China E-Commerce 101: Taobao and Tmall. Part 1.

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Welcome to Taobao.

People say that there’s a special place for everything. Yes, there is, and it’s called Taobao Market place.
Taobao Marketplace is a massive, in its size and influence, E-Commerce platform, which operates on C2C (Taobao) and B2C (Tmall) systems.
Created by Alibaba Group in 2003, Taobao is No.1 online shopping website in China Mainland and Taiwan, its revenue is ever-growing (in 2015 alone, Taobao’s GMV reached 563 billion RMB), it’s easy to access and easy to use.
If you ever think about successfully getting into E-commerce in China, then Taobao is a good place to start. Unfortunately, when it comes to foreigners, a few things can be an obstacle, among them is language barrier. Both Taobao and Tmall are in Chinese.

Taobao and Tmall – 2 sides of one coin.

 Taobao is very useful for transactions between private parties. Any individual can open a shop as long as he\she meets certain requirements.  Online shopping giant has its own escrow-based payment system Alipay, special department for tracking down and preventing suspicious activity and in provides instant messaging between buyers and sellers, for better user experience.
Taobao Mall (or Tmall) is a little bit different. It’s worth mentioning that Taobao and Tmall are not competitors, they offer solutions to different shopping needs. Tmall, as previously mentioned, is a B2C trading website, which means that the seller must be a legal entity to open a shop. The legal entity must provide all appropriate documentations to confirm genuineness and the real fact of existence of the organization, company, manufacturer or brand. These procedures are designed to eliminate dubious sellers and prevent buyers from interacting with them, making Tmall a much safer place for consumers.
There is much more to say about starting your business on Taobao or Tmall, and a series of our blog posts will deliver necessary information for foreign individuals or legal entities to help navigate the world of Chinese E-Commerce.

Kun has 10 years digital marketing experiences in Europe and China. His expertise includes SEO, Social Media, PPC and mobile marketing. He manages the strategy and business development of Jademond Digital. Pior to Jademond, he played provital roles in search marketing agency in Hong Kong, mobile marketing agencies in China and online video portal in Europe.

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