On Nov 6, Golden Earth Tianjiao Technology, a subsidiary of Taiyuan-based Shanxi Coking Coal Group, posted an auction announcement for its coke products on the group's Coking Coal Online e-commerce platform, attracting dozens of enquiries from clients.
The transaction was made during the Singles Day buying spree, a shopping festival unique to China that centers around Nov 11.
"The number of enquiries is not comparable with those for consumer goods during this special shopping festival. However it's a significant number considering we are making transactions for bulk commodities," said An Ping, director for sales at Golden Earth.
Xia Qiufeng, vice-president of Coking Coal Online, said the platform does not feature a trendy design in line with the e-commerce boom. However, it has brought deals of considerable value.
During the first three quarters of this year, a total of 154 million metric tons of coke and coal have been transacted on the platform, Xia said. He added that the number of registered users on the platform has surpassed 7,700.
Founded in 2012, Coking Coal Online is an e-commerce platform featuring transactions and information service.
"The platform is designed to make transactions easier and more convenient," Xia said.
Clicking through the platform's home page, users can easily access information related to products－prices, transportation and dynamics of supply and demand, according to the executive.
Duan Junjie, an executive of Shanxi-based trade company Botai Trading, said his company is a registered user of Coking Coal Online. He talked about the convenience brought by the platform.
"I used to travel a lot－almost once a week－to connect with buyers and promote products. But today all this can be done online and I travel only a few times each year.
"In addition, intermediary agencies are no longer needed for the transactions, which helps to cut costs," Duan said.
During the past eight years, Coking Coal Online has gathered a large quantity of data resources and has developed into one of the authoritative e-commerce platforms in the industry.
In July 2018, it was designated by the price monitoring center of the National Development and Reform Commission and Xinhua News Agency to release the national coking coal price index.
The release of the price index has further improved Coking Coal Online's reputation among traders, leading to substantial growth in transaction volume on the platform, Xia said.
With the expansion of its business, Xia said Coking Coal Online has also extended its operations to such fields as financing, insurance, logistics and after-sales.
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