This fireside chat recap is from Wednesday’s FreightWaves Supply Chain Meets FinTech event.

FIREPLACE CHAT TOPIC: The China Syndrome: Using Embedded Payments to Navigate the Complexity of Cross-Border Buyers.

DETAILS: Diversity is key as e-commerce firms seek to expand their cross-border businesses this year amid global geopolitical tensions, including the ongoing war in Ukraine that is disrupting supply chains, production delays due to China’s quarantine restrictions due to for the COVID-19 outbreak and other supply chain constraints

SPEAKER: David Messenger is the executive chairman of Hangzhou-based LianLian Global.

BIO: Messenger has helped more than 1.2 million e-commerce customers grow their cross-border businesses through its company’s global payment and other services platform, including marketing and compliance services.

KEY QUOTES FROM THE MESSENGER: “Nobody can afford to keep all their eggs in one basket. Until recently, China was the manufacturing center of the world and we relied solely on it as a supply chain. Given the risk of prolonged outages and disruptions in China, you should expand your base. I think it’s about becoming more diversified, more multipolar and looking at redundancy in your supply chains.”

“I think there will be some rebalancing, and of course we’re already seeing that. Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries are starting to develop these capabilities, but China created these capabilities more than 20 years ago.”

“Cross-border sellers need a multi-currency wallet that allows you to receive any currency and manage your currencies and currency (foreign currency) that makes your payments in different local currencies. As you diversify, you really need that kind of flexible financial platform to support the business.”

When Webster was asked to describe this year’s holiday season from a shopper’s perspective, Messenger used the word “muted.”

“People are worried, they’re insecure, and they’re going to be muted in what decisions they make. And there are so many factors. On a macroeconomic level, down to a more local level, I think it’s going to be more of a wait-and-see, quiet, subdued holiday season.”

SPEAKER: David Emerson is Senior Vice President of Seko Logistics.

BIO: Emerson has more than 30 years of experience in logistics. He is responsible for expanding Seko Logistics’ global presence between Europe, Asia and the Americas. Seko has more than 120 offices in 40 countries around the world.

KEY QUOTES FROM EMERSON: “For us, and for any customer like us, visibility at every level of the supply chain is key. And the more information a logistics provider like us can get, the better.”

“I think where there has always been a fundamental disconnect that goes beyond the normal merchant, customer and logistics provider relationship is more in how the goods are made and the whole critical path of the supply chain.”

“There are some available tools that we’re working with, and we have a few of those built into some of our technologies that a lot of our customers are using that give them additional metrics around demand forecasting and demand planning.”

Emerson described the upcoming holiday season as “interesting” when he asked Webster the question during a fireside chat Wednesday.

“I have never seen so much uncertainty in the logistics business, especially in the e-commerce business, in the last six to eight months.”

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