MONTEVIDEO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Users of WeChat, China's messaging, social media and payment app, can now browse and buy Uruguayan and other Latin American goods at the touch of a button, from regional spirits to gemstones.
"We target Chinese audience with an interest in Latin America, who want to consume new and different types of products," Martin Perez, a partner in e-commerce site Latin American Style (Estilo Latinoamericano), told Xinhua.
On his travels to China, Perez, a consultant, noted there was no online venue specifically designed to showcase Latin American products, so he decided to set up one. To achieve the goal, they spent two years.
The effort paid off with a pioneering venture on China's premier social networking app.
Latin American Style chose to break into the market with WeChat, the multipurpose app that has over 1.15 billion users, but the idea is to eventually expand to China's e-commerce giants.
"Right now, we are one of the first Uruguayan enterprises in China. In e-commerce, we are the only one," he said.
Perez's partner, economist Ruben Alvarez, recalled that when Perez proposed the idea, "the first thing that came to my mind was that China is a huge opportunity."
Their site, which went online on June 21, offers an access to Chinese consumers for small Latin American companies and producers.
Meanwhile, consumers in China can browse a variety of items, including violet amethysts mined in northern Uruguay and the local firewater grappamiel, a blend of spirits sweetened with honey. A brand called Serrana has already won buyers who placed orders for more bottles.
Coming soon are beef jerky snacks from Ecuador, wines from Argentina and apparel from young Uruguayan designers.
The goods arrive at a warehouse in Shenzhen, and from there they can be shipped to any part of China within a maximum of 72 hours.
Thanks to the partnership between WeChat and Latin American Style, the distance between China and Latin America has gotten much smaller.