BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- A flurry of online trading platforms have been launched as Chinese steel companies hope that branching into the Internet sphere will boost sales and help them weather the hard days.
China Minmetals Corp. (CMC), the country's largest steel trader, on Tuesday opened its e-commerce platform, www.xinyilian.com. It is the latest foray into e-commerce following the establishment of more than 100 such platforms by steelmakers and traders across the country since last year.
The Xinyilian platform will link commodity buyers with sellers and gradually become an online steel supermarket, said Yu Engang, deputy general manager of Minmetals Development Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the CMC group.
"During hard times, the steel sector must build an open and standard e-commerce platform," Yu said.
Despite its much-touted advantages -- transparency, efficiency and lower cost, analysts have said that bringing steel trading online is far from being a solution to China's ailing steel industry.