Taobao bridges online and offline retailing

Taobao logo

Chinese online marketplace Taobao is lending its name to a new 12,000 square-foot shopping mall in Shanghai. Taobao, an eBay competitor with about twice the Chinese market share, will receive about $1.25 million a year for use of its name on the Taobao Cheng shopping center. About 300 retailers will be able to setup shops with broadband Internet access and discounted rent (about $22 a month) connected to their online storefront. Merchants can staff their brick and mortar store and fulfill orders placed online at the same time.

Taobao is owned by Alibaba, which in turn is partially owned by Yahoo!.