The Underground Market

The Underground Market

There are 2 big underground shopping markets in China, both are accessible on mobile phones only. When we say it underground, it means you can see a lot of 1:1 replica items and other sensitive items which dissappeared on Taobao and Tmall many years ago.

1. Xianyu (Idle fish)

Xianyu was originally developed as an idle (2nd-hand) item exchange platform by Alibaba. One misunderstanding needs to clarify is, idle doesn't mean used, quite a lot items on Xianyu are brand new.

People can log into Xianyu by their Taobao or Alipay account. They can easily resell their idle items by one-click without complicated opening shop process. However, many replica sellers take advantage of Xianyu's such convenience to sell replicas or other sensitive items which are not allowed to be sold on Taobao or Tmall.

For some unknown reason, Xianyu has disabled their search function on PC platform and can only be accessed on Mobile nowadays. If you are really accustomed to shopping on PC, you can install this Chrome Extension on your chrome browser, which enable you to search Xianyu on PC or laptop.

The disadvantage of Xianyu is, unlike Taobao or Tmall, all items on Xianyu have no 7-days unconditional return policy, therefore, if some disputes arise between the seller and buyer, it's very troublesome to handle without the constraint and mediation of Taobao.

2. Weidian (wechat shop)

What is weidian (wechat shop)

Wechat is a free application launched by Tencent on January 21, 2011 to provide instant messaging services for smart terminals. WeChat supports cross-communication operators and cross-operating system platforms to quickly send free (using a small amount of network traffic) voice messages, videos, pictures and texts through the network.

As of the 2nd quarter of 2016, WeChat has covered more than 94% of China's smartphones, with monthly active users reaching 806 million, and users covering more than 200 countries and more than 20 languages. In addition, the total number of WeChat public accounts of each brand has exceeded 8 million, the number of mobile application docks has exceeded 85,000, the advertising revenue has increased to 3.679 billion yuan, and the WeChat payment users have reached 400 million.

Weidian (wechat shop) is sellers selling their products in their wechat friends circle, many of them are branded item sellers from Taobao. Weidian is not open to the public, only people apply to be seller's friend and get approvement can enter into their private sales circle. Most sellers push pictures and vidoes of their new arrivals everyday on weidian using the wechat moment function which is known as “friends' circle” in China. Buyers communicate with sellers privately on wechat and send the payment via wechat pay.

Wechat has more than 1 billion monthly active users in China, therefore, it's really a huge underground market much much bigger than Xianyu. The privacy of wechat friend circle makes it a good channel to sell all kinds of sensitive items which can not be found on Taobao or Tmall anymore.

If you are interested in buying on weidian (wechat shop), you may consider to subscribe our MBC VIP Member. We will send you some well-selected weidians every other period to let you shop many fancy items which are hardly seen on any other public Chinese shopping sites.