#Asia Is it appropriate for Indonesian govt to launch e-commerce site Inamall with Alibaba Group?


It claims to be the forefront platform to market made-in-Indonesia products to Chinese customers


The Indonesian Ministry of Trade is working together with Alibaba Group to officially launch Indonesian products retail portal in China called Inamall on Friday, July 8. This partnership is fostered by the Ministry of Trade (MoT) to give an opportunity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to sell their flagship products to the Chinese market.

As a B2C platform of Alibaba Group subsidiary Tmall Global, Inamall is set to become the go-to portal for Indonesian products that are yet to enter the Chinese retail market, which also happens to characterised these products.

“This platform gives access for Indonesian entrepreneurs to sell their products directly to customers in China, without having to go through importers or distributors,” said Minister of Trade Thomas Trikasih Lembong in a press release on MoT official site.

Since its soft-launching last year, the Inamall site has been accessed by more than 400 million netizens in China, as reported by Kontan. Inamall specifically features various flagship products that makes it easier for Chinese customers to purchase Indonesian products through the Inamall portal.

Also Read: [Updated] Public transportation drivers call for Uber ban, Indonesian government dissents

Should this partnership be endorsed by the government?

At the other hand, governmental support as given through the MoT deserves some credit of its own. At the very least it is able to open up new opportunities for local SMEs to sell its products to Chinese markets, which is often lauded for its market size.

But the remaining question will be, is it necessary for the government, as represented by MoT, to foster a partnership with the Alibaba Group, which is a foreign e-commerce player which may directly competing with local marketplaces and e-commerce sites?

It would be beautiful if the government gives extra support and opportunities for local players to enter the global market by selling Indonesian products under the banner of local marketplaces and e-commerce sites instead.

It will be a pride of its own if local e-commerce players such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Kaskus and Mataharimall were the ones appointed to be in charge of marketing Indonesian products to China, compared to using Alibaba Group to reach out to market. There is also the possibility that the partnership may ease their path to crush local e-commerce players, considering even Lazada is now under Alibaba’s control.

It seems that there is no strong urgency for the government to foster the partnership, which gives the image of being excessive and unnecessary. The main concern will be the possibility of local SMEs –who had been a loyal user of local-made online marketplaces– to turn their heads to Inamall due to the temptation to expand their business internationally? This is something that should be put into consideration, not only by the government, but also other stakeholders in the business.

The article Pantaskah Pemerintah Bersama Alibaba Group Meluncurkan E-Commerce Inamall? was first written by Yenny Yusra and published on DailySocial. English translation by e27.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them.e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your article here.

The post Is it appropriate for Indonesian govt to launch e-commerce site Inamall with Alibaba Group? appeared first on e27.

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