Alibaba Group Holdings has secured approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to act as a third party for the online sale of fund products, local media group Caixin reported on its website.  The fund products will soon be available on Alibaba’s Amazon-like Taobao website, according to the report.

The approval marks a further step for Alibaba towards providing an alternative to China’s tightly regulated traditional financial system.  Alibaba affiliate Alipay, whose parent company Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Co is controlled by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, said in August that it had partnered with 37 funds to offer wealth management products to its customers.