IBM to build e-commerce research labs for Chinese retailer

IBM is building two research centers for Suning Appliance

IBM has reached a deal with Chinese electronics retailer Suning Appliance to build research centers in China and the U.S. meant to develop e-commerce products for the company.

IBM, already a provider of internal management systems for Suning since 2005, will now help the Chinese company expand its e-commerce site and services, said IBM spokeswoman Harriet Ip.

As part of the plan, IBM will build a research center in the Chinese city of Nanjing that will be staffed with 15,000 Suning employees over the next three to five years. Some of the products the center will develop include applications to allow household appliances to connect with the Internet and mobile handsets.

IBM is also establishing a joint development lab with Suning in Silicon Valley. The planning for the lab is still in the preliminary stages, but it will also focus on developing e-commerce services, Ip said.

Suning made the deal as the company is aiming at a greater presence in China's burgeoning e-commerce sector. While Suning has 1,700 physical stores, the company has to compete with the likes of China's Alibaba Group, which operates two of the top online retail sites in the country.

Suning has launched its own business-to-consumer (B2C) site, which now has a 2.4 percent market share, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. In contrast, Alibaba's Taobao Mall has a 35.5 percent share.

"There is no question that we live in a time of rapid change that calls for the transformation of organizations in many industries," said Frank Kern, an IBM senior vice president in a speech last Friday.

Suning's goal is to build an e-commerce platform that will better personalize the shopping experience, by recommending appropriate products and providing better search. Financial terms of the detail were not disclosed.

Suning could not be immediately reached for comment. The company's president Zhang Jindong said in a statement that his company was moving to a business model that could leverage both e-commerce and physical retail shopping.

"With this innovative business model, consumers, suppliers and businesses along with society can all benefit," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesmobile applicationse-commerceIBMmobileinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?