Taobao, the largest Chinese ecommerce site, made its first foray into social networking area with the unveil of Taojianghu on April 1, 2009, aiming for reinforcing connections between its customers for trustworthy online shopping experience which would in turn, leads to increased transactions. This could be seen as one of the Chinese social shopping (or social commerce) pioneers all around, besides Mayi’s unsuccessful tryout, a SNS site with a touch of social shopping, founded by Ruan Peng(aka Maitian in Chinese websphere). Mr Ruan joined Baidu last year in charge of the Social Networking Unit after Mayi went offline.

With Mayi’s failure in place, it’s awful for Taojianghu to duplicate the martyr’s failure. The SNS subsidiary of Taobao didn’t rise to Taobao’s expectations. Taojianghu debuted with functions like online diary, album, profile, connections, Farmville-like social games and other apps etc., pretty much like regular SNS in China. But as we recently checked, Taojianghu ranked under 1 million (world) or 100,000 (China only) on Alexa, or accounted for no more than 1.6% of Taobao’s total traffic.

The Rise And Fall Of Taobao’s Taojianghu

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Ben Jiang

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.