Indonesia E-Commerce: Chinese investment helps foster sector
Chinese companies are making their presence known in Indonesia's e-commerce sector resulting in a boom in the country's digital economy. Chinese investors are pouring in their money into Indonesian marketplace websites, helping to foster local brands. CGTN's Silkina Ahluwalia spoke to a young businessman who is benefitting from those investments.
As a young entrepreneur, Brian had one goal in mind. He wanted to make his business convenient for his customers in Indonesia. After years of studying abroad, he brought his expertise back to his hometown where he is now the owner of an online furniture business.
BRIAN KARNO JAN ENTREPRENEUR "With the help of this marketplace, young companies are able to reach a wider audience. Many websites now offer a special feature where customers can shop only local products. Big companies are now giving the opportunity for local companies to shine and diverting the nation's attention to buying local products rather than imported products from abroad. I see that the trend is getting better and it is helping to grow the e-commerce industry here in Indonesia."
Brian is just one out of millions of merchants that are making a living from Tokopedia.
SILKINA AHLUWALIA JAKARTA, INDONESIA "At least 50 percent of the international capital inflow into Indonesia's e-commerce industry is coming from China. Companies like Alibaba and Tencent as well as Chinese venture capital firms are pouring in their money into this fast-growing industry."
In 2017, Alibaba invested a total of 1.1 billion US dollars into Tokopedia, further accelerating the company's expansion into Southeast Asia. A report by Morgan Stanley predicted that Indonesia's e-commerce sales could rise from 3 percent to nearly 20 percent by 2027.
THOMAS LEMBONG HEAD OF INDONESIA INVESTMENT COORDINATING BOARD "I believe China is very well positioned to play an important role in what they call industrial revolution 4.0 because China is where so many of the world's factories are located. So I think the fourth industrial revolution has to run through China. I think the way that impacts countries like Indonesia is that we have to be very attuned to these new technologies and how these new technologies will shift the dynamic and the areas where we can contribute."
And that's because in this technologically-advanced economy, most of the cheap labour are already being replaced by robots, machineries and in some places, artificial intelligence. The global e-commerce market, especially Indonesia, continues to seek individuals with passion, determination and a vision for a promising future. Silkina Ahluwalia, CGTN, Jakarta.