cross-border e-commerce, where buyers may be more likely to encounter unfamiliar brands and products. Consequently, overseas brands are investing in their own ecommerce stores to take back control of their brand trust.

Despite these challenges, China’s cross-border e-commerce industry continues to grow and evolve. In recent years, the industry has seen the emergence of new business models, such as social commerce and live streaming, which have enabled sellers to reach consumers in more innovative ways.

Viya Huang and Kim Kardashian collaborating on a live stream in 2019 | Photo source Tmall

Social commerce, for example, allows sellers to leverage social media platforms to promote their products and engage with potential customers. Live streaming, on the other hand, enables sellers to showcase their products in real time, answer questions from viewers, and offer special promotions and discounts. These new business models have helped to drive new growth of China’s cross-border e-commerce industry and opened up new opportunities for both sellers and buyers.

Looking ahead, the future of China’s cross-border e-commerce industry looks bright. The demand for high-quality, affordable products in China is likely to continue to grow. Overseas merchants looking to sell in China must be well-positioned to meet this demand; and adapt to the fast changing local business models and regulations.

Therefore, brands looking to thrive in the increasingly competitive China e-commerce market, will need to understand the key differences between China’s cross-border e-commerce industry and those of other countries.

As a China cross-border e-commerce platform provider, we have listed some of the most notable differences to help overseas brands understand the China landscape as compared to those of other countries. Here are a few of the differences:

  1. Scale: China’s cross-border e-commerce industry is the largest in the world, with billions of dollars in annual transactions. This is due in large part to the size of China’s domestic market and the country’s extensive network of online marketplaces and logistics providers.
  2. Government support: The Chinese government has actively supported the growth of the country’s cross-border e-commerce industry through policies and initiatives designed to encourage trade and investment. For example, the government has established special economic zones with tax incentives for cross-border e-commerce companies, and has streamlined customs clearance procedures to make it easier for businesses to import and export goods.
  3. Business models: China’s cross-border e-commerce industry has pioneered several innovative business models that are not widely used in other countries. For example, social commerce and live streaming have become popular ways for Chinese sellers to engage with customers and promote their products.
  4. Consumer preferences: Chinese consumers have different preferences and expectations than consumers in other countries, which has led to the development of unique product categories and marketing strategies in the cross-border e-commerce industry. For example, Chinese consumers are more likely to prioritize price and value over brand recognition when making purchasing decisions. However, the rise of Generation Z has created a different phenomenon where the young consumers are now looking for quality, but not necessary branded products. This segment has been educated or travelled widely overseas. They appreciate experience over mere consumerism.
  5. Regulations: Cross-border e-commerce regulations vary widely from country to country, and China’s regulatory environment is no exception. For example, China requires foreign e-commerce companies to register with the government and obtain permits before selling products in the country, while other countries may have different requirements or no requirements at all. This can create challenges for foreign businesses looking to enter the Chinese market, and can also make it difficult for Chinese businesses to sell products in other countries. Overseas merchants investing in China cross-border e-commerce should choose carefully the partners you work with, specifically payment gateway, warehouse and logistics; and cross-border ecommerce licensed platform providers.

Overall, while there are many similarities between cross-border e-commerce industries in different countries, China’s industry stands out for its scale, government support, innovative business models, unique consumer preferences, and regulatory environment.

Singapore Implements Mandatory SMS Sender ID Registration

The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has announced mandatory Sender ID registration with effect from January 31, 2023.

A Sender ID is typically an alphanumeric identifier like “XGATE” instead of the mobile number of the sender appearing on mobile messages. It is an identity for recipients to recognise the brand or company when they send mobile messages and it’s a good for branding purposes.

Any companies that wish to use alphanumeric Sender IDs when sending mobile messages will need to register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) to obtain a registered Sender ID starting January 31, 2023.  Non-registered SMS Sender IDs will be labelled with a “Likely-SCAM” header.

XGATE is registered with IMDA to be an authorised SMS aggregator in Singapore (listed in SMS Registry). This means we are authorised to help companies send mobile messages with alphanumeric header when they have obtained their registered Sender IDs.  Since SMS is an effective channel for marketers to reach their customers, this article aim to provide more information about the mandatory Sender IDs requirements in Singapore and registration process.

Why is Sender ID registration required?

Singapore IMDA first implemented Sender ID registration in March 2022 on a voluntary basis and resulted in 64% reduction in fraudulent and malicious SMS activity. Incidentally, brands that value good customer relationship also appreciate the importance for recipients of SMS messages to trust the Sender ID that is contacting them.

While mobile operators are responsible to block fraudulent SMS messages reaching their customers, they require systems in place to identify and prevent those abuse. Hence, registering Sender IDs will help mobile operators trace abuse more effectively to specific SMS senders. With a registered Sender ID, your messages bypass filters that can block unregistered traffic in mobile operators’ network and systems. This not only improves SMS deliverability rates, but also helps earn trust, because the recipients recognise the Sender ID.

What’s the process for Sender ID registration in Singapore?

If you plan to send mobile messages in Singapore using alphanumeric Sender ID, you’ll need to follow the following steps.

  1. Create an account & register for a Sender ID with Singapore SMS registry (portal link).
  2. Once your SMS Sender ID is approved (there will be an email confirmation), you may share the confirmation and Sender ID with your account manager or Support at XGATE. We will then proceed to set up your registered Sender ID in our SMS platform.

Before we implement the Sender ID for SMS broadcast or SMS API sending, we’ll perform a UAT to ensure the registered Sender ID is working properly. The completion time for business and Sender ID registrations varies; and cannot be expedited with the local regulators. Therefore, it is best you start your registration process early so that you can begin using Sender ID for your SMS messages and marketing campaigns.

How to register for your Sender ID via the SMS registry portal?

Before you begin, you should get ready the following information as they will be required to complete your Sender ID application.

  1. Point of contact person
  2. Company billing information
  3. Billing address
  4. Singapore company business registration number – Unique Entity Number (UEN)

We have prepared a document with step by step screen shots and instructions to help you with your Singapore Sender ID registration. Please download the user guide and use as reference when you log in to the SMS registry portal.

Download user guide: link

We recommend that you provide all the requested information in the Sender ID registration form. After submission, you will receive an email notification informing you of the approval status. Alternatively, you can also log in to the portal to check on your application status. If there are additional information required by the SSIR, you should address them to avoid any delay in submitting your Sender ID request.

Upon receiving the approval of your Sender ID application, share the confirmation email and Sender ID with the account manager or Support at XGATE. We will then proceed to set up your registered Sender ID in our SMS platform. Now, you’re all set to launch your SMS notifications and broadcast campaigns.

Overseas companies interested to send SMS in Singapore using Sender ID

If you’re a foreign company without a business registration in Singapore, you can still send SMS with Sender ID. Simply register your business first before you can apply for a Sender ID with SSIR. There are many companies that provide business registration services for foreign companies in Singapore. For example, Venture Haven (website).

Below is the incorporation process and estimated timeline for business registration:

  1. Agency to give client details required for Singapore company registration. E.g. Company name, address, telephone etc. (2 working days)
  2. Client to revert with information to draft incorp forms (1 working day upon receiving full details)
  3. Client to sign and make payment to lodge the incorporation on ACRA (1 working day upon receiving signed forms and payment). Incorporation on ACRA is instant.
  4. Bank account opening (2 to 3 weeks processing upon submitting all documents to the bank)

Applicants will need to pay around S$315 governmental fees for company registration. The fees are for name checking and application. Foreigners are required to hire a certified agency to help with the application. Under Singapore’s law, all registered companies will need a Corporate Secretary. You also need to hire a local director and have a registered Singapore address. Once you have a company, you will also need to submit accounting & tax reports to the government. Your Corporate Secretary will help you liaise with the relevant personnel so these reports can be filed.

Once you have a successfully registered your business in Singapore, you can simply follow the same steps to apply for a Sender ID in the SMS registry portal.

Adopt best practices for a good SMS marketing foundation

Build your list, ask for permission and personalised your message

SMS marketing is one of the best and most reliable ways for large and small organizations to connect with their customers in a personal way. The use of SMS for notifications, marketing campaigns and two-way authentication are on the rise. And there are good reasons for that – it works when done right.

Brands need to follow SMS best practices such as building your own list, ask for permission to send messages, personalised the content; and identify your brand with the Sender ID. Indeed, successful brands using SMS can typically reach 95% of users on their mobile devices. It all starts with the technology behind the message. This means you need to work with an experienced and innovative SMS gateway provider that can support all your mobile marketing requirements with different levels of marketing technology sophistication.

Sender IDs are a great tool for building brand awareness and trust for your customers receiving your SMS notifications or marketing messages. You can learn more about other digital services that can also help you with your communications or solutions that will generate more sales for your business from our Digital Marketing Services (DMS Suite).

The information provided in this article is accurate as at Jan 30, 2023.

MyMyPanda China Launches Cross-Border E-Commerce (CBEC)

China — November 1, 2022 – MyMyPanda China, has developed a proprietary cross-border e-commerce platform to serve overseas ecommerce brands looking to access the China market. The MyMyPanda CBEC platform is a one-stop solution designed to enhance online shopping experience for China consumers across multiple touchpoints – local payment options (i.e., Alipay, WeChat Pay and Union Pay), fast China customs clearance & tax; and speedy delivery (within three days from bonded warehouse).

China booming economy in the last five years has led to the growing demand for high-quality foreign products among affluent consumers. At the same time, China government’s introduction of new customs regulations and preferential rules for imported goods further fuel the rapid growth for cross-border ecommerce in the country.

CEO of MyMyPanda, Coy Qiu explains, “Chinese customers believe that foreign products are better in quality, less likely to be counterfeit; and cheaper than buying domestically. That’s why even though local brands are increasingly popular, China consumers still prefer to buy foreign brands especially fashion apparel, beauty, and luxury products.”

Indeed, fashion and beauty categories contributed the largest share of cross-border e-commerce imports. While many international brands have been looking towards China as a huge potential growth strategy for retail business, the customs clearance and duties have been complex and challenging. Compared to traditional trade that requires a lot of initial investment and physical retail presence, the cross-border e-commerce promoted by China government has a lower regulatory barrier, which provides overseas brands a transparent, fast and low-cost way to sell their products in China. Indeed, MyMyPanda CBCE platform is designed to serve this same purpose with better customer experience for China consumers. At the heart of the CBEC platform is a simple ecommerce “checkout” plugin that can be installed easily in almost any overseas online store website. This one simple step gives overseas ecommerce brands access to localised payment options, warehousing, faster customs & tax compliance; and streamlined delivery methods to facilitate direct-to-consumer cross-border transactions.

MyMyPanda CBEC platform received the official license from the China government after a long stringent approval process and qualification by various local authorities.

About MyMyPanda

MyMyPanda was founded in Jan 2021, headquartered at Chengdu, China. The company is setup with the sole purpose to provide cross-border e-commerce solutions for international brands looking to access the China market. Right after MyMyPanda International Limited (Hong Kong) established and CBEC platform license (code: 5101360AGU) granted by China Customs end of April 2021, MyMyPanda launched CBEC DTC (Direct To Consumer) store on WeChat Mini Program with KOC content marketing module, genealogy tree commission engine and local promotion supported at May 2021. MyMyPanda noted there are many technical and knowledge challenge for global brands to run CBEC business in China, thus the team started to develop the CBEC platform to help global brands. MyMyPanda platform integrates multiple China Custom ePorts, CBEC logistic partners for both direct shipping from global warehouse (CBEC code: 9610) and shipping from bonded warehouse (CBEC code: 1210); and support most commonly used CBEC payment gateway – WeChat Pay and Alipay. MyMyPanda got the EDI and ICP license (code: 川B2-20220888) from China government in July 2022. Thereafter, we provide professional CBEC services to international brands selling to China with platform launched at the end of Oct 2022.

AOTY 2022: A Journey To Remember

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE held its 12th Agency of the Year Awards, celebrating the success of agencies on Jun 17. Apart from CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year, XGATE was also nominated for Ecommerce Agency of the Year and Influencer Agency of the Year. The later being a new category that was introduced for the first time this year. We are proud to announce our achievements:

  1. CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Silver
  2. Ecommerce Agency of the Year – Bronze
  3. Influencer Agency of the Year (New) – Silver + Local Hero (red)


A Journey To Be Remembered
For those who do not know, the category for CRM & Loyalty has been heavily contested over the years. We have seen competitors like Emarsys, Fimmick, iClick and this year Prizm contesting for this category over the years. These players come and go, but XGATE has consistently in this category for the last six years since 2017. And here’s our journey to be remembered:

  1. 2017 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Gold + Local Hero
  2. 2018 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Gold + Local hero
  3. 2019 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Bronze
  4. 2020 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Bronze
  5. 2021 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Gold + Local Hero
  6. 2022 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year – Silver



A Tribute To All XGATE Employees
All these would not have been possible if not for the hard work from each and everyone in XGATE. Your dedication, passion and commitment are more than words can express. Your relentless effort to strive for excellence is paying off not only through awards recognition, but also through the brand recognition by clients when they speak of CRM & loyalty among marketing industry professionals. So, whether you’re in Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hong Kong or Singapore, on behalf of the management, a big ‘Thank You’ to team XGATE.

XGATE comes back with a Gold at Agency of the Year 2021 in Singapore

Clinching the Gold at the Agency of the Year Awards, XGATE has come out on top for CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year.

Clinching the Gold at the Agency of the Year Awards, XGATE has come out on top for CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year.

The Agency of the Year Awards hosted its prestigious awards ceremony, for the fourteenth year running in Singapore. Judged by a panel of marketing professionals from renowned brands and industry experts, the awards recognised XGATE’s prowess for innovation and strategy-building in CRM and digital marketing.

“We are so excited to be awarded Gold for CRM and Loyalty Agency of the Year. XGATE has been committed to support each and every client and are proud to witness our platform capabilities continue to grow from strength to strength. It goes without saying that it is an honour winning this award, and it was only possible with the dedication of our team and the trust we have with our clients.” said Dr. Tang Pak Kay, Business Director of XGATE Singapore.

Our awards this year include:

CRM and Loyalty Marketing Agency of the Year – Gold
Mobile Marketing Agency of the Year – Silver
Analytics Agency of the Year – Bronze

XGATE wins Gold at the Agency of the Year Awards 2021 Hong Kong

XGATE has been honoured with the Gold and Local Hero titles for CRM & Loyalty Agency Award towards excellence in CRM digital marketing practice at the recently held Agency of the Year Awards 2021.

Agency of the Year Awards 2021

Established by Marketing Magazine, the Agency of the Year (AOTY) Awards is the industry’s most widely recognised premier awards program in Hong Kong. The award wins signify the industry’s recognition for the innovative solutions and quality of service XGATE has contributed to brand communications and digital marketing.

During the pandemic, XGATE has continued to provide comprehensive digital services and as we strengthen our online presence to brands. With our multi-channel marketing services, marketing automation, and data analytics, we’re always helping our clients grow their businesses.

“Winning the Gold and Local Hero is an endorsement of our achievement in business performance and we are extremely grateful for our amazing team of passionate specialists who strive to create exceptional digital experiences with the most exciting innovative technologies,” said Xen Chia, Strategic Marketing Director of XGATE.

Agency of the Year Awards 2021

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients and partners for the trust placed in us during this difficult year, in which we have all adapted and evolved together. In the coming year, we will continue to advance our digital technology and provide innovative digital marketing solutions to all our clients.

This article has been updated on 22 Jul 2021.

We love seeing our clients win awards

Due to the pandemic, this year’s MobEx & Asia E-Commerce Awards 2021 was conducted via online event broadcast. The awards celebrate the industry’s champions for the most innovative and forward-thinking marketers in mobile & e-Commerce. We are excited to see our clients snatch the awards for their digital campaigns in the following categories:

Mob-Ex Awards 2021:
Best Use of Content – AXA Liverpool Campaign

Asia e-Commerce Awards 2021:
Best eCommerce Design – Timberland (Bronze) and D&G (Silver)
Best eCommerce Strategy – Timberland (Bronze) and D&G (Gold)
Best eCommerce Omnichannel –D&G (Gold)
Best eCommerce Leads Generation – D&G (Bronze)

Watch the awards ceremony here:

Once again, congratulations to our clients. More importantly, we are grateful for the trust and confidence of our clients who have chosen XGATE to develop their headless commerce strategy as a key transformation piece for their retail business. The future of commerce is already here and companies investing into online channels with the right business model and technology strategy will emerge as market leaders.

XGATE Receives ISO 27001 Certification

The certification recognizes the company’s dedication in protecting customer data.  We have established a systematic and ongoing management of information security risks to handle corporate and personal information.

February 2021 – XGATE’s Digital Marketing Services (DMS) platform handles a wide range of data – customer profile, transaction, loyalty points/tiers, BI data etc. and we put a priority to protect those data. The company has been working aggressively to meet the strictest security requirements in the industry. Those efforts have translated into the company receiving the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification– the accreditation for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).

ISO27001 logo


Being certified means XGATE has implemented data security controls, measures and policies that conform to internationally recognized standard. The global concerns of data privacy have led to many international legislation and data protection laws being implemented around the world like EU GDPR, HK PDPO and Singapore PDPA. Marketing agencies using digital platforms to collect and broadcast information need to guarantee those data are secured using methods conforming to formal, globally recognized processes. The Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed the rapid growth of a new digital era where certified approaches to data security will soon become standard for companies handling consumer data.

The global standard for information security is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and it comprises a spectrum of requirements for the creation of a comprehensive information security management system, or ISMS.

“The certification of XGATE ISMS recognizes the company’s dedication in protecting customer data.  We have established a systematic and ongoing management of information security risks to handle corporate and personal information,” according to Harry Chan, MIS Director at XGATE.

Parry Tam, Operations Director, “The ISO certification is an important milestone for the company. Not only do we have a secure process for the team to develop and launch quality products; but also, a proven approach to ensure service availability, and business continuity to assure our clients entrusting us with their data.”

XGATE’s certification was issued after the completion of a formal audit performed by QAS International. Questions about XGATE’s certification can be directed to Harry Chan, MIS Director, who is responsible for governing implementation and overseeing all ISO controls.

XGATE x CX Conference 2019

This September, XGATE participated in an insightful knowledge exchange session with over 150 senior marketers at the Customer Experience conference 2019 – Hong Kong.

This September, XGATE participated in an insightful knowledge exchange session with over 150 senior marketers at the Customer Experience conference 2019 – Hong Kong.

Some key points discussed included the importance for brands to create exceptional customer experiences based on their shopping journey. Making sense of complex data collected to understand consumer buying motivation or even predictive behaviours. The session provided a platform for CRM marketers to share case studies, discuss technical challenges and compare digital strategies.

XGATE Takes Gold At AOTY 2018 For Second Year Running

At Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year 2018, XGATE for the second year running has won Gold and Local Hero for CRM & Loyalty Agency Award; and Silver for Direct Marketing Agency Award.

At Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year 2018, XGATE for the second year running has won Gold and Local Hero for CRM & Loyalty Agency Award; and Silver for Direct Marketing Agency Award.

The awards, judged by a panel of marketing professionals from CSL Mobile, Hong Kong Tourism Board, KFC and Lane Crawford to name a few, demonstrate XGATE’s excellence for strategy, innovation and execution in CRM digital marketing.

“We are thrilled to win gold for the second year running. The awards serve as a prestigious honour to recognise XGATE among the best in the CRM and loyalty marketing industry. Importantly, the company is grateful to have a team of exceptional talents committed to support every one of our clients succeed in their digital transformation journey,” said Xen Chia, Strategic Marketing Director of XGATE.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, brands are seeking for more advanced personalization and automation solutions to improve customer loyalty. The ability to track marketing performance using data insights and adjust your digital strategy promptly are critical to stay ahead of your business. XGATE understands those needs and build them into the Digital Marketing Services (DMS) platform to help brands achieve the idealistic outcome. Our platform capabilities continue to grow from strength to strength and our expansion into Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Singapore is viewed as a long term strategic investment to establish our leadership in CRM & loyalty marketing for this region.