Taobao is an online Chinese shopping website run by the Alibaba Group in Hangzhou Zhejiang, China. It comprises of the C2C platform ‘Taobao Marketplace;’ the B2C platform, the Taobao Mall or the and the online search engine eTao. Taobao can be compared to the e-commerce sites such as Amazon.

  • Industry: E-Commerce and C2C
  • Founded: May 10, 2003
  • Founder(s): Jack Ma
  • Headquarters: Hangzhou Zhejiang
  • Website:

History of Taobao 

Taobao was founded by the Alibaba Group on the 10th of May 2003 after the acquisition of Eachnet by eBay. It emerged as a dominant player in the consumer e-commerce Chinese market. To prevent the expansion of the giant e-commerce site eBay Taobao introduced innovative website features for the interest of the local consumers. For the benefit of the sellers, it also provided free listings. For introducing leading-edge features, such as ‘Instant messaging’ and escrow-based tool for payment like ‘Alipay’, Taobao emerged as a market leader within a span of just 2 years.

Taobao launched in the month of April 2008, the Taobao Mall. This B2C platform aimed at selling branded products to the Chinese consumers and has even launched the independent domain

Jack Ma, the former CEO and the Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group announced in June 2011 that Taobao would be divided into the three companies known as Taobao Marketplace, Taobao Mall, and the eTao. This was a strategic move for combating the competitive threats.

Taobao’s semantic search and the searching tools ‘adaptive agents’ have helped in increasing the traffic to the website appreciably.

More about Taobao 

Taobao is the leading Chinese e-commerce site launched by the Alibaba Group. ‘Ant’ is the mascot of the Company.

Taobao makes use of an effective ‘customer feedback’ section that is a determining factor for the volume of sales of the store. The shop owners of Taobao try earnestly to optimize the positive feedback from the customers and get rid of the negative ones. The website makes use of an online escrow-based payment gateway to ensure secured transactions. The escrow-based transaction is the popularly used online third-party payment solution all over China. Taobao makes use of Alipay that has a partnership with the various financial institutions and Master and Visa card for improving the payment system abroad as well as in China.

AliExpress is a retailing international website founded in the month of April 2010 by the Alibaba Group. It is for the benefit of the international consumers and includes accounts from USA, Russia, Brazil, Spain and various other countries. It helps the overseas clients of Taobao in hiring the services of the Chinese manufacturers for production at an affordable price directly.

For facilitation, the communication between sellers and the buyers Taobao has incorporated the instant ‘chat program’ AliWangWang in its website. The online Chinese shoppers have a habit of bargaining before purchasing a product. Thus, this feature proves to be of immense help for the online buyers of Taobao.

‘Happy Taobao.Inc’ is a venture of Taobao along with the association with the Hunan TV in the month of December 2009. This helps in television shopping. The entertainment series, ‘Happy Taobao’ is an initiative of the Hunan TV, and Taobao launched the independent websites and the channels.


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