Meet four kings of Alibaba's online retail empire

Alibaba's shopping sites account for 80% of online retail in China. Meet four successful merchants.


alibaba mika zeng odm
Mika Zeng of ODM, a watchmaker.

Watchmaker ODM opened its Tmall storefront in 2012 as part of an effort to reach customers beyond China's largest cities.

Mika Zeng, a manager in Shenzhen, said the company already sold its watches in stores. But Tmall allowed them to sell everywhere.

In just a handful of years, the firm has grown its online business by nearly 600%. ODM, which stands for Original, Dynamic and Minimal, now sells roughly 60,000 of its trendy watches a year through the Alibaba marketplace.

"People can very easily buy watches online, whether they come from secondary cities or the countryside," said Zeng.

ODM is tapping into a major trend. In smaller Chinese cities, the average online shopper spends 27% of their disposable income through online retail, according to McKinsey.

  @sophia_yan - Last updated May 06 2014 07:39 PM ET