Chinese online marketplace Taobao will drastically expand its live-streaming operations this year as a new driver for e-commerce growth.

Taobao Live, the live-streaming unit of its consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platform, is aiming to expand its business in 2019 to 10 product categories with annual sales volume of more than RMB 100 million (around $15 million) each and 200 Taobao live-stream virtual shopping rooms with an annual transaction value of RMB 100 million each, Wen Zhong, director of Taobao’s content e-commerce department, announced at the Taobao Live Gala held on Saturday in Hangzhou.

The company also introduced a series of goals in line with the broader initiative at the event. To create a talent pool, Taobao Live launched a live-streamer program to provide professional training for up to 1,000 livestreamers across multiple platforms and areas. The goal for the program in 2019 is to produce 10 content creators with their own shows that generate annual sales volume of RMB 100 million each in partnership with 100 regional television stations, according to the company.

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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.