Top Shopping Sites in China

Introduction of the most popular (visited) online shopping sites in China

Taobao.com (Taobao Wang) is the largest C2C shopping website in the Asian-Pacific region. It was founded by Jack Ma's Alibaba group in Hangzhou, China in May,2003. As the most popular online shopping retail platform, Taobao has nearly 500 milion registered users and more than 800 million products listed. Everyday, Taobao has more than 60 millions fixed visitors with 48,000 items sold on it every minutes.

All shops on Taobao, from small to big, are opened by individual Chinese. Among them, some are run by single individual, some are run by a team of several people. Taobao has the largest categories of millions of products, from physical to virtual, from authentic to fake, even from legal to illegal. All products you can find on other platforms can be found on Taobao and in most cases Taobao's prices are the cheapest. However, you really need a pair of penetrating eye to tell the good from bad, even for one 30-40CNY imported oatmeal, there are dozens of fake sellers on Taobao.

Some examples of products which you can only find on Taobao: discounted buffet coupon, tourist visa, all kinds of living pet (dog,cat,bird,turtle...), secret recipe of traditional Chinese medicine, handmade food and snacks, custom-made cosplay dresses, all kinds of home appliance or car spare parts, virtual card or account...

Taobao only supply a platform for all buyers and sellers, it doesn't involve into the prochasing, storing, transportation and aftersale service. All items sold on Taobao are shipped by 3rd party shipping companies, such as: ShunFeng (SF Express), STO, YTO, ZTO, Bestex, Yunda, TianTian...among them, ShunFeng(SF Express) is the fastest, most reliable also the most expensive domestic shipping company in China. For high value parcels or time limited fresh food, we Chinese always choose to ship by SF Express.

All trades on Taobao are paid via Alipay (Zhifubao), which is the core fundation of Taobao's trillion empire. Once you paid, your money is kept in Taobao's supervision account, seller can't get the money until you receive the goods and press the " Confirmation of receipt" button in your Taobao account. Normally, you have 10 days to confirm after paid, as most domestic shipping will deliver in less than 5 days, however, if in some rare cases you don't receive the goods 3 days before the deadline, you can request the seller to prolong the deadline. This 10 days deadline is for all physical products with shipping records, if you buy virtual items on Taobao, the confirmation of receipt deadline is 3 days.

Currently there is no Taobao English version, therefore, for all foreigners who want to buy from Taobao, you need a reliable Taobao agent to help you buy, pack and ship items out of China. You can try our Taobao shopping agent service.

1. 1 Juhuasuan (Taobao Groupon) --- This is the Taobao groupon platform founded in 2010 on which you can see many promotional products with big discount everyday.

Tmall.com (Tianmao) - Professional online shopping platform, the superior shopping heaven of consumers around the world! It aims to lead Chinese consumers to discover and experience globalization and a better lifestyle in the first time, and to open up the ideal life in the trend ahead of time! Ideal life, shop on Tmall!

Tmall (Tianmao) is Taobao's B2C(Business to Consumer) market. all shops on Tmall are run by companies registered under China AIC (Administration for Industry and Commerce), as all Tmall sellers need to pay a large amount of deposit(50k/100k RMB) and annual fee(60k RMB) with average 5% transaction fee per sale, general speaking, for same products, Tmall shops' prices are more expensive than Taobao shops'. Another disadvantage of Tmall is you can't see negative customer reviews of all Tmall shops, thus you can't get a helpful judgement on the products before buying it. On TMALL.com, you can find most Chinese famous brands. TMALL also has a supermarket which mainly sells daily necessities such as kitchen condiment, fresh fruit, seafood, milk, rice, detergent, etc...

The main difference between Taobao and Tmall is the different entity of sellers. All taobao sellers are individuals or self-employed households, while all Tmall sellers are registered companies. The other big difference is, to sell goods on Taobao as an Individual, you don't need to pay fees to Taobao and most Taobao shops don't pay tax; While for most Tmall sellers, they need to pay a big amount of fee to Tmall every years and VAT tax to the Chinese government.

2.1 Tmall Supermarket (Tianmao Chaoshi) ---This is where you can buy most groceries which you normally buy at your local supermarkets, such as fresh food and fruit, rice, oil, milk, snacks, beers, beverage, shampoos, napkins...For most big China cities, Tianmao Chaoshi can deliver in 2 days.

2.2 Tmall International (Tianmao Guoji) ---This is the Tmall platform mainly sells imported products and the merchants stationed in Tmall International are all corporate entities outside mainland China and have overseas retail qualifications.

2.3 Tmall Home Appliance City (Dianqicheng) ---This is a Tmall channel mainly sell home appliances, small appliances, mobile phones, cameras, notebooks, computer hardware and other 3C products.

2.4 Flying Pig (Feizhu) --- This is the Tmall travel platform for airline tickets, hotels and tourist routes.

Recent years, JD.com(JingDong) appears to be a big rival of TMALL.com(TianMao). More and more people like to buy high value items on JD.com than on TMALL.com or Taobao.com, even JingDong's price is a bit expensive than TMALL or Taobao. There are 2 main reasons. The 1st reason is JingDong has it's own logistics which can guarantee most of its items be delivered in less than 24 hours to most of big cities in China. Sometimes, if you are in big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, you place the order in the morning, you will receive the goods late in the afternoon. However, all orders on TMALL or Taobao take at least 2-5 days. The 2nd reason is JingDong has a much better after-sale system than TMALL or Taobao. On TMALL or Taobao, if you are unsatisfied with the products and want to return it, you must get the approval of the seller. Although most items on Taobao or TMALL has 7 days unconditional return policy, if sometimes you meet a bad seller who disagrees to accept return, you have no choice but escalate the case to ask Taobao clerks to meddle into it, which will waste weeks of time and may lead to an unhappy end at last. Although generally speaking, Taobao(Tmall) favors on buyers' sides, you still have chance to lose the case if your reason for return is not grouded. However, the situation is totally different on JingDong, when you press the button to return the item on JD.com, they will immediately arrange someone to pick up the returned item at your door the next day and the money will be returned into your JingDong account normally in less than 3 days. Thus for most experienced Chinese online shoppers, they tend to buy high value items such as cell phones, home appliances, computers on JD.com, and only buy low value small wearable items on Taobao or TMALL. This experience is got from thousands of buyers, which can save you a great trouble. You may buy a cell phone on TMALL or Taobao and it's broken after 3 months' normal use, when you want to talk to the seller, you find that TMALL or Taobao shop was closed due to the tough competition. But you still can return it easily to change a new one or get a refund if you bought it on JD.com.

Netease strictly selected (Wangyi Yanxuan), NetEase's original life-based self-operated e-commerce brand, officially launched in April 2016, is the first ODM (original design manufacturer) mode e-commerce company in China, with "good life, not so expensive" Brand Concept. Through the ODM mode, it is directly connected with the big-brand manufacturers, eliminating the brand premium and intermediate links, and selecting high-quality, cost-effective world-class products for the Chinese.


Weipinhui is another NYSE listed Chinese company with ticker: VIPS. It mainly sells huge discounted clothings, bags, shoes, on their homepage, it's common to see brands marked 80-90% off, do you believe it? IMHO, they are only fooling those innocent college boys and girls. Anyone with common sense knows their trick is overpricing an item 400%-500% higher then cutting down to the normal price which appears 80-90% off.

1688.com is the former alibaba.com which Jack Ma established in 1999. Now it has become the wholesale market which supplies a large amount of Chinese domestic retailers. Many retail sellers on Taobao and Tmall source their products from 1688.com. If you want to buy Chinese products in wholesale quantity, 1688 is a good online source which connects you to all kinds of China factories with first-hand price. We are glad to be your 1688 buying agent to help you negotiate price with the factories, send samples, inspect the quality and arrange the customs declaration, shipment ...