By Michael Kan, IDG News
More foreign brands like Adidas and Gap are expanding their reach into China's market by tapping the user base of the country's largest online retailer Taobao.com. SIMILAR ARTICLES:
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Taobao, launched in 2003, has risen to dominate China's online retail market, with more than 370 million users, according to the Chinese company. The site's vast customer base has made it a far-reaching marketplace for Western brands wanting to sell to Chinese consumers, Taobao reports. "We've definitely seen increasingly more interest from overseas companies exploring Taobao Mall as an avenue to reach Chinese consumers, particularly those residing beyond Beijing and Shanghai," said Taobao spokeswoman Justine Chao. About half of all transactions on Taobao come from areas outside of China's major cities. Taobao Mall, the company's business-to-consumer platform, currently has more than 30,000 brands. While a majority of the brands are domestic, some well-known international brands have decided to set up their own online stores on Taobao Mall. The latest company has been U.S. clothing retailer Gap, which launched its own Taobao Mall store last week. Gap decided to do so, even as it launched its own Chinese e-commerce site in November. "We are launching on Taobao to expand our reach to Chinese consumers given Taobao is the most trafficked e-commerce site in China," Gap said in an e-mailed statement. "Our presence on Taobao is complementary to our own e-commerce site, which is doing well, along with our stores." A few other major brands with online stores on Taobao Mall include...