Fitbit has inked a online retail deal with Tmall.com, a site operated by China-based ecommerce giant, Alibaba to sell its devices.
“Alibaba is the gateway to China for international brands seeking to access one of the world’s largest consumer markets, and we are pleased to announce this partnership to provide Chinese consumers greater access to Fitbit products,” Hao Li, GM of 3Cs Business Unit of Alibaba, said in a statement. “Across China there is a growing interest in personal health, fitness and overall well-being, and we see very strong demand from our customers in these categories – specifically for Fitbit devices. We look forward to leveraging Fitbit’s leadership in the emerging field of connected health and fitness to connect our consumers with the budding national fitness craze.”
The goal of the agreement is to expand Fitbit’s reach in China. Tmall aims to help Fitbit reach “10 million fans in Asia”, according to the press release. To kick off this partnership, Tmall will host a Fitbit Super Brand Day in May that promotes the company's newest devices, the Blaze and Alta devices.
“Since 2014, we’ve seen steady growth in the market as Chinese consumers become more aware of how Fitbit devices enable you to live a more balanced, more active life,” Fitbit Chief Business Officer Woody Scal said in a statement. “…We’ve always seen great potential in China, and we’re looking forward to launching the fashionable Fitbit Blaze and Alta devices through Tmall.”
Earlier this month, Fitbit announced that in its first month of selling its two newest device: Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta devices, it had sold 1 million of each. Additionally, during that time frame, the company says the Blaze was the best-selling device in the smartwatch category on Amazon.
Misfit, another activity tracking wearable company, has been growing its footprint in China for a few years now. In 2014 Misfit raised $40 million from China-based strategic investors ecommerce giant JD.com and smartphone maker Xiaomi. At the end of last year the company was acquired by Fossil.
Last year Misfit CEO Sonny Vu told MobiHealthNews that its investors Xiaomi, the third largest smartphone maker in the world, and JD.com, which Vu compared to Amazon, would help Misfit better understand the Chinese market and help it to develop and launch products more quickly. Vu said that while Misfit’s activity trackers are probably in third place in the US behind Fitbit and Jawbone, in China it is the most popular of those major brands.