Taobao, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, uses the advantages of the Internet to promote its global shopping and convenient services. Now it has become an “indispensable e-commerce platform in China” (WSJ, n.d.) and a leader in this field. The following content will focus on critical analysis of how Taobao uses the Internet to achieve a revolutionary impact on its business model, Internet ecology and people’s lifestyle.
First, Taobao will be briefly introduced, and the second part introduces its historical development and the complexity of supervision. The third part will discuss how Taobao uses its unique business model to stand out in the Internet ecology. Finally, this article will discuss its revolutionary impact on people’s lifestyle, society and politics.
What is Taobao
Video about what is Taobao, Source: Youtube
Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce platform and Internet company so far. “Taobao launched in May 2003.” (Smith, 2020) “It has hundreds of millions of users, and host millions of merchants and businesses.”(Lajoie & Shearman, n.d.) Taobao is the most famous That is, it uses the advantages of the Internet to provide people with a shopping platform, calling on merchants to settle on the Taobao platform, and merchants promote their products on the platform and attract consumers to buy. The birth of Taobao has greatly accelerated the development of China’s economy because it has accelerated people’s consumption speed.
Historical development and regulatory issues
Jack Ma realized the particularity of e-commerce and the influence of the Internet in the future, hence he decided to create a platform to combine online communication with e-commerce. In April 2003, Taobao’s founder Jack Ma secretly sent a small team of 9 people to settle in a dilapidated residential building and they signed a non-disclosure agreement to develop it day and night for a month. In the end, Taobao was officially launched on May 10, 2003. (Smith, 2020) The more than 200 “commodities” listed on the platform were all idle items brought by several technicians. Then people started to pay attention to this platform and uploaded their own things. Twenty days later, Taobao had its 10,000thregistered user. (Lajoie & Shearman, n.d.)
Of course, Taobao also encountered many doubts and regulatory issues in the early days of its establishment. Taobao was suppressed by established e-commerce platforms such as e-bay and Amazon. Purnomo (2018) believes that “at present, traditional trading methods are still the mainstream trading methods in the retail market.” Traditional shopping methods can be more direct to understand the product, customers can experience it personally without taking credit risk. It also avoids loss and loss caused by consumers who should be different from the real thing after receiving the goods. In order to relieve the doubts of consumers, Taobao cooperates with banks and express companies, and the supervisory department will intervene when the merchants apply, and the multi-party cooperation will jointly guarantee the consumer’s rights.
“In 2006, Taobao became the largest shopping website in Asia. In this year” (Krokou, 2019. Chapter 1), Taobao began to change people’s lifestyles, making the Internet no longer a tool, but a basic element of people’s lives. According to the survey, 9 million people use Taobao everyday. (Krokou, 2019. Chapter 6)