China’s flagging birth rate, weak consumer spending prompt top online baby-and-mom emporium Mia.com to trim operations

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China’s common online buying emporium for baby-and-mom merchandise, Mia.com, will shut its foremost app from Sept 10 amid weak consumer spending and a inhabitants disaster on this planet’s second-largest economic system, the place the number of births declined for the fifth consecutive yr in 2021.

Beijing-based Mia.com, which was valued at greater than US$1bil (RM4.42bil) in 2015, mentioned it was “time to say goodbye” owing to “changes in consumer behaviour”, in accordance to an announcement on its official web site on July 1. The agency mentioned it should proceed to promote merchandise through its mini program on WeChat, the Tencent Holdings-owned tremendous app.

Founded in 2011 by stay-at-home mom and entrepreneur Liu Nan, privately-held Mia.com noticed its enterprise increase over the previous decade on the again of robust demand for imported baby-and-mom merchandise equivalent to diapers, baby milk formula, toys and clothes.

That demand helped the startup shortly elevate recent capital from varied buyers, together with the likes of Sequoia Capital China and ZhenFund. The ecommerce business was additionally stimulated by China’s choice to loosen its one-child policy in 2013.

The landing page of Mia.com, operator of a popular Chinese online shopping emporium for baby-and-mom merchandise. Photo: Handout

The choice by Mia.com to scale back operations and as a substitute use WeChat’s platform to promote its items, displays how the market has soured on specialist baby-and-mom buying portals amid the nation’s flagging birth price, weak consumer spending and elevated competitors from bigger e-commerce platforms.

Mia.com ranked behind JD.com, Vipshop and Alibaba Group Holding’s Tmall when it comes to the vary of manufacturers lined for the baby-and-mom items market phase, in accordance to 2021 information from ecommerce consulting agency 100ec.cn. It additionally discovered Mia.com’s costs to be larger than common, in contrast with these bigger buying platforms. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

“With the stagnant traffic growth (of China’s digital economy), operators of vertical online platforms focused on baby-and-mom products are seeing fierce competition for consumers from integrated e-commerce platforms,” mentioned Mo Daiqing, director of the online retail division at 100ec.cn.

Mia.com didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Wednesday. Before Mia.com’s newest initiative, different Chinese baby-and-mom buying platforms, together with Beibei.com and Muyingzhijia, have both closed or considerably scaled again their operations.

Not even China’s transfer to introduce a three-child policy in May 2021 and earlier this yr, a non-public sector provide of cash bonuses as well as more paid leave for folks, helped Mia.com increase its buyer base.

When the startup was based in 2011, the nationwide birth price was 13.27 births for each 1,000 individuals. It dropped to 7.52 births last year.

That development and the chance to appeal to extra shoppers away from impartial platforms weren’t misplaced on China’s main ecommerce gamers like Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo, all of which have made baby-and-mom merchandise a key promotion phase particularly throughout Singles’ Day and the midyear 618 shopping festival.

Still, the scale of China’s baby-and-mom merchandise market is forecast to attain 4.7 trillion yuan (RM3.10 trillion) by 2025, with two-thirds of gross sales transacted in offline shops, in accordance to a report revealed by iResearch in March this yr. – South China Morning Post



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