Alibaba hosts the fourth Taobao Maker Festival

Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao has kicked off its fourth Taobao Maker Festival.

The signature offline event within the Alibaba ecosystem celebrates the maker spirit of China’s young entrepreneurs. The event continues to expand in scale, with this year’s festival held at two different Hangzhou venues. It will showcase more than 1000 new and creative products, along with the most exciting avant-garde designs at the Broken Bridge Fashion Show, which opens the two-week festival.

“The Taobao Maker Festival offers a creative and exciting experience for both our makers and visitors,” said Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer Chris Tung. “Taobao has increasingly become the go-to platform for incubating new concepts, new designs and new products. The products that premier during this year’s Festival will have a strong appeal among young people, especially the Generation Z, who long for new experiences.”

Featured new products will include a vegan meat launched by Hong Kong social enterprise GreenMonday, powered exoskeletons launched by C-Exoskeleton, a virtual-reality headset launched by HTC and simultaneous translation technology launched by iFlytek, among many others.

“Brands and merchants will not only have the opportunity to showcase their innovative products and interact with users in the Alibaba ecosystem during the event, but they can also leverage social and content tools embedded in Taobao and Tmall to increase the impact after the Festival,” said Tung.

In the coming three years, Taobao plans to incubate 200,000 merchants with more than RMB5 million (US$706,300) each in annual sales. Taobao statistics released in July this year showed that new merchants who joined Taobao over the past three years achieved a total turnover of nearly RMB500 billion ($70.63 billion) in the current fiscal year. As of the end of last year, there were nearly 50,000 independent designers running their business on Taobao, most of whom are in their 20s and early 30s.

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