17 Jan 2011 10:18

Taobao launches online supermarket in Shanghai

Shanghai. January 17. INTERFAX-CHINA - Taobao.com, China's largest online marketplace, has launched an online supermarket in Shanghai as part of its business-to-consumer platform (B2C) Taobao Mall, the company announced Jan. 15.

More than 200 merchants - including Nestle S.A., Unilever N.V. and Procter Gamble Co. - have agreed to sell products on the Taobao Web site, named chaoshi.tmall.com, according to the announcement.

The online market sells fresh food, toiletries and household products and will be expanded to include Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. Its main rival will likely be Yihaodian ("Number One Store"), an online supermarket launched in 2008. Yihaodian held a 0.1 percent share of China's online shopping market in terms of sales in the third quarter (Q3) of 2010.

China's online shopping market clocked RMB 160.84 billion ($24.4 billion) in sales during Q4 last year, up 75.8 percent year-on-year, according to consultancy iResearch.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the owner of Taobao.com, spun off the latter's B2C platform into Taobao Mall on Nov. 1 last year, Interfax previously reported.