E-marketplace gives HK’s ‘big health’ brands better access to mainland

Media Coverage: CHINADAILY

GS1 Hong Kong and Zenecom International Group on Wednesday signed an agreement on a cross-boundary ‘big-health’ e-commerce initiative, which aims to bring the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s premium over-the-counter medicines, health supplements, and beauty and skincare products to consumers in the Chinese mainland. 

The cross-boundary e-marketplace “HK Trusted Market+WJH” program, jointly launched by GS1 HK and Zenecom, is designed to allow HKSAR and overseas businesses specializing in pharmaceutical and beauty products easy access to the mainland market and boost mainland consumers’ confidence in HKSAR brands. 

Zenecom will provide one-stop services covering online and offline (O2O) product listing, marketing, and sales operations. Products listed on the digital platform under the program will be given an exclusive anti-counterfeiting QR code — “REAL Barcode”— by GS1 HK to validate their authentic source and quality. 

A simple scan of the REAL Barcode will generate information about the product in question so that consumers can authenticate it before buying. 

Roy Lei, chief executive of Zenecom, said the program will help to ensure the authenticity and integrity of big health products whether imported from the HKSAR or overseas. 

According to the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint issued by the State Council, the mainland’s health service industry is expected to be worth 16 trillion yuan (US$2.4 trillion) in 2030, and the big health market has taken off in recent years. 

“Given that, it is prime time for Hong Kong pharmaceutical and skincare businesses to branch out to the mainland market. And the premise of the business expansion is to win trust from the mainland consumers,” said Lei. 

Michael Wong of HairAgain 2000, an HKSAR company which has joined the program, said “Mainland consumers place a great premium on the efficacy and provenance of the product. Digitalization is relevant to expose consumers to transparent information so that they can make informed online purchasing decisions.”

Anna Lin, chief executive of GS1 HK, said “Hong Kong-made products have enjoyed a sound reputation with mainland consumers who have maintained strong confidence in pharmaceutical and beauty goods imported from Hong Kong.”“Our members revealed numerous obstacles to develop in the mainland,” noted Lin, who is convinced that the program will pave the way for HKSAR and overseas companies to flourish under the mainland’s new O2O retail model.