Taking brands global through affiliate marketing

55Haitao drives $150 million in affiliate sales in 2015 with Rakuten Affiliate Network.

55Haitao is the go-to destination for Mainland Chinese cross-border shoppers looking to find relevant deals and informative content from top global brands. Since 55Haitao was established in 2011 by Alan Gu, it has become the fastest growing US-based Chinese publisher to target Mainland Chinese cross-border shoppers with over 200 employees located in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Chongqing. They have also become a Top 30 Global Publisher for Rakuten Affiliate Network with over $150 million in affiliate sales in 2015 alone. 

55Haitao also provides their customers with the #1 cross-border forum in China, where over 1 million active users share where, how and what to buy overseas. Chinese consumers look to purchase overseas for three reasons:

  1. Authenticity: Purchasing through Chinese retailers still presents the risk of buying counterfeit or unsafe products.
  2. Price: Products imported into China are hit with a tax which can make them 2-3x more expensive than in the US or Europe.
  3. Breadth of product: Many retailers view China as a market to unload unsold inventory. By purchasing cross-border, Chinese consumers access a greater breadth of product for the brands they love.

55Haitao uses this information to provide their customers with the tools and support necessary to help them make an educated purchasing decision. In addition to their forum and newsletters, 55Haitao also drives awareness for global brands through Chinese social media, mainly Sina Weibo and WeChat.

Marketing Objectives: 
The primary affiliate marketing goal of 55Haitao was to help US, Japanese and European brands enter the Chinese market quickly and easily by leveraging low risk CPA offers through Rakuten Affiliate Network. Working with Rakuten Affiliate Network, 55Haitao has made it possible for a partnered brand to effectively take their company global with little to no infrastructure changes. They looked to the network for advice on how to leverage a global reach while allowing 55Haitao to communicate their value proposition with top global merchants effortlessly.

Other affiliate marketing objectives include:

  • Dispelling common myths regarding Chinese cross-border opportunities including shipping concerns and native language and payment issues
  • Helping brands identify marketing strategies and promotions that resonate with a Chinese audience
  • Integrating new merchants into the Chinese marketplace seamlessly

Utilizing Rakuten Affiliate Network’s global influence, 55Haitao has been able to help localize affiliate partners and retain each brand’s identity throughout the cross-border integration process by providing education on opportunities and hand-picking products that will resonate with consumers. 55Haitao provides one on one communication with their USbased account management team who understands the local market and works to build out brand equity and awareness in China. Along with critical knowledge and support, 55Haitao has also been able to help brands offset US holiday seasonality by offering access to many Chinese shopping holidays like: 11/11 (Singles Day), 12/12 (Double 12), Chinese New Year and many other China specific shopping events throughout the year.

55Haitao’s partnership with Rakuten Affiliate Network along with their deep understanding
of the Chinese market has proven to be majorly successful:

  • Over $150 million in sales in 2015 (USD)
  • On track to double their growth in 2016
  • Over 1 million active users
  • Top 30 Rakuten Affiliate Network Global Publisher
  • Helped their affiliate partners achieve AOV’s 2-3x higher than typical U.S. AOV’s

Future Plans:
In addition to ongoing global growth through Rakuten Affiliate Network to bring more brands into China, 55Haitao will also concentrate on their Chinese focused subaffiliate network, LinkHaitao, with key Chinese influencers and niche content sites. They will continue to expand additional content and on-brand awareness through their fashion. 55haitao.com section and reiterate their mobile app to better target the massive Chinese mobile population.


55Haitao became the go-to destination for Mainland Chinese cross-border shoppers looking to find incredible deals and information from top global brands. 55Haitao also provides their customers with the tools and support necessary to help them make an educated purchasing decision. 

In 2015 alone, 55Haitao drove over $150 million in sales (USD) and is currently on track to double their growth in 2016! 

A message from 55Haitao:
“We find a lot of misinformation out there surrounding ecommerce in China and our goal is really to provide a clear and transparent strategy to help global brands overcome their preconceived notions through strategic market testing.”
- Rick Parada
Managing Director

“CPA is such an effective and low risk channel to test new markets. I love the fact that an affiliate manager can take their entire brand into the Chinese marketplace, just by pushing an offer to 55Haitao.com with no infrastructure changes required to test.”
- Dirk Mieth
Director of Business Development