Taobao, known as China’s eBay, is the largest e-commerce platform in China operated by the Alibaba Group.  Founded in 2003, Taobao encourages consumer-to-consumer retail and mainly caters to buyers in

mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

No, this is not a fruit basket
The centerpieces were marketed as fruit baskets, and for unwitting foreigners, the product had the appeal of an exotic antique from thousands of miles away.  Turns out, the “fruit basket” was a traditional spittoon or chamber part, and some merchants were marking the price up by a factor of 20.  The item was also found in other online shops with suggested uses being an ice bucket or for decorating the kitchen.  But it wasn’t just the high price tag attached to the item, traditionally known as a tan yu in China, that had internet users surprised, but also that the humble pot would be of any interest to foreigners.  “I wonder what foreigners’ reaction would be after knowing what tan yu is use
Bye-bye Black Friday. Chinese consumers fear overseas package may contain the coronavirus
In any other year Judy Shen would spend thousands of yuan on Amazon during the Black Friday shopping extravaganza but this year she is not buying anything. The Shanghai housewife said she worried that cross border packages might carry the coronavirus after Chinese authorities said recent local infections in the country were linked to cargo brought into China from overseas. “I don’t buy imported food anymore, either. I dare not use or eat things from overseas now,” she said. Shen is one of the 155 million Chinese online shoppers who use cross border e-commerce, known as haitao in China, in the hunt for lower prices and better quality products. Last year, they spent 2.64 trillion yuan (US$400
Make it rain: Chinese entrepreneurs turn snow into hot commodity
As temperatures plunge in China’s north this week, enterprising people have gone online to monetize blankets of snow covering their neighborhoods. For a price, you can ask someone to write a message in the snow and send you a photo or video of it.  On the e-commerce platform Taobao – owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone – customers can order messages for about 5 yuan (71 cents) for six words. A heart or an image costs extra. Demand for this unusual service has the south to thank.  A Taobao shop owner in the northern province of Heilongjiang said most of the 100 orders she received in the last few days came from people from southern China who had never seen snow.  To beat the competiti
Kim Kardashian West didn’t break the Chinese internet
Kim Kardashian West didn’t manage to break the Chinese internet in her first attempt to connect with online consumers in the country. Kardashian West showed up for about an hour from New York during a live stream hosted by marketplace Tmall on Wednesday night to promote her perfume line KKW Fragrance. (Tmall is owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone.) The live stream got about 30,000 views on KKW Fragrance’s channel and 189,000 views on an official channel of Tmall.  By comparison, Kardashian West’s live-streaming partner of the night, a Chinese influencer called Viya, got 12.6 million views, though she was streaming for six hours.  The comparatively lukewarm response to the reality TV
How an anti-Valentines’ Day became a shoppers’ paradise
Singles’ Day has become a force of nature in China. It is the single biggest shopping day in the world in terms of sales. Millions of orders are made in a single day. Last year, e-commerce giant Alibaba smashed its all-time Singles’ Day sales record with $25.3 billion in sales. (By comparison, American shoppers spent $5 billion on Black Friday last year.) And the Singles’ Day is predicted to be even bigger this year. Inkstone is owned by Alibaba. But this Black Friday on steroids was not always about money. It actually started as an anti-Valentine’s holiday, created in 1993 for people to celebrate singlehood. In 2009, Alibaba turned Singles’ Day into a shopping festival. Now other e-commerce