TaoBao, a Chinese online shopping platform and subsidiary of Alibaba, has begun selling funds through its website.
According to Alibaba, Taobao which is China’s largest ecommerce retail platform, has received approval from China securities to allow the sale of funds. The processing of the transactions will be done by Alibaba’s other subsidiary, Alipay.
This past Friday saw the first batch of 17 institutions published by Taobao in order to sell funds. The companies include Guotai AMC, E Fund and Aegon-Industrial Fund. Alipay will ensure age and name verification before allowing the purchase of funds in their respective stores.
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The purchasing of funds will be no different than any other purchase made on Taobao, and the shops will allow the opening of accounts and the placement of orders. A spokesperson for Alibaba has mentioned that the process is “similar to online clothes shopping”. The institutions will also be providing consultation services, creating a one-stop-shop for funds’ purchasing.
“Taobao is an easy-to-use platform for customers to buy funds, with no complex financial terms or complicated procedures. We are expecting to provide more convenience for ordinary people to manage their money by means of the burgeoning internet finance market,” Stated Yuan Leiming, general manager of the financing department at Alibaba Microfinance Service Group.
This is the first we are seeing the usage of a familiar online shopping concept for investment like purchases similar to funds. It will be interesting to see if the concept reaches beyond the Chinese borders.