Taobao. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s the Chinese online shopping platform full of everything you could possibly need and more, and all at very decent prices. Our only gripe as English speakers is that the site doesn’t have an English version (at least not yet).
Taobao (Chinese: 淘宝网) is a Chinese online shopping website, headquartered in Hangzhou, and owned by Alibaba. It is ranked as the eighth most visited website, according to Alexa Website ranking. Taobao.com was registered on April 21, 2003 by Alibaba Cloud Computing (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Taobao Marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and abroad, which is made payable by online cellphone accounts. Its stores usually offer an express delivery-service to their clientele.
With over 1 billion product listings as of 2016, the combined transaction volume of Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com reached 3 trillion yuan in 2017, more than that of all US e-commerce sites combined. The Economist calls it “the country’s biggest online marketplace”. Sellers are able to post goods for sale either through a fixed price or an auction. Auctions only make up a small percentage of transactions, whereas the majority of the products are new merchandise sold at fixed prices. Buyers can assess seller backgrounds by the information available on the site, including: ratings, comments, and complaints.