, a C2C platform owned by the Alibaba Group, recorded sales volume of US$2.69 billion in the first quarter of 2008. That figure is an increase of 170% over the US$1 billion recorded in the same quarter last year. There were over 140 million active items listed on Taobao in the first quarter of 2008 – a 131% increase year-on-year. Additionally, nearly three quarters of the sales are from second and third tier cities as the market leading service continues to effectively penetrate consumer markets outside China’s major centers.

Taobao has now launched Taobao Mall, a B2C service targeting brand owners and retailers who want to access Taobao’s market of 50 million registered users. Unlike the C2C platform, the Taobao Mall is not a free service. Sellers are required to pay Taobao a commission. Companies such as Dell and sports brand Lining have already agreed to set-up storefronts in the Taobao Mall.

Source: China Web 2.0 article; Courtesy Business Strategies Group,

BIIA Newsletter April 2008 Issue