Last week, Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace launched a strategic tool named Micro Store, or Xiaopu in Chinese, after two weeks of trials among more than 2 million Taobao merchants. The tool marked a new chapter for the e-commerce giant, expanding further into into the burgeoning mobile commerce (m-commerce) sector.

The Xiaopu service offers a series of user-friendly features, enabling vendors to set up and operate online businesses from mobile devices. For example, merchants can easily post new products by scanning barcodes, or post new items by taking photos of products where no barcode was available. To complete product dispatch procedures, merchants can simply scan barcodes on shipping bills to enter package tracking numbers, without the need to manually input them.

Screenshots of Xiaopu

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.