Taobao is China’s largest social commerce platform3 and the sixth most visited website on the planet, according to Alexa Internet, Inc. In 2019, the Taobao mobile app reached 755 million monthly active users. A report by Statistica reveals that Taobao’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) approached 3.39 trillion yuan (approximately $532 billion) in 2020. Taobao’s “community-based, content-driven and technology-enabled” approach to eCommerce is a major contributor to the company’s rapid growth. Taobao’s platform enables merchants to use short-form and live streaming videos to create “phygital” shopping experiences that feel more authentic than pre-recorded advertisements. Taobao Live, Taobao’s live streaming platform, now contributes $76 billion in GMV annually—up 90%+ year-over-year.
Brands, merchants, and “key opinion leaders” (KOLs) are cashing in live streaming’s explosive growth on Taobao.
For example, according to Bloomberg, live streamer Li Jiaqi sold $1.9 billion in merchandise on Taobao—in a single day. The same article revealed that live streamers Viya and Cherie each sold more than 1 billion yuan worth of goods on the same day.
Taobao’s success has accelerated live streaming adoption in China, which, according to McKinsey & Company, has turned Chinese live commerce into a $171 billion industry—an industry that’s expected to reach $423 billion in 2022.
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