An Online Market Flourishes in China (E-commerce Fever Makes Taobao China’s Newest Internet Darling)

November 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

The so-called Taobao addicts are helping to pick up the slack in a sluggish economy. “I can’t live without Taobao,” said Zhang Kangni, a graduate student in Shanghai. “First, it’s cheaper. I found a dress at a store in Shanghai. It’s a Hong Kong brand that sells for $175. I found it on Taobao for $33.”

But skeptics ask: Can Taobao actually make a profit and emerge as a true Web powerhouse?

The company is not publicly traded and therefore does not disclose financial information, but listings are free on Taobao and the company makes no money from online transactions. Almost all Taobao’s $200 million in revenue comes from advertising, which the company says covers virtually all its operational costs. (By DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times, August 9, 2009 )

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Entry filed under: Asia, Business Cases, China, entrepreneurship, Global Business, NKITA, small business, Technology.

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