Japanese cross-border e-commerce startup Inagora Inc. is operating an online flagship store for Japanese whisky brand Saburomaru on China's leading Tmall platform run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The Saburomaru flagship shop, launched in late August, sells six whisky products made by Saburomaru Distillery of Wakatsuru Shuzo Co., based in Toyama Prefecture, the Tokyo-based company said.

The distillery is the first Japanese whisky brand to open a store on the Tmall platform, according to Inagora, which operates the cross-border EC platform Wandou specializing in Japanese products for Chinese customers.

Only seven other brands have shops on Tmall, including Macallan, Johnnie Walker and Jack Daniel's, it said.

According to a report released by Japan's National Tax Agency, whisky exports in 2020 grew 39.4% from the previous year, with those to China topping the country-by-country list.

Against that backdrop, Inagora will try to expand its sales channels in China, chiefly online but also at restaurants and upscale supermarkets, a company official said.