Reports: Costco looks to develop e-commerce in China

Club retailer operates nine stores in Taiwan, none in mainland

NEW YORK — Costco Wholesale appears to be eyeing China's online commerce market, according to published reports.

The Southern Metropolis Daily, a newspaper based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, reported Thursday that the Issaquah, Wash.-based club retailer was interested in entering the country's e-commerce market and was in the process of looking for local partners.

The chain currently doesn't operate stores in mainland China, but has nine locations in Taiwan. Walmart and French mass-merchandise chain Carrefour also have a long-standing presence in the mainland.

The newspaper reported that Costco was attracted by the growth of China's e-commerce market, which in 2012 reached 1.2 trillion yuan, or US$193.4 billion, making it the world's second largest after the United States. 

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