) has opened its main online store in China on Tmall.com in a bid
to increase sales of its products and services in China.
Operated by the Alibaba Group, Tmall.com is China's largest
consumer e-commerce platform, with more than 50,000 merchants.
The opening of Microsoft's Tmall site follows the successful
debut of the Microsoft Online Store (MicrosoftStore.com.cn) in
China, which was launched last October.
The new site will be operated by a team in China, which will
oversee merchandise, offers and promotions depending on local
demand and offer more than 50 products. The online store will
also offer computer accessories, which can be purchased through
Microsoft will also initiate promotional campaigns in the
coming weeks to feature news on product launches and enable
consumers to pre-order and place deposits on products.
The opening of the store will help Microsoft to expand its
presence and increase market share in China. Chinese customers
now can easily access Microsoft products, which will likely boost
sales of its Surface tablets.
Microsoft is rapidly strengthening its global presence. It is
a late entrant in the tablet market and beating the competition
at this point will be an uphill task. Other successful tablets
) Nexus 7, Samsung's Galaxy tablets and
) Kindle Fire already have a strong presence in the market.
According to IDC, only 30,000 Surface RT tablets were shipped
in China during the fourth quarter of 2012 and its market share
among all tablets in the Chinese market was just 1%. In
comparison, Apple led the race with a 62% share of the tablet
market in China, while Android devices held a 36% share.
As per IDC's forecast, tablets may see an uptrend, with sales
touching 282.7 million units by 2016 and Windows-based tablets
capturing 10.0% of the market within the same time period.
Although Microsoft has fallen back in the tablet race, there
is still time to create its own niche. Combining the
functionality of a tablet and laptop, Surface can create interest
and attract new users. Hence, expansion of its online store in
the world's second largest e-commerce market, China, makes
Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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