How Taobao was founded – the start-up story

Taobao.Com – The Start


Taobao, an ecommerce giant founded by Jack Ma, is one of the worlds leading online marketplaces. It has become an integral part of Chinese society, with over 800 million registered users and 600 million active users. The company is estimated to have an annual turnover of over $40 billion, making it the largest and most popular ecommerce platform in the world. It is also one of the biggest success stories of the digital age, and its success story is one of determination, innovation, and ambition. The companys origin story began in 2003 when Ma began his dream of creating an online marketplace. Despite having no prior experience in the ecommerce business, Ma quickly learned the ropes and started his own e-commerce company, Alibaba.

On May 10, 2003, the Chinese online shopping site today known as the Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) was created. This is a marketplace that is quite similar to Amazon.com, eBay.com, or even Buy.com. However, the major difference between this site and many of the others that are based in the United States is, that this site specifically caters to entrepreneurs and small business owners in mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong. The Alibaba Group launched their new venture as a response to a move by eBay to acquire a company by the name of Eachnet for a little over $175 million. Eachnet was actually the number #1 auction site in China at the time. As a result of the acquisition, this gave eBay the leverage it needed in order to become a major player in the eCommerce Chinese consumer market – or so they thought.



It was through Alibaba’s success that Taobao came to life. Ma saw the opportunity to create an online marketplace where small and medium businesses could have access to Chinese customers, and he seized it. The initial success of Taobao was due to Ma’s marketing savvy and his willingness to experiment. He focused on creating an engaging customer experience, offering free shipping and discounts, launching new promotions and campaigns, and heavily investing into marketing his platform. Ma was also known for paying attention to the customer’s feedback – something that would prove to be the key to Taobao’s success. He would take customer complaints seriously, respond quickly to them, and take corrective measures to ensure customer satisfaction.

The Chinese Biggest 

A Unique Foundation

Once launched, unlike eBay – the Taobao Marketplace decided to provide a unique offering to small business owners and entrepreneurs. They immediately offered a variety of different options which included free listings, a number of website features, and instant messaging to bring new business in order to push eBay out. They created a unique escrow-based payment system which also included, Alipay. As a result of their unique efforts, the Taobao Marketplace became the undisputed leader within two years in the Chinese marketplace, and eBay was eventually pushed out of the market in 2006.

Business Activities and Development

To complement the C2C Taobao Marketplace in 2008, the Alibaba Group decided to introduce a dedicated and unique B2C platform which they referred to as the Taobao Mall. Unbeknownst to many, this development would take Taobao to levels never before imagined. Quite frankly, the Taobao Mall is considered to be the ideal destination for top brands, goods, and quality for all the different Chinese consumers. As an additional offering, there were additional activities that had taken place as well such as a new launch of an independent domain by the name of Tmall.Com. This offering refined the general focus on product improvements and verticals as well as the overall shopping experience by 2010. As a result of the success of Tmall.Com, it became totally independent and had changed its name to Tian Mao.

Although there have been additional launches, tweaks, and infrastructure changes, in mid-June 2011, it was revealed by Alibaba’s head CEO and chairman Jack Ma, that the company known as Taobao would split up into three separate companies, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall.Com, and Tao. Although all three companies were already under the Taobao umbrella, they would be separated into individual companies operating on their own. This move was said to be a result of competitive threats which have become apparent in the last several years as a result of the dramatic change in the e-commerce and Internet landscape.

As a result of this decision, it has made Taobao.Com one of the largest e-commerce companies in the Asian continent. The success behind Taobao’s success is not just about its founders, but about a team of business experts, engineers, and analysts working together to provide the perfect e-commerce platform. They have implemented a variety of innovations and features, such as the ability to buy using mobile payment. This has allowed the platform to stay relevant and competitive in the Chinese online retail market. With the success of Taobao, Ma and the team behind it have managed to make e-commerce a comfortable and convenient experience for customers. It has revolutionized the way people shop and made it possible for small businesses to compete against larger companies. The story of Taobao is a testament to the power of ambition and determination. It proves that a dream can become reality if you work hard and show resilience. The company’s success is a result of the passionate team behind it. They have created an e-commerce ecosystem that has revolutionized the way people shop, and have enabled businesses of all sizes to reach customers from all over the world.

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