Saturday, October 29, 2005 turns up the heat on eBay

The sneering and snorting about "free stuff" from its B2B rivals has been somewhat muted in recent months as the scale of's conquest of the China online sourcing market becomes clear....underlined by its massive deal with Yahoo.

Given the extent to which eBay has become a centre for small business activity, it seems reasonable to turn our attention to what Jack Ma and Co. are doing with their auction site, Having closed the Yahoo deal this week, they immediately announced an injection of Rmb1 billion (US$125 million) into Taobao and, more importantly, confirmed that it will remain free for a least three more years.

They are already making strong headway: ranks at #28 and its measures suggest an audience almost 12 million users. ranks #52 and appears to generate an audience of around 7.5 million. The battle isn't over but it is increasingly well funded.

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