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本文摘要:On a cold day in April, a group of New Zealand fishermen set out to harvest 50,000 large oysters from the waters of the South Pacific.4月严寒的一天,新西兰一群渔民抵达去南太平洋水域沉船5万只大生蚝。


On a cold day in April, a group of New Zealand fishermen set out to harvest 50,000 large oysters from the waters of the South Pacific.4月严寒的一天,新西兰一群渔民抵达去南太平洋水域沉船5万只大生蚝。Once collected, the briny mollusks were transported to processing facilities, packaged four to a container, sealed in chilled polystyrene containers affixed with bright labeling and put on planes to China.一旦被沉船一起,这些生长在海水里的软体动物将被运到加工厂,四只一盒包,报废在聚苯乙烯冷藏集装箱里。

集装箱会贴上暗淡的标签,然后攀上赶赴中国的飞机。Over the next three days, the oysters traveled thousands of miles to 67 cities across the Chinese mainland. There, they were shipped — still alive — by an army of deliverymen to the homes of thousands of shoppers who had ordered them using Tmall, a website operated by Alibaba, the sprawling Internet empire on the verge of an initial public offering that will most likely value it at about $160 billion.在接下来的三天时间里,这些生蚝横跨数千英里,到达中国大陆的67座城市。


It was a logistical feat, transporting oysters from the seabed to the doorsteps of more than 30,000 customers. But it was more than an exercise in supply-chain management.将生蚝从海底送往3万多名消费者的家门口是物流业的一项伟业。但这某种程度是供应链管理在一试身手。

For Alibaba, it was part of a continuing effort to make the instant gratification of global e-commerce accessible to China’s expanding middle class. If the biggest Internet company in the world’s most populous nation succeeds, it will make everything from culinary delicacies to flashy luxury goods available with a few keystrokes.对阿里巴巴而言,这是一项持续希望的一部分,目标是让中国日渐壮大的中产阶级,取得全球化电子商务带给的即时享用。中国是全世界人口最少的国家,而阿里巴巴则是这里仅次于的互联网公司。如果它顺利了,人们只需敲打几下键盘,之后能享用到一切,从美味佳肴到华丽奢侈品。

The degree to which Alibaba can deliver on this promise will help determine how much the company is ultimately worth and to what extent it can open up the enormous Chinese market to both global retailers and small businesses in search of growth.阿里巴巴还清这一许诺的程度,将有助确认这家公司最后的价值,以及它在多大程度上能协助谋求快速增长的全球零售商和小企业,关上极大的中国市场。“It’s a huge opportunity for international sellers to tap into that market,” said Victor Anthony, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets. “Particularly as the Chinese consumer’s wallet size is increasing all the time.”“对跨国卖家而言,转入这一市场是一个极大的机遇,”托皮卡资本市场(Topeka Capital Markets)的分析师维克托·安东尼(Victor Anthony)说道。“特别是在是中国消费者的钱包于是以更加钹。”The Chinese middle class, those earning from $9,000 to $34,000 a year, is poised to balloon over the next 10 years. More than 75 percent of China’s urban consumers will fall into that demographic by 2022, according to a recent report by McKinsey Company. In turn, demand for luxury goods and exotic foods like oysters is set to surge.中国的中产阶级,即年收入在9000美元至3.4万美元之间的人群,将在未来10年急遽减少。

麦肯锡(McKinsey Company)最近公布的一份报告称之为,到2022年,中国多达75%的城市消费者将踏入中产阶级的行列。适当的,对奢侈品和生蚝等进口食物的市场需求也必定不会激增。

“The evolution of the middle class means that sophisticated and seasoned shoppers — those able and willing to pay a premium for quality and to consider discretionary goods and not just basic necessities — will soon emerge as the dominant force,” the report said.这份报告中写到,“中国中产阶级在下一个十年不会之后高速快速增长。中产阶级减少意味著将经常出现更加老练、更加有经验的购物者,他们有能力也不愿多花点钱出售优质商品、随便购物而不仅仅限于基本市场需求,这部分人将迅速沦为消费的主力军。”Even now, nearly 600 million people in China are using the Internet. “It is a huge market, nearly double the population in the United States,” Anthony said.即使是现在,中国也有将近6亿网民。

“这是一个可观的市场,完全是美国人口的两倍,”安东尼说道。And Alibaba already dominates the online lives of Chinese shoppers. Tmall, its upscale website where brands sell directly to consumers, hosts portals for big companies like Microsoft, Lego and Puma.而且阿里巴巴早已主导着中国消费者的网络生活了。在顺应高端市场的天猫网站上,各品牌必要面向消费者销售。微软公司(Microsoft)、乐高(Lego)和Adidas(Puma)等大公司皆在天猫上另设官方店铺。

“Alibaba is working really hard to attract a higher-end customer,” said Kelland Willis, an analyst at Forrester Research.“阿里巴巴正在十分希望地更有更高端的消费者,”弗雷斯特研究公司(Forrester Research)的分析师凯兰·威利斯(Kelland Willis)说道。Taobao, an Alibaba website that is the equivalent of eBay, offers millions of listings, many of dubious provenance. Together, these two sites account for 80 percent of Chinese e-commerce. And that scale makes Alibaba’s reach irresistible to international brands hoping to reach Chinese consumers.阿里巴巴旗下相等于eBay的网站淘宝获取了数百万种商品,但其中许多极为怀疑。

这两个网站特一起占到中国电子商务市场的80%。此等规模让期望认识到中国消费者的跨国品牌无法抗拒阿里巴巴的邀请。“There is a massive opportunity for us,” said Daniel McKinnon, head of global brand protection at New Balance, the Boston-based sneaker company. “Alibaba is already larger than Amazon and eBay combined, and their market penetration is still relatively low.”“这对我们来说是一个极大的机会,”新百伦(New Balance)全球品牌维护事务负责人丹尼尔·麦金农(Daniel McKinnon)说道。这家运动鞋公司总部坐落于波士顿。

“阿里巴巴早已比亚马逊(Amazon )和eBay特一起还大了,而他们的市场渗透率仍然比较不低。”Seeking to take advantage of Alibaba’s scale, New Balance is among the global brands that have opened a dedicated shop on Tmall. The online store provides a secure way for New Balance to sell authentic goods to Chinese consumers willing to pay full price and gives customers the confidence that they are not buying counterfeits.期望利用阿里巴巴的规模的新百伦,是在天猫上开办了分店的跨国品牌之一。

这家网店为公司获取了一个安全性的途径,可以向不愿缴纳正价的中国消费者销售正品,并让他们坚信,购买的不是伪冒产品。Early success with the Tmall shop has helped make China the fastest-growing market for New Balance, and Mr. McKinnon said sales on the site were brisk.天猫上的这家店获得的前期顺利,协助中国沦为了新百伦快速增长最慢的市场。麦金农回应,天猫上的做生意极为兴隆。Such efforts might also make a small dent in the growing trade deficit with China. The United States imported $440.4 billion worth of Chinese goods last year and exported just $121.7 billion to China, according to the Census Bureau. That resulted in a trade imbalance of $318.7 billion with the country, the highest ever, according to the bureau.这些希望也许不会让美国与中国之间日益上升的贸易逆差略为有减轻。

根据美国人口普查局(Census Bureau)发布的数据,去年,美国从中国进口了总价值4404亿美元的商品,但仅向中国出口了1217亿美元。普查局回应,与中国的贸易逆差超过了3187亿美元,创历史新纪录。


But like many other big companies, New Balance continues to struggle with counterfeits on Alibaba sites. Mr. McKinnon said that more than 200,000 fake New Balance products were for sale on Taobao. And in recent months, more counterfeits have been appearing on Tmall as well.不过,与许多其他大公司一样,新百伦仍然受到阿里巴巴网站上仿冒品的后遗症。麦金农说道,淘宝下有20多万件冒充的新百伦产品在出售。最近几个月,天猫上也经常出现了更加多的冒牌货。

What is more, Alibaba does not make it easy for New Balance to remove counterfeits from its sites. Mr. McKinnon said he was required to flag each individual counterfeit listing he wanted removed, an impossible task with so many fakes for sale. “I don’t have time,” he said. “I could do it 24/7.”而且,阿里巴巴并没让新百伦从其网站移除除仿冒品的工作显得精彩。麦金农称之为,阿里巴巴拒绝他标记出有期望去除的每一件仿冒品。


“这件事得每天24小时不时地做到。”Alibaba has become more active in enforcing counterfeits on Tmall in recent months as it seeks to protect that site as a trusted marketplace. And in an apparent quid pro quo, Mr. McKinnon said once New Balance established a shop on Tmall, Alibaba appeared more eager to remove listings for knockoff sneakers.最近几个月,阿里巴巴期望能维护天猫有一点信赖的形象,所以在更加大力地压制冒牌商品。


Yet counterfeits remain rampant. On Taobao and AliExpress, the English-language version of the site, myriad fakes of all shapes and sizes are evident. An imitation Rolex can be had for $9. A fake Gucci bag goes for $36.不过,假货现象还是很横行。在淘宝及其英文网站阿里巴巴全球速卖通(AliExpress)上,显著不存在大量形态各异、尺寸不一的仿冒品。

只需花9美元就能购买一块仿造的劳力士(Rolex)手表,而36美元即能售予一款冒充的古代驰(Gucci)手袋。This has led to some disputes between big brands and Alibaba. This summer a group of luxury brands including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci sued Alibaba, contending the company was enabling counterfeiters. The suit was quickly withdrawn, and the companies pledged to work together, but the episode illustrated simmering tensions between luxury retailers and Alibaba.大品牌由此与阿里巴巴产生了一些纠纷。今年夏天,还包括伊夫圣罗兰(Yves Saint Laurent)和古驰在内的几家奢华品牌对阿里巴巴驳回诉讼,谴责阿里巴巴在助长售假现象。

这起诉讼迅速被撤消,双方允诺将进行合作,但该事件也说明了奢侈品零售商与阿里巴巴之间的对立一触即发。Elsewhere in the Alibaba empire, however, the partnerships are more harmonious. On Tmall, authentic Prada handbags are available for authentically sky-high prices, including a peach-colored leather satchel for $2,900.然而,在阿里巴巴帝国的其他地方,也不存在着更加人与自然的合作关系。

天猫上某种程度出售真品普拉达(Prada)手袋,其价格当然也低得难以置信,比如一只售价2900美元的桃红色皮包。Over all, Mr. McKinnon said the experience with Alibaba had been a good one for New Balance, giving the company access to millions of new consumers. But the fight against counterfeiters will be a constant struggle. “Alibaba knows this remains a huge issue,” he said.麦金农说道,总体而言,与阿里巴巴的合作对于新百伦而言是一次较好的经历,公司由此取得了认识成百上千万新的消费者的途径。


”In the same way that Tmall offers Chinese consumers access to real luxury goods, not knockoffs, it is offering imported foods like the New Zealand oysters in a bid to allay persistent concerns about food safety.在为中国消费者获取出售货真价实的奢侈品——而非仿冒品——的同时,天猫也在获取进口食品,比如新西兰的生蚝。这是为了减低人们仍然以来对食品安全的忧虑。“There are so many concerns with safety,” said Keith Schneller, director of the United States Agriculture Department’s trade office in Shanghai, who helped organize the sale of some produce and seafood through Tmall. “Is it real? Is it fake? When we work together and can provide an endorsement, it gives the Chinese consumers a little more confidence.”“大众十分关心食品安全问题,”美国农业部贸易处上海办公室主任石耐劳(Keith Schneller)说道。

他曾参予通过天猫销售一些产品和海鲜的的组织工作。“这是知道?还是骗的?如果我们能进行合作、获取证书,就能给中国消费者减少一点信心。”Other fresh food promotions by Alibaba have included blueberries from Chile, tulips from the Netherlands and 50 tons of Alaskan seafood worth more than $1 million.阿里巴巴还在广告宣传其他生动产品,还包括智利的蓝莓、荷兰的郁金香,以及价值多达100万美元的50吨阿拉斯加海鲜。

“Many consumers are untrusting of the food they can buy in China,” said Ms. Willis of Forrester. “Being able to buy certified imported products installs some trust in the customer.”“许多消费者都不信赖他们能在中国购买的食品,”弗雷斯特公司的威利斯说道。“如果能出售一些经过证书的进口产品,就可以减少消费者的信心。”Alibaba declined to comment on the programs because the company is in a quiet period ahead of its I.P.O. But in a promotional video posted online, the company highlighted the booming appetite for foreign goods.阿里巴巴拒绝接受对这些项目置评,因为公司正处于IPO前的静默期。但公司在网上宣传片中引人注目特别强调,人们对外国商品的兴趣正在急速减少。

With growing demand in China for imported products, the company said in the video that Tmall had been building its fresh food platform through a series of joint promotions with foreign trade offices.随着中国对进口产品的市场需求日益充沛,阿里巴巴在宣传片中回应,通过与外国贸易机构联合积极开展一系列推展活动,天猫正在搭起自己的生鲜食品平台。Earlier this year, when Tmall sold the oysters, Mike Arand, New Zealand’s trade commissioner in Shanghai, ordered some for himself, longing for a taste of his homeland.今年早些时候,当天猫开始销售生蚝时,缅怀家乡味道的新西兰贸易发展局派驻上海商务帮办马克·艾隆(Mike Arand)也给自己采购了一些。His package arrived less than 72 hours after he had placed his order. When he opened the box, he was happily surprised to find a small knife, a rubber glove and a lime, along with instructions on how to properly shuck an oyster.在订单下了还将近72小时后,他就接到了包覆。关上盒子,他惊艳地找到里面有把小刀、一只橡胶手套、一枚青柠,同时还有一份说明如何刨生蚝的解释。

“They were very good,” he said. “And they got here quite fast.”“东西十分棒,”他说道。“而且车主速度也非常慢。