Finally, a Taobao for Foreigners in China –, the first e-commerce site for foreigners in China
Taobao, eat your heart out --, the first e-commerce shop for foreigners in China, has landed in Shanghai, and wants to serve you.

E-commerce in China is simple for foreigners who can’t do Chinese.

Get a Chinese friend to help you search, translate and make the purchase on Taobao. Repeat every time you need something online in China. (And as you tire of this, wonder why on earth Taobao, in its rush for riches, left behind the foreigners.)

Jack Ma might just kick himself when he discovers the latest addition to the e-Commerce world in China —, the first English (and Chinese) e-Commerce site just for foreigners in China.

Like Taobao, it has a wide array of merchandise for sale at deep discounts (20 to 80 percent), just a click away — from strappy sandals to Hello Kitty hair straighteners to laptops to android devices to even scooters. Currently they have more than 3,000 items available, and plan to add even more. And, like Taobao, you can communicate with sellers if you need another color or size.

But what impressed me is that strives to provide a better service experience. They offer five different payment methods, including cash on delivery and cash in advance. This is a godsend for anyone like myself who has crossed their fingers as they enter their Chinese bank card number in a rather dodgy e-Commerce platform (which will remain nameless). You can also use your Paypal, instead of having to sign up with yet another payment portal (which will also remain nameless).

Delivery fees range from 10 to 30 RMB — not much more than an average taxi fare around Shanghai (and less hassle).

The site has a much cleaner, more web 2.0 look than Taobao. So if you’re tired of a dizzying array of links and annoying, animated ads, you’re in for a treat. is also truly a joint venture effort, founded by a Christoph, who hails from France, and Clara, from China. They’re backed up by an international team of twentysomethings who surely hope this site will become the next Taobao.

Unfortunately, I’m not in Shanghai, so I haven’t had a chance to try it. But if you’re there — and tired of braving the foot traffic on Nanjing Lu or Huaihai Lu — give a go, and let me know what you think.

UPDATE: While the cash on delivery option is currently ONLY for Shanghai residents, foreigners from ANYWHERE in China can buy on their site with Paypal or any other electronic payment method.

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7 thoughts on “Finally, a Taobao for Foreigners in China –

  • October 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Okay.. Okay.. I am trying this today… I am close to shanghai.. so I can see if it works… I hope they have western sizes… I am soooo .. happy to hear this. I have been fighting with and trying to beg people to order for me… it is horrible… now i see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you so much for this post.

  • October 8, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for the link! I’m on their site right now. Looks like they don’t have much inventory yet but I’ll boy a couple of things in hopes that helps them build their business, and stock!

    • October 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      @Jo, thanks for stopping by! You’ll have to check and see if they offer shipping outside of Shanghai. My impression was they only serviced Shanghai areas, but they may be able to do it — for higher shipping costs.

      @Melanie, glad you found this useful! But, as with Jo, I don’t know if they will ship outside of Shanghai — check with them. They do seem like a friendly bunch.

      • October 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        Great news — A reader just told me that they can indeed ship outside of Shanghai, as long as you use paypal or make an electronic transfer of money to

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  • July 8, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Hi,shopattao is a great taobao agent that can help you solve all of the problem buy from china,and the price will surprise you,it has the lowest fee and the best rate..what is more,it is safe,it is a good choice for you,if you want to buy cheap chinese stuff,have a look at


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