Hangzhou, China, July 9, 2017 - Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) has launched its second Taobao Maker Festival to celebrate the "maker spirit" of the young entrepreneurs on Taobao Marketplace. 108 merchants who are running their businesses on the commerce-oriented social platform have gathered in an offline Magical Bazaar that represents the diverse and dynamic Taobao Marketplace. The event, running from July 8-12, has transformed the Hangzhou International Expo Center into a bustling street market that showcases the ingenuity of these young entrepreneurs.
Millennials are the core users of Taobao Marketplace and an increasing number of young entrepreneurs have also turned to this platform to experiment with their innovative ideas. These aspirational consumers and entrepreneurs desire products of originality, individuality and quality. Taobao Maker Festival is a perfect occasion for these like-minded people to meet and display their creativity.
Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group, said: "The inaugural Taobao Maker Festival last year wowed people in China and beyond with its impressive line-up of original designs and trendsetting products that embodied the innovative thinking of China's younger generation. This year, we hope to further promote this ‘Maker Youngster' spirit, recognizing it as the key driving force behind a generation of Chinese entrepreneurs and customers who place originality, quality and human well-being at the center of consumption and their way of living."
The number of merchant participants increased by 50% this year from 2016. An overwhelming majority of these merchants are first-time participants and Taobao-native merchants. The Magical Bazaar comprises four themed zones that represent current trends, subculture, little things in life and individual designs. In amongst these unique zones, buyers can find celebrity merchants as well as merchandise stores originating from popular online shows and characters.
Throughout the event, some of the participating merchants are invited to introduce their ideas and products on stage, alongside interactive workshops for select Taobao makers to demonstrate their production process. Performances highlighting creativity and subculture are also on show. Framestore, the Oscar-winning creative studio behind the blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, is the visual effects partner of this year's Taobao Maker Festival. A live webcast of the event is available through the Taobao App.
The Tao Café, an experimental cashier-less coffee shop, is another feature of this year's event. Alibaba's AI and data technologies have made it possible for customers to shop in this offline store without going through the time-consuming process of queuing to pay.
This year's Taobao Maker Festival for the first time is held in the same week at the Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan. The concurrent event hosts Taobao merchants from both Taiwan and mainland China, providing a platform for participants from both locations to exchange ideas and explore collaboration opportunities.
About Taobao Marketplace
Launched in 2003, Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) is a commerce-oriented social platform that allows consumers to enjoy an engaging, personalized shopping experience optimized by big-data analytics. Through highly relevant and engaging content and real-time updates from merchants, consumers can learn about products and new trends as well as interact with each other and their favorite merchants and brands on Taobao Marketplace. Merchants on Taobao Marketplace are primarily individuals and small businesses. According to iResearch, Taobao Marketplace was China's largest mobile commerce destination in terms of gross merchandise value in 2016. Taobao Marketplace is a business of Alibaba Group.
The Taobao App is a leading mobile commerce app in the world with 468 million monthly active users in May 2017. On average, each active user launched the app 7.8 times per day during the same month.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.