Chinese B2B e-commerce group Alibaba.com has announced that based on its "Big Taobao" strategy, the group will merge its lifestyle website Yahoo Koubei into its Internet shopping platform Taobao.com.
In June 2008, CEO of Alibaba Jack Ma announced the merger of China Yahoo and Koubei.com and renamed the company as Yahoo Koubei. Yahoo Koubei focused on development lifestyle-related e-commerce, community and communication services. However, one year after the integration, China Yahoo will be split from Koubei.com and will re-focus on its email, content, and search services.
Zeng Ming from Alibaba Group told local media that after the merger with Koubei.com, Taobao.com will not only be expected to provide an entire set of Internet retail solutions to millions of Internet merchants in China, but also will create a more comprehensive and extensive lifestyle service platform to Chinese consumers in addition to its current online shopping services.
The "Big Taobao" strategy was launched by Taobao.com in September 2008, aiming to develop Taobao.com into the core of an e-commerce ecosystem that can influence the entire economic chain of companies. At that time, Alibaba Group said it would invest CNY5 billion in Taobao.com over the subsequent five years.
During the announcement of the merger of Koubei.com with Taobao.com, the Alibaba Group also announced a series of personnel changes. Wang Shuai, vice president of Alibaba, was appointed general manager of China Yahoo; Jin Jianhang, former general manager of China Yahoo, would be transferred back to the group to assist the work of Ma; and Zhang Yu, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager for Taobao.com's consumer business department, would be new general manager of Koubei.com.