Taobao.com, China's top consumer-to-consumer (C2C) site, will receive a further two billion yuan (292 million U.S. dollars) in investment from its parent Alibaba Group over the next five years.
The decision was announced at the five-year anniversary ceremony of the group by Ma Yun, founder and CEO of the Hong Kong-listed corporation.
"The two billion yuan investment will be spent in the next five years on technology, innovation, introduction of talent and other aspects," he said.
The huge amount is the third and largest investment from Alibaba since the establishment of Taobao.com, far exceeding the 1.45 billion yuan it received from its parent starting from 2003.
Ma set a long-term goal for Taobao.com to surpass U.S. giant Wal-Mart, the world's top retailer, whose trading volume reached 3.5 trillion yuan globally last year. The estimated trading volume for Taobao.com this year was 100 billion yuan.
"Wal-Mart needs to buy more market sites, equipment and warehousing if they want to win another 10,000 customers. But for Taobao.com, we only need to get several new network servers," he said.
Taobao.com is currently the nation's dominant online retailer with 67 million registered accounts. About 10 million customers visit Taobao daily.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2008)