Taobao Chief Operation Officer Zhang Yong spoke with China Knowledge @ Wharton recently about the Chinese Consumer to Consumer (C2C) platform. The following are some highlight by Aliuser:

Three stools to spur growth

  • Our credit (rating) system is open to everybody, so everyone can see your track record… And we think this system is also helpful to educate Chinese people as a whole to be reliable and build up trust among them
  • In order to address the issue of quality concerns, we have been trying for the past several years to promote an initiative called our “Customer Protection Program.”
  • we have a unique payment solution named “AliPay,” something like an escrow account which perfectly eliminates buyers’ concerns about e-commerce.

 Demographic findings

  • Actually, the online population in China is huge; however, the penetration rate, which refers to the number of online shoppers divided by all the Internet users, is only 26 percent in China, versus 80 percent in the U.S.
  • Our customers are a broad spectrum. Every day, there are more than one million people buying goods on Taobao. For different sexes, there are different categories. In general, the breakdown is almost equal, with slightly more women than men
  • Age wise, the 18-30 age group is by far the largest

 Price Advantage

  • Taobao has a big advantage on price. It’s usual that you will find a 10 percent to 12 percent price difference on our platform. So, with the same amount of money, you can buy more on Taobao. Therefore, the more price-sensitive the consumers are, the bigger the advantage Taobao will have

Mr Zhang was on board to Alibaba Group’s consumer-focused e-commerce site last month.


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