Taobao.com, the Internet shopping subsidiary of the Chinese B2B e-commerce group Alibaba, has announced the formal launch of Tao1shop.tw in Taiwan.
According to local media, Tao1shop.tw is developed and operated by Taiwan-based eDynamics, with the authorization of Taobao.com. With the launch of this new website, people in Taiwan will be free from the currency exchange problem when buying products from Taobao.com. Meanwhile, mainland vendors are expected to gain a new marketplace with estimated annual trading volume of CNY60 billion.
Previously, transactions on Taobao.com were mainly paid in Renminbi and this has become a major obstacle for Taiwanese netizens' Internet shopping activities on mainland websites. To solve this problem, Tao1shop.tw allows people with an account of Alipay, the online payment subsidiary of Alibaba Group, to directly exchange their New Taiwan dollar into Renminbi in accordance with the exchange rate.
Tao1shop.tw only plays the role of a channel, and the vendors are still from Taobao.com. The detailed shopping process is the same as that between mainland sellers and buyers. In addition, Tao1shop.tw will provide various payment methods that are familiar to Taiwanese consumers, including ATM, Web ATM, 7-11 iBon, and payment in supermarkets.
By estimation of Taiwan's Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute, Taiwan's Internet shopping market is expected to reach over CNY60 billion in 2009 and will increase at an annual growth rate of about 30%.