Taobao, a Chinese C2C auction site owned by Alibaba Group is now definitely a super super star in Chinese Internet, even in the global market. The total value of the trading in 2007 has approached 43.3 billion RMB which reached the total sales of three multinational retailers Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Lotus Supermarket Chain Store in China, tripled the sales of Wal-Mart. “Taobao now has 50 million users and takes around 70% of Chinese C2C auction market. The target sales is 100 billion RMB in 2008”, told by Stephen, a senior manager of Alibaba.

When most of web2.0 companies are still struggling to survive, Taobao has become a cash machine. I am a big fan of web2.0, but I think we have to aware of the reality that the real money is not coming from the Internet. Internet market must extend to offline world, and it is better to go mobile, at least in China. Taobao understands it very well.


The photo left was taken in a shopping mall in Shanghai. It is a Taobao shop which in my opinion bridges the online e-business and offline traditional transaction. Whether you are a netizen or not, you can always find goods from Taobao near you. By March, 2007, the mobile phone users have reached 480 million, around 39 million users are using mobile phone to surf Internet. Obviously we just can not overlook this massive mobile market and the rather mature mobile billing system. Taobao recently released its wap site, where you can place the order and also check out through Alipay, another service of Alibaba.


We have to learn, the lesson from Taobao of Alibaba.

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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  1. You write that “Taobao has become a cash machine”. I am curious what data you base that on. As far as I can see, the company still has no sustainable revenue. Every new user means more losses for them.

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