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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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Users can expect more selling and buying tools from following the China-based company open up its API development platform to the public. Owned by Alibaba group, Taobao revealed the plan with Alisoft, the group’s software development arm.

Tabao Open Platform 淘宝开放平台
Taobao Open Platform 淘宝开放平台

Titled “Taobao Open Platform (TOP)” , the C2C platform will allow third-party developers to build application interface of their own. Taobao encourages them to focus on 12 different business applications. These include:

  • sellers marketing platform  (卖方营销平台)
  • visual presentations inventory and management (视觉产品储空间和系统)
  • items management (宝贝管理)
  • product inventory management (存货管理)
  • CRM, analytics tools (数据分析和CRM服务)
  • mobile applications (移动应用及新媒体终端应用 )
  • buyers’ browsing tools (买方浏览工)
  • overseas market (海外市场)
  • logistic services (物流管理平台)
  • financial and loan services (金融贷款服务)
  • auction and pricing system (卖方拍卖及报价系统 )

Facebook and Yahoo made the same move earlier to speed up their market shares and development by capitalizing external parties’ creativity and productivity.



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Please send your donations for Sichuan Earthquake Disaster direct to the Red Cross Society
or see more details in our previous post.

With Baidu launching its IM tool on June 5, Alibaba group and may face another serious challenger in consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market in the near future.

The challenge remains to be seen since the C2C marketplace is till towered over by (81.5%) for the first half of 2008, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) latest release of online shopping statistics. comes into the second place with 16.6% market share, Amazon China subsidiary Joyo, 14.6%, Tom Online and eBay’s Eachnet, 8.4%, Tencent’s 7.2%. currently has an IM tool – Ali Wan Wan to share with Alibaba group.

Ali Wan Wan

Baidu, which now dominates the Chinese search landscape with a 60 percent market share, served 3.3 billion searches in the global arena. It’s estimated that there are over 510 million users in Asia. But more to the point here, China has become the fastest growing internet country with the largest internet users base.

Baidu IM tool — Baidu Hi has recorded 200,000 downloads ever since its release. In the meantime, Alibaba group should not under estimate Hong Kong-listed Tencent (007.HK), which is posied to be one of the few major competitors due to its exponent growth in China consumer market.



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Web sites in Black

Today begins three days of national mourning for earthquake victims. So far, there are more than 300,00 victims and the search for survivors still goes on.

Alibaba group of companies – Alibaba ChinaYahoo ChinaTaobao, Alisoft, Alimama, along with other China major websites such as Sina and eBay China etc, turn their homepages to black to pay respect to the victims.

Hong Kong will lower flags at half staff from today. The official death toll stands at nearly 32,500 from the original quake – which was revised upwards to 8.0 on the Richter scale – that rattled Sichuan province.

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The blog is designed to those who are interested in the latest developement of Alibaba, China’s premier E-commerce portal. We will try to keep a close eye on the latest development of  the B2B portal and share the most updated news to you.