Shares of Baozun (NASDAQ:BZUN) fell 10.8% in June, according to data provided S&P Global Market Intelligence . After posting big gains in the first five months of 2018, Baozun saw sell-offs in June amid concerns about worsening trade relations between the U.S. and China.
The Chinese company specializes in providing Western brands with e-commerce platforms and services for the local market, so new tariffs and a more adversarial economic relationship between the Middle Kingdom and America have potentially significant implications.
While many of the brands that Baozun provides services for will likely be unaffected based on the current batch and scope of tariffs and regulatory moves, it's possible that technology-focused partners like Microsoft could be impacted down the line. The increase in tensions combined with the stock's roughly 400% gains since going public in 2015 created an understandable backdrop for some sell-offs, and downward pressure could continue if trade tensions keep escalating. However, I think the outlook for Baozun remains promising.
Worsening trade relations with the U.S. could lead to more uneven performance in the near term and do raise the level of uncertainty, but it seems likely that the Chinese economy and e-commerce market will continue to post solid growth and create a favorable backdrop for Baozun. The country's total gross domestic product climbed roughly 6.8% last year according to national statistics -- one of the fastest rates of growth for a major economy. Narrowing in on Baozun's specialty, China's e-commerce market climbed 32% year over year to reach $1.15 trillion -- the world's largest roughly 2.5 times over.
Baozun's partnerships put its clients' online stores on China's leading e-commerce portals, including JD.com, Alibaba's Tmall, and Tencent Holdings' WeChat. As long as the country's e-commerce market continues to develop and Western brands aim to build sales there, the business looks to be in good position.
Baozun stock might not be a great fit for those looking to minimize their risk profiles or avoid volatility, but I think it stands out as a smart buy for long-term investors.
Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Keith Noonan owns shares of Baozun. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Baozun, JD.com, and Tencent Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.