|Launched in 2003, Taobao (www.taobao.com)
is the largest Internet retail website in China with more
than 75 percent of the Chinese-domestic online consumer market.
It provides the most comprehensive product offering ranging
from collectibles and hard-to-find items to mainstream retail
categories such as consumer electronics, clothing and accessories,
sporting goods and household products. It serves nearly 100
million registered users and more than 1.5 million sellers
have opened up stores on Taobao. In 2008, Alibaba Group announced
it will be investing more than US$700 million in Taobao in
the next five years.
Annual transaction volume on Taobao (gross
merchandise volume or GMV) reached nearly US$15 billion
in 2008, expanding at a three-year compounded annual growth
rate of more than 150 percent and exceeding the largest
retailer in China in transaction volume. According to government
statistics, Taobao's GMV equaled approximately one percent
of China's total retail trade in 2008. Taobao is the primary
online shopping destination for the largest online population
in the world*
Alimama (www.alimama.com), an online advertising
exchange and affiliate network for more than 400,000 publishers
in China, was merged into Taobao in 2008.
Taobao is wholly owned by Alibaba Group.
According to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC),
China had 298 million Internet users as of the end of 2008.