'China's Shopify' Youzan Debuts E-Commerce SaaS for Oveseas Retailers
COVID-19 and China

The Hong Kong-listed e-commerce Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company Youzan (08083:HK) has launched a product for overseas users and has started to attract users to take part in internal testing.

Youzan was founded in 2012 when the 'mobile internet' wind swept over China. The company provides e-commerce SaaS solutions inside the ecosystem of WeChat, China's mega app owned by Tencent (00700:HK).  Its services include assisting retailers in building their shopping sites, order management, tracking, marketing and other services.

Unlike Shopify (SHOP:NYSE), which runs independently without relying on any tech-giant-controlled ecosystem, Youzan's business is bound tightly with WeChat, though now it has stretched out to seek some independence while integrating AliPay services into its system. The WeChat environment is big enough to support two e-commerce SaaS companies: one is Youzan and the other is Weimob (02013:HK).

Functioning as an SaaS services provider and an e-marketplace, Youzan generates revenue from SaaS and add-on services fees and transaction fees. The company reported an earning of CNY 597 million (USD 86 million) from SaaS and add-on services in the first half of 2020, with a year-on-year growth of 89.5%; transaction fee generated CNY 203 million (USD 29 million) in the same period, with a year-on-year increase of 41.0%. Due to the boosted digitalization process amid the pandemic, Chinese SaaS companies have seen high growth.

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