Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding plans to invest 200 million yuan ($29.93 million) to build its Taobao Mall brand, a trade platform between businesses and consumers, as part of efforts to fend off competition from rivals such as Baidu and Dangdang.com.
Taobao Mall said it will start a brand-building campaign over the next three months, after launching its independent domain, Tmall.com, on Monday. Previously, Taobao Mall was part of Taobao.com, China's largest shopping site, where the majority of sellers are individual consumers instead of businesses.
"We expect the growth of the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector to surpass the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) one over the next few years," said Taobao Chief Financial Officer Daniel Zhang. Splitting Taobao Mall from the company's C2C marketplace will give the former more freedom and receive more resources in its future development, Zhang said.