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Alibaba kicks off Taobao fest in China's Hangzhou

IANS  |  Hangzhou (China) 

Chinese Alibaba on Thursday flagged off its Maker Festival in China's scenic city Hangzhou, about 180 km southwest of Shanghai, drawing hundreds of young entrepreneurs.

"The four-day festival from September 13 showcases and celebrates the originality and creativity of several young Chinese merchants selling innovative products on platform," Alibaba Group's told the media while flagging off the fest here.

Taobao, meaning "search for treasure" in Mandarin, is Alibaba Group's digital portal, opened in 2003 for consumers to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from electronics, home appliances, furniture and clothing.

The third edition of the fest, being held by the iconic in the provincial capital of and where $40-billion Alibaba is headquartered, has over 200 merchants displaying their products and technologies.

Among the products and technologies on display include giant robots, electronic gadgets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices for businesses, inventive takes on traditional Chinese clothing, calligraphy and mythology, shopping experiences, anime-inspired products and a vintage market.

The innovations will have a great influence not just on but the whole world, Tung said.

With over 10 million active sellers on Taobao, the company has used data analytics to identify the most popular merchants on the digital platform to take part in this offline fest.

"We will be presenting innovation prizes as part of the festival to recognise the achievements of young entrepreneurs on Taobao," the portal's Fan added.

Several hundreds of consumers are expected to attend the four-day annual fest from across China, Hong Kong, and

For the first time, the festival will also host a 'night market' to feature indie fashion shows, live concerts and

While the past two editions of the fest were held indoors, this edition is taking place outdoors, by the picturesque in the city's downtown and is open to public.

The fest is aimed at sparking creativity among the youth of and the world at large, an Alibaba told IANS earlier.

The fest also provides a common platform for the sellers to share the stories behind their innovations with the buyers.

Beijing-based data analysis firm ranks Taobao as China's top mobile commerce platform in terms of sales.

According to data from the company in June, Taobao had a total of 634 million monthly active users, a majority of who are young Chinese aged between 19-38.

Many consumers who attended the previous two editions of the fest have turned merchants, inspired by others.

"The grand event has become not only an annual gathering of entrepreneurs to demonstrate their creativity, but also a window for the world to understand China's aspirational young consumers," added the

The 19-year-old Chinese conglomerate has been hosting the fest since 2016, as an and product expo, offering a forum for hundreds of merchants and consumers to interact with one another.

Around 80 per cent of the Group's sales are generated from mobile terminals of its portals, including, and Taobao is a major contributor to these sales.

Co-founded in 1999 by Chinese teacher-turned-entrepreneur with 17 other partners (investors) as a platform to connect Chinese manufacturers with the world, Alibaba is one of the largest global firms, with 86,833 employees and millions of

The group's businesses and affiliates include its portals, Taobao, and AliExpress, film-making firm Alibaba Pictures, Alibaba Cloud, financial services company and new Hema.

The fest is being held days after the company's co-founder and Executive Ma announced a succession plan, appointing the Daniel Zhang as the group's next from September 2019.

(is in at the invitation of Alibaba. She can be contacted at



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, September 13 2018. 21:12 IST