It is reported that Aliyun, Alibaba’s arm for mobile OS-based services, is working on a system tailored to Taobao retailers and expected to launch phones running the system in the second half of this year. (in Chinese)

With the customized system, retailers can manage stores and sell goods through smartphones. As for the phone manufacturing, it is said that the company is in talks with several smartphone manufacturers, including internationally well-known names.

Aliyun released its new smartphone strategy last month that they’d invite as many smartphone makers as possible to ship phones installed with Aliyun’s customized Android system, sell those phones on a Taobao sub-site and share revenues generated from both hardware and software ecosystem with them. The manufacturers they had reached partnership with, however, were local brands that were less known to the public.

It is estimated that there are a total of 10 million sellers on Taobao and Tmall, with 6 million being active. The new phones for Taobao retailers could be welcome among them, especially those who run stores on a part-time basis and cannot be sitting at PCs taking care of orders all day long, as they have been highly relying on support services provided by Taobao.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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