A cargo company under China Eastern Airlines has opened a website that sells fresh imported food directly to consumers, the Shanghai Evening Post reported Thursday.
The company, China Eastern Express, aims to use the service to capitalize on the growing demand for imported food in Shanghai, said Fu Damao, the deputy manager of the company's e-commerce department. "High-income residents are very concerned about food safety and desperately want qualified food from overseas," he told the Global Times.
China Eastern Express launched the website, www.eaemall.com, Monday after six months of internal testing. The site currently sells 60 products from Europe and North America, including seafood, fruit and meat.
The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, markets the site as a convenient way for locals to obtain fresh food from overseas.
"It only takes 70 to 80 hours to get a box of cherries from the US to your door," Fu said.
The website takes orders before 3 pm each day and immediately sends them to their distributors abroad.
The site's selection of products is limited to countries that China Eastern Express already flies to for its cargo service, Fu said. Currently, the company flies primarily to Europe and North America, though it plans to expand the service to South America later this year.
The website only accepts orders from Shanghai residents at present, though the company hopes to make the service available to other parts of China next year, Fu said. The site also carries products from inside China, including delicacies such as Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs and matsutake mushrooms from Yunnan Province.
The website serves as China Eastern Express' first step toward developing an international e-commerce business. The company plans to make the website bilingual by the end of this year.
"We will not only import products from abroad; we also hope to take domestic products overseas," Fu said.