In 2012, 1.63 million out of more than 6 million Taobao&Tmall stores are located in county – or – lower level, according to the latest report released by Alibaba. 595.7 thousand are in villages or small towns, of which more than 260 thousand are selling agricultural products (The rest are selling goods from plants or wholesale markets, not of the earth).

If more than 10% of residents in a village are running Taobao stores or retailers living there make more than 10 million in annual revenue combined, it would be counted by Alibaba as a Taobao Village.

The fourteen largest Taobao villages, operating 10 thousand stores in total, generated a total of 5 billion yuan in sales in 2012. They are in seven provinces in East and South China.

As we wrote before, simply selling goods produced by traditional plants or from wholesale markets isn’t that good a business for such Taobao villages any longer. Recently we see more and more Taobao stores selling agricultural goods by local farmers. Those stores must have cutting edges as agricultural products raised in one place may not be of the same quality in another. Lin An Bai Niu village, one of the fourteen, is famous for nuts grown locally.

Although we heard that Qing Yan Liu village was declining, it’s still the second biggest Taobao Villages that generated a total of 1.5 billion yuan in 2012. Over eight thousand people there are operating more than one thousand stores there. More than 200 stores made 10 million yuan or more in annual sales.

The biggest Taobao Village, Bai Gou, is in Hebei province. Taobao retailers there sold 2 billion yuan worth of suitcases and bags in 2012.

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

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