China will be hosting its own version of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shenzhen from 20 to 22 April 2016.
Called Consumer Electronics China, the event resulted from the partnership between Alibaba's Tmall.com and organisers of the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA), an annual trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin.
Even though the details of companies expected to participate in the show have not been revealed, Yin Jing, Alibaba's General Manager for 3C products and home appliances, said that participants would include a number of global brands and startups.
Sandy Shen, an analyst at research firm Gartner, told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that the event could provide suppliers in Shenzhen a boost to their sales amid the country's lingering economic slowdown. "Shenzhen is the hub of hardware technology innovation in China, so the show is an opportunity for local businesses to present their products to a wider public audience."
She added that the event will also enhance Tmall's competitiveness as an e-commerce platform for computers, communications products and consumer electronics (3C). This is important for Alibaba as the consumer electronics business is still dominated by Tencent Holding's JD.com. According to data from iResearch, JD.com had a 59.2 percent share out of the 168.06 billion yuan worth of sales for 3C products in the first half of 2015. On the other hand, Tmall only contributed to 27.1 percent of the sales in the same period.
Echoing Shen's sentiments, Forrester Research analyst Charlie Dai told SCMP that "the new trade show will help Alibaba expand its consumer technology ecosystem."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.