After merging with Alimama.com, Taobao.com, the auction website of Alibaba Group, has formally announced plans to open its application programming interface platform and third-party developers are able to visit data of Taobao.com through various open interfaces from September 8, 2008.
With the opening of API as its core, this platform opening program of Taobao is named TOP: Taobao Open Platform. By this opening policy, developers and companies will be able to construct various e-commerce products and realize internal and external value-added applications based on the data and model of Taobao.com.
Jack Ma, chairman of the board of directors of Alibaba, told local media that the first goal for Taobao and Alibaba in the next ten years is to become the world's biggest e-commerce services supplier. He says the company believes that most companies will be online within ten years and Alibaba will offer services to help more entrepreneurs enter the e-commerce sector.
As an important step for Alibaba's Internet strategy, Taobao.com started to plan the Taobao Open Platform since 2007. Before that, the application developments of Alibaba's platforms, including Taobao.com, Alibaba.com and Alipay.com, were mainly supported by its Internet software subsidiary Alisoft.com.
At present, there are about ten Internet companies that have opened their platforms in China, including Taobao's rival eBay, who has hundreds of independent software vendors to provide applications for it.