TechCrunch Shenzhen is working with Taobao Crowdfunding to help startups find a smoother way to the market.

The partnership brings a parallel session to TechCrunch Shenzhen, where hardware companies registered at our Startup Alley get the chance to pitch their product at Taobao crowdfunding’s demo zone. The platform allocates online promotion, marketing and professional operational help to the companies in finding their way to Taobao’s massive user base. But the best part of this is that all of this supports is free of charge.

For a hardware startup, you could have a brilliant product, but if it’s not exposed enough, it might easily die. Born as a means for startups to access capital for scaling up, crowdfunding has evolved to be popular if not a must step for Chinese hardware projects to launch their products.

In China, crowdfunding is becoming a major promotional channel, especially for hardware startups. People went so far as to draw a comparison between crowdfunding and e-commerce in China: The country is witnessing the absorption of crowdfunding activities by e-commerce platforms, which makes the crowdfunding industry in China increasingly driven by e-commerce.

Taobao crowdfunding, the crowdfunding unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is leading this trend with an edge in online marketing, sales, and e-commerce operation.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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