Taobao.com is China’s largest ecommerce platform. It’s used by everyone, to buy all kinds of cheap goods, from t-shirts to cosmetics.
Taobao.com is the essential marketplace for ‘Made for China’ products. In other words, products made in China, for the domestic market.
Probably because Taobao is, by far, the largest platform in China, in terms of transactions and sales figures.
That said, bigger is not always better when it comes to selling in Mainland China.
What is Taobao.com?
Taobao is China’s largest online shopping website, launched and fully owned by Alibaba Group. it started out as a ‘consumer to consumer’ platform, but it has matured since then.
Today, there are more than 8 million Taobao.com stores, selling everything from local handicrafts, to imported brand name products.
However, Taobao.com is mainly known for its domestically produced apparel, jewelry and accessories, sold to working and middle class Chinese.
It’s China’s go to place for low to medium end consumer goods of all kinds.
Is it possible to sell cross border products on Taobao?
No, you cannot open a Taobao.com store with a non-Mainland China company. However, you can open a Taobao store, in some product categories, if you register a company in China.
China allows foreign nationals fully own both limited liability companies and partnership enterprises – or do so with a Chinese partner.
That said, you will not be able to setup a postbox company, using a virtual office. The requirements to setup a company in China follows below:
1.Business license application
2.Office rental contract
Most China incorporation agencies charge around RMB 20,000 to 30,000, and the application can easily take up to 6 months. Notice that you also need to actually rent an office, meaning that you must pay a deposit and a few months rent, before you can even apply for the business license.
Setting up a company in China, to sell on Taobao.com, is therefore a major commitment – long before you see your first sale.
You will also need to open a bank account in Mainland China, that you later link to your Taobao.com store. Most foreign owned companies in China go to the following banks:
2.Bank of China
3.China Merchants Bank
There are a few agencies that claim to help foreign companies selling on Taobao.com. This is mostly done by guiding them through the account setup and verification process.
That said, none of these agencies can void the requirement of first setting up a company in Mainland China.
There are far more agencies helping companies to start selling on Tmall, as this is where the Chinese actually go to look for overseas brands and products.
Sure, there are plenty of European, Japanese and American goods sold on Taobao.com, but that’s not the main attraction.
It’s far easier, and cheaper, to start selling cross border via Tmall Global or JD Worldwide. Selling on Taobao.com may work for some companies, but not for most.
Okay, so what should I do if I want to sell products in Mainland China?
If you are a foreigner in China , you must have heard about Taobao.com, which is the largest E-commerce platform in China. Maybe, you want to open a shop on Taobao, but you are confused if that is allowed or what do you need to prepare, then this article must be a big help.
- You must be in China with any kind of visa.
- You have to apply for a credit/debit card in Chinese bank.
- Your passport. (The page with your basic information and the page with your entry stamp)
- A credit/debit card registered under your name in China.
Steps of Registration
Step one: Real name authentication on Alipay
1,You need to register for an Alipay account on www.alipay.com After logging in the account, click the button 账户设置( Setting the account)->基本信息(Basic information)->立即认证(Immediate autentication)
2. Then click 立即认证(Immediate authentication)
3. Then, you should choose your kind of certificate and filling the following blanks.
4. Next comes the authentication of your credit card.
Step two: Authentication of the shop
1,Enter www.taobao.com and click 免费开店(Open a shop with no charge)
2.Choose 个人店铺(Individual shop)
3.Next, click 立即认证(Immediate authentication) to authenticate your identity.
4. Open the Taobao application on your smartphone and, scan the QR code by your phone to finish the following steps. (If you haven’t downloaded the Taobao application on your phone, you can download it in app store.)
5. Follow the instructions on the phone to collect your photo and your identification which is your passport.
6. Type in your contact address in the following order:
详细地址 Detailed address
7. Then, you just need to wait for auditing. Click 同意(Agree) after your application is agreed by Taobao.