Beijing, 9th October: Taobao, a Chinese-language online auction platform owned by the Alibaba Group, announced this week that the Alibaba Group will invest a total of 5 billion Yuan (US$730 million) in its subsidiary over the next five years to expand Taobao’s e-commerce platform.  Established in 2003, Taobao now has more than 80 million registered users. The company has stated that it will continue to provide free services to both buyers and individual sellers for at least three years. According to China IntelliConsulting Corp, a market research company, 76% of China’s Internet users who have shopped online have purchased items on Taobao.  According to an article in the South China Morning Post, the value of transactions on Taobao increased 156% in 2007 to 43.3 billion Yuan (US$6.34 billion) which makes Taobao the second-largest retailer after Shanghai-based Bailian Group.   Sources: China Daily article, SCMP article – Courtesy of

BIIA Newsletter October 2008 Issue