Hangzhou, 9th February: Taobao, Alibaba’s consumer focused e-commerce platform, announced its transaction volume increased by 131% year-on-year to US$14.62 billion in 2008. According to the company’s management, Taobao is expected to post its first ever profit this year. In order to continue to drive growth Taobao’s parent company, the Alibaba Group, announced earlier this year that it would invest US$733 million in Taobao’s business development over the next five years.  Jonathan Lu, president of Taobao commented, “Taobao’s strong growth in 2008 was driven by the strong growth of Internet usage in China, the increasing penetration of domestic e-commerce and the investments made by Taobao.”  Founded in 2003, Taobao has 98 million registered users of which half are between the ages of 25 and 32. The largest categories traded on Taobao continue to be mobile phones and apparel.

Sources: Pacific Epoch article, Reuters article

BIIA Newsletter March 2009 Issue