With no shortage of products to sell, Chinese merchants appear to be flocking to Taobao, the Chinese consumer-based online retail marketplace owned by Alibaba, China’s answer to eBay. According to information released by the company today, gross sales volume increased 97% during the first half of the year to $11.8 billion.
Citing information from the Chinese Bureau of Statistics, the company said its sales now represent 1.4% of China’s retail sales, both online and offline. As a point of reference, we estimate eBay’s US sales volume accounts for less than 1% of total US retail sales.
The weak Chinese economy caused spending-per-order to drop on the site, but the growing popularity of the service in China made up the difference. Overall orders grew 184% during the first half 2009, with household goods topping the list of products sold.
Chinese merchants, both professional and independent are embracing the Taobao model, which enables anyone to create a store to sell whatever goods they wish. According to reports the site claims 120 million registered users and 300 million product listings.
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