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Asos to close down Chinese operations

Asos has decided to discontinue its local operations in China, at the cost of £10m.

Asos China

Asos China

The etailer said it will service its Chinese customer via the main Asos.com website, which will allow shoppers to access 80,000 products rather than the 6,000 available on the Chinese website.

The move will result in a one-off cost of £10m and operating losses for the current financial year of £4m. 

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: “We’ll continue to do business in China. We are simply serving our growing customer base there in a more efficient, less costly manner.”

In October Beighton said China was a “key market” for Asos moving forward but the company was still in startup mode there. For the year to August 31 Asos’s Chinese business made a loss of £5.2m, compared to a loss of £8.6m in 2014. 

Asos launched Chinese site Asos.com/cn in November 2013 and has a team based in the country.

Months after the launch the etailer said it had struggled with restrictions on the clothing trade in China which meant it was sometimes easier to send products made locally to and from the UK rather than transport them down the road. Other items had to be re-labelled by hand to meet Chinese requirements on washing instructions. The difficulties meant introducing new brands to China to complement Asos’s own-label ranges had been slow.

ASOS will announce its results for the six months to February 29 on April 12.

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