Taobao announced to open up its social shopping platform, UZ, to everyone. UZ used to be only available for third-party social shopping services. Now anyone can set up and run a mini-site there. At the same time Alibaba, Taobao’s parent company, announced to input $500 million to help build UZ ecosystem.

Social shopping sites emerged in China in the past couple of years. Meilishuo and Mogujie stood out as the two most well-known players. The majority of their revenues were from Taobao where most Chinese online retailers are doing business, with a minor part from in-site advertising.

It is reported that Alibaba wasn’t happy with large third-party social shopping services, such as Meilishuo and Mogujie, took advantage of Taobao ecosystem, receiving CPS/CPC-based commissions from Taobao retailers. Alibaba would prefer to see more smaller players in the ecosystem.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com