Alibaba’s Taobao is testing a service for online retailers to do marketing on Sina Weibo, according to Erun, an online e-commerce news site (in Chinese).

Taobao retailers then can send marketing messages or other content directly to Sina Weibo from the Tabao system, or interact with Sina Weibo user directly. Taobao told Erun that they hoped it to help convert retailers’ followers on Sina Weibo into their customers.

Now a batch of selected retailers selling female clothing and cosmetics are testing the product. Other retailers, however, also can apply for it. Apart from operations,  the selection also takes the number of Sina Weibo followers, the store’s presence on Sina Weibo and whether a retailer uses Wangwang — the instant messaging tool provided by Taobao for retailers to communicate with consumers — into consideration. The service is expected to be launched in July at earliest.

When Alibaba announced the strategic investment in Sina Weibo earlier this year, the two parties said they’d ‘cooperate on data, online payments, online marketing and user account connectivity, and explore potential in social e-commerce’. Now Taobao ads have been featured on Sina Weibo through Alimama — the cross-web contextual ad program under Alibaba Group. Last week at our 2013 Innovation Summit on Big Data, a data scientist at Alibaba told us they were looking at user data from Sina Weibo and would figure out how to use it.

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

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