In the latest sign of Alibaba’s global ambitions, the Chinese e-commerce company is planning to take its key Taobao marketplace international, including an English version, according to comments by Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma, as reported by Reuters this morning.
Taobao is the largest online shopping destination in China, providing a marketplace for consumer-to-consumer transactions and auctions, as well as a platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell directly for consumers. It combines elements of Amazon and eBay.
The company’s Aliexpress wholesale platform is international, but this move would mark the expansion of Alibaba to reach consumers around the world. No specific timeline was given for the rollout of Taobao internationally.
Alibaba has been steadily increasing its international reach. Following its blockbuster IPO on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year, the company opened an engineering office in downtown Seattle — boosting its efforts to recruit talent from Amazon, Microsoft and others in the region.