Taobao (Chinese: 淘宝网) is a Chinese online shopping website, headquartered in Hangzhou, and owned by Alibaba. It is the world’s biggest e-commerce website and seventh most visited website according to Alexa. Taobao.com has registered 2003-04-21 with domain registrar Alibaba Cloud Computing (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
The website was founded by Alibaba Group in 2003. Taobao Marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and abroad, which is made payable by online cellphone accounts. Its stores usually offer an express delivery-service to their clientele.
With over 1 billion product listings as of 2016, the combined transaction volume of Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com reached 3 trillion yuan in 2017, more than that of all US e-commerce sites combined. The Economist calls it “the country’s biggest online marketplace”.
Sellers are able to post goods for sale either through a fixed price or auction. Auctions make up a small percentage of transactions. The majority of the products are new merchandise sold at fixed prices. Buyers can assess seller backgrounds by information available on the site, including ratings, comments and complaints.