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Eye on China - Taobao.com to publish its stats

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China's Taobao.com has announced that it will publish its usage statistics, in a move that's causing some excitement at Etail Towers.

The report in China Retail News (to whom we're indebted for the translation!) suggests that detailed statistics on usage will come in three flavours:

  1. macro statistics giving an overview of the e-commerce industry and  latest consumer trends - free of charge

  2. industry- and vertical-specific information and research on consumer behaviours - available to paying subscribers

  3. private statistics covering the privacy of individual consumers and enterprises. The company states "Taobao.com will not openly provide this data to third parties".

We're not quite sure to whom the 'private data' will be given, or whether only in a 'non-open' way (?), but our interpretation is that this rich behavioural data may be available to partners or may be accessible in an anonymised fashion for trading, but not the underlying data.

The focus for us, though, is being able to get a glimpse of customer behaviour for the Chinese market.

Recently, Taobao announced that it was to open 30,000 stores, including on student campuses and universities, and when combined with the reach of Alibaba and Alipay, there's a phenomenal quantity of cross-channel information potentially available.

We'll monitor the situation and bring further news and insights once the service is live, especially as we prepare for our forthcoming "Accessing Asia" supplement.
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