MakerBot Targets China

Continuing its move into the Chinese 3D printing market, MakerBot has just started accepting online payments from China’s most popular online payment platform Alipay. This comes hot on the heels of their recent partnership with three resellers who distribute MakerBot 3D printing and scanning products in the rapidly expanding Chinese market.

3D printing has long been considered by many to be a potential silver bullet to the Chinese domination of high-volume manufacturing, but the Chinese are not willing to give their position in the global economy away so easily. While they have been late to the 3D printing boom, many Chinese companies are trying very hard to reverse that trend, you only have to read Mark’s review of Inside 3D Printing in Shanghai, which took place last week. And as the market began to grow, MakerBot saw an opening and took it, contracting three technology resellers to begin carrying their line of 3D printers and related products.

As it stands now the 3D printing market in China is expected to quadruple in the next few years. While there are dozens of Chinese companies selling their own printers, half of all printers manufactured in China were exported to the Western markets. However the Chinese have very weak consumer protection laws, so online payments are far riskier than in the West. Online payment options like Alipay offer users an escrow service, allowing the funds to remain on hold until the customer confirms that they have received what they paid for. By offering Chinese customers the option to purchase using their most popular and trusted online payment option is a shrewd move signalling that MakerBot is taking this expansion seriously. … (Read more)