Taobao Hits Goal: 1 Million Online Stores Created In Five Years

1.06 Million People Have “Opened” Online Stores As Of End Of Last Month

Anyone with a decent amount of experience in China knows that Taobao — often referred to as China’s “eBay,” though the two online retailers are quite different — is more than just a website, it’s a national phenomenon. Allowing individuals to sell everything from small tchotchkes to high-end luxury goods, Taobao (owned by the Alibaba Group, which itself is 39% owned by Yahoo! Inc.) is one of China’s most successful online companies, pulling in nearly $15 billion in 2008. From the New York Times:

“Our vision for Taobao is to build a consumer’s paradise, where people can shop online and have fun,” Jonathan Lu, Taobao’s president, said. “If you make the company better and better, profits will naturally follow.”

Today, Taobao announced that it had reached a significant milestone, creating 1.06 million “jobs” in just five years. From Sina:

By the end of last month, 1.06 million people had become employed through opening online stores on, an e-commerce company based in eastern China’s Hangzhou City, the company said.

In October 2005, Taobao pledged to “create” 1 million jobs through its online store platform over five years.

Company statistics show its online store owners are from all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the Chinese mainland.

More than half of store owners are from the eastern and southern coastal areas of China which are economically developed and export-orientated, and which also suffered the most during the global economic downturn.

The data shows store owners are not earning much, with their monthly income 1,000-2,000 yuan (147-294 U.S. dollars).

Other data showed that 57.7 percent of on-line store owners are aged between 23 and 32 years. Some 8.1 percent are aged between 18 and 22 years and believed to be university students.


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