E-commerce is booming in China right now. An article in this month’s Economist magazine focused on the highly successful Chinese online entrepreneur Jack Ma (马云 – Mǎ Yún), founder of the Alibaba Group. He was named by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 world’s most influential people in 2009.
For those unfamiliar with Alibaba.com, it is a website that ‘makes it easy for anyone to buy or sell online anywhere in the world’, essentially a cross-between ebay and yell.com.
One of Mr Yun’s most profitable web-based enterprises is the ‘online mall’ called Taobao (淘宝网 – Táobǎowǎng). Over £29million worth of goods were bought and sold on the site in 2009 and its user base now stands at a whopping 370 million.
Taobao notoriously was so popular in 2006 that it forced ebay’s Chinese site to shut down.
In Spring 2010, a new Taobao platform titled Taobao Trip (淘宝旅行 – Táobǎo lǚxíng) launched. The subsite targets young holidaymakers and offers a one-stop shop to book flights, hotels, and range of other travel services.
To promote its offering the firm has created a new TV commercial with cuddly flying pigs.
The advert is supposed to encourage Chinese citizens to book a holiday for the Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) which begins on 3rd February 2011 – a time when demand for travel in China is at its greatest.
The only thing that annoys me about the TVC is the really poor CGI effects, I still don’t understand why Chinese cinema, TV, and advertising lacks in this area compared to its Western counterparts…ah well.
If you want to get your head around Taobao I would recommend checking out Taobao Field Guide.
Credit to: LOWE (Shanghai Branch)