Chinese instant communication service provider Tencent says it will offer free services for all individual sellers on its online auction site for at least three years.

Ma Huateng, CEO of Tencent, says that e-commerce is far from being a mainstream business in China, so e-commerce companies in the country should take up the responsibility of popularizing and educating the market. Ma says that the free service at is just one of the efforts that Tencent has made in this regard.

The latest report of CNNIC shows that less than 20% of Internet users in the three big cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are doing their shopping online. is an e-commerce platform owned by Tencent, and it was released in September 2005 and formally put into operation in March 2006.


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