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Taobao.com breaks record for online sales in a day - $3.1 billion USD (westiseast.co.uk)
173 points by westiseast on Nov 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 119 comments

Incredibly impressive. This may sound horrible and racist but when I think of China and tech I think cheap, hacky, non-reliable, lawless, and poorly done. That's obviously unfair but based on my experiences with outsourcing and the countless stories of friends it's what comes to mind. Given the advanced manufacturing that goes on in China I should know better. I can't fathom the amount of work necessary to make things function at "China scale".

Two words of praise followed by a stream of acknowledged personal biases and admitted stereotypes, which are forwarded anyway. For what reason? To prove the author's own point that he/she doesn't understand the scale of a company which serves one billion people?

My humble suggestion is this: next time, if you don't have a good reason to recite publicly a litany of unfounded assumptions about an entire country and people, don't -- write something like this instead:

> Incredibly impressive. I know nothing about China.

Why? Because those are common misconceptions that I am far from alone in holding. Bringing them up in the face of a monumental achievement is helpful for both myself and others who have had similar thoughts.

In other words, you're trying to justify your own racism?

(If you have to preface your statements with "This may sound horrible and racist", they probably are.)

His statement was never racist, which is probably why he qualified racist with "may sound." China isn't a race.

He was being honest about his own perceptions, and willing to admit they may not be correct. By all means let's have less honesty and less self awareness.

While I agree with what you have to say, it's hard to support you're point of view when you're saying like that.

Be civil.

It seems (to me, at least) that you're saying it so aggressively and childishly, your comments are likely to be discarded and ignored rather than considered.

Unfortunately, you're right. I think it's a bit ridiculous that people are more offended by incivility than racism, though.

To be fair, that's a reasonable position for a person who's "not really racist, but holds opinions that they concede certainly sound racist when said out loud".

Interesting, I thought I was being restrained. While certainly angry, I didn't mean to shut off conversation.

Re: reasonable position

If you have an epiphany that you've been operating on stereotypes (which in this case are racist, IMO), and you want to share the wonder of having your eyes opened to something you couldn't see before, the first thing to do is not to stream those now-understood-to-seem-racist misconceptions -- especially with no discussion of them. You could, instead, talk about what you learned, or why you believed those bad ideas.

And I don't mean why, as in, "because some friends had a bad outsourcing experience." I mean, why are you operating on stereotypes and unfair reductions, especially when you already admit they are wrong.

What would you think if someone said,

"Amazing job. I know it's racist, but I always thought blacks were too busy sitting on their porches drinking 40s that they bought with welfare money. I know too many friends who've had bad experiences with black people. It must be really hard to run for President."

Would you think such a person is having a genuine epiphany and sharing true insight into their own misguided worldview? I would think that the author of the comment is doing a bad job of it, at best. At worst, I would think that person learned nothing, but would like to say something anyway.

I agree with you entirely and unreservedly. The scare quotes in my comment were to poke fun at the idea that a person who holds a set of racist opinions is somehow not a racist.

I do maintain that it is, in some sense, a "reasonable" position for a racist to be more offended by incivility than by racism. Not ideal, or even good, but certainly understandable.

but you're glossing over (conveniently) that the vast majority of crap is made in china. Not to mention the fact that China has no regard to intellectual property, is always the first to produce cheap knock-off products that blatantly ignore the inventor's IP.

And, this doesn't even mention human rights.

If you take off your politically correct hat for a moment you'll see that the comment "cheap, hacky, non-reliable, lawless, and poorly done" is warranted and quite generous in its phrasing.

It's not racist (since China isn't a race), and it's perfectly ok to make statements about a countries exports. Just as its ok to say that Swiss trains run on time, Swedish cars are built like tanks and french wine is good stuff. Not every french wine is great, and not every export from china is crap, but most french wines are good, and most chinese cheap plastic goods are crap too.

actually, most of the people at the top of the bootlegging chain in China are not mainland Chinese, they are of Hong Kong, and Taiwan origin. They just use the mainland as their base of bootlegging, and exploitation of labor. bootlegging gucci hand bags and hollywood films did not start in the mainland. it started in hong kong, and taiwan. not much has changed. it's still the same guys doing it. theyve just relocated. no, you will never hear about this in the mainstream media because hong kong and taiwan are used as a staging area by western governments to destabilise China as a whole. and you cant make your lackeys look bad, because subversion must be rewarded. as far as quality goes, China has sent a few space ships up into space without one ever blowing up. on the other hand, the united states has had 2 of them blow up already. keep in mind that the u.s. hires the top scientists in the world to work on their space ships. while, China relies strictly on Chinese scientists because they are under sanctions from the rest of the world. Despite these odds, China still built their own space ship using their own technology. you should also know that if the u.s. did not bring foreign scientists in, would they be able to go as far as they do. google, and microsoft both hire foreign engineers heavily. take a walk around the silicon valley, and see how many Asians you see. i find it very hard to accept what the shills are pushing. and that includes you hnriot.

Last year I joined a big Chinese startup and, after eight years in China, I discovered something: the best hackers in China are not those you would find in places haunted by foreigners, they would not be working for foreign companies, they don't necessarily like to speak English, even if they follow closely what happens outside. Under these circumstances, many people naturally mistake the cheap and shallow folks they shake hands with in bars for the normal Chinese geek, and conclude it's not that impressive. It's an observation bias. There are many top level Chinese nerds, they are very busy making sites like taobao work.

I agree entirely. I worked in Shanghai for 4 years and hired a lot of Chinese developers. There is some very good talent out there. You need to work at finding it, but that's true everywhere. I think the main difference is that community groups and networking events are really not done out there. And if you're going out to bars looking for developers, well, you're doing it wrong.

One thing I learned from China while being in there: You can get goods of any quality there. The cheap stuff is what most westeners buy, and it is mostly not so good quality. But if you are willing to pay proper prices, you can get quality products.

And there are exceptions on the cheap stuff too, for example I just bought an Aoson M11 Android tablet for 125€ from there and the overall quality seems very good.

theres a reason why you think this. it's because western corporations are threatened by the good Chinese products, so they block the imports. it's called protectionism. instead, what western regimes usually do is, they only allow the import of the cheap, hacky, non-reliable, lawless, and poorly done products. this is why people have that impression. also, western governments and corporation employ millions of shills online to promote this exact idea, so people will continue to buy expensive stuff from western corporations, thinking that they have no other choice. if people knew "the truth", the western corporations would go broke overnight.

OK, I will give a little introduce to you foreign guys: Taobao is a B2C/C2C E-commerce site. 11/11 is called Single's Day(all number is '1', you see?), as some song sings, "single boy single boy.single all the way!".

Taobao is one of the three biggest IT company in China. It is composed of taobao(C2C), tianmao(B2C), alibaba(B2B), yahoo China and etao(shopping search).

Moreover, you must know that on October 30, 2012, China's largest online book retailer, oldest B2C electronic business, the first landing Nasdaq China's e-commerce company, Dangdang, declared to join Tianmao.

Finally, I should say as Ma-yun said : I am very cruel, more brutal tomorrow, the day after tomorrow is very beautiful, but most of the dead tomorrow night, only those who are the real heroes to see the sun on the day after tomorrow.

Sing with me together!

single boy, single boy, single all the way!

single man, single man, single all the way!

For anyone who hasn't lived in China it's hard to imagine how much better Taobao is than EBay. No fees for buyers or sellers, no transaction fees for up to 1000 RMB purchase, same day delivery in many cities, prices that are way better than retail, and the ability to find just about anything.

word up. and no freezing your account for signing in from the different ip address, or whatever reason ebay decides is worthy of taking your money

That's true

Particularly fascinating, that as a long time daily (hourly?) reader of HN I've never even heard of Taobao before today.

China's web, while accessible via the "regular" internet (vs things like Iran's and NK's version of the internet) is really an internet all to its own.

The average citizen in China does not use any foreign websites to do anything [citation needed]. All the services you and I consume online are replicated in China by Chinese companies. From Gmail to Yahoo!, from Facebook to twitter, from Amazon to eBay, from CNN to FOX.

It's really no surprise you haven't heard of this (I haven't either). Very few such Chinese sites even attempt at marketing themselves out of mainland China (notable exemption being the original Alibaba marketplace to great effect, Taobao is apparently a different site by the same group). It's fascinating how the internet has so effectively bridged other cultures while keeping others at arm's length - even when connected and technically accessible.

The reason for this is because the way the chinese internet is structured it all flows through a single back bone in and out of the country so that it can be easily censored or even cut off if needed. This means latency is terrible, when doing a traceroute out of china you can see the first hop outside the country adds at minimum 200ms. Then you factor into the fact that many sites like youtube, twitter, and facebook are blocked. The rest provide little or no content for chinese readers it is not surprising that the average chinese user never visits any foreign websites.

For every site that is created in a western country in english there is a chinese equivalent that will pop up within a few months that caters to chinese users and the chinese language. Western companies just dont care enough about the chinese users to create sites that they would be comfortable using

Don't care or just trying to avoid the legal quagmire that is China?

Maybe the censorship issues caused by the governmental firewall coupled with murky rules for doing business over the web in China, doesn't exactly translate into a business friendly environment?

well, i'd say that the unfriendly business environment lies in the usa, and europe. i look around China and see different car brands from throughout the world. however, when i go to western countries, the choices are limited to europe, usa, japan, and south korea. the same goes for other products. for example, there are abou 20 different tablet brands in China, however, in western countries, only a couple of them really dominate. China allows just about every brand of tablets, and mobile phones you can think of. however, the west is extremely limiting when it comes to the choices of brands. there are probably 5 different shoe brands in China that are the equivalent of nike, and adidas. they are called lining, 361, anta, peak, and xtep. in addition to selling these brands, China also welcome brands from the west, and throughout the world to be sold in China. my conclusion is that the west is much more business unfriendly than China. sure China does have some protectionist measures, but overall, after i have compared the two places, i find that i have much more choices in China than in the west. by the way, skype, ebay, and amazon all operate in China, and have millions of customers. on the other hand, how many taobao, 360buy, and uu customers can you find in europe?

> flows through a single back bone in and out of the country

This is false, actually the GFW is built in parallel with multiple backbones, which in very high bandwidth the censorship fails from time to time.

It's a language issue. I spent some time in a major inland Chinese city this year. 2 weeks in a city of 14m people and I didn't run into a single one that spoke sufficient English for a conversation.

So, for every new Chinese startup, are there hordes of people crying about why they haven't rolled out to America?

(I'm sorry, this comment isn't like me, but I couldn't resist.)

People in China are well-informed about all these companies overseas and often question about the Chinese version's originality. Companies like Amazon do have their own branch in China and it's not really that isolated as you seemed to suggest.

You can't really complain that Chinese companies exploit a market left untouched by culturally-ignorant Western companies. I bet if more US companies spent more time targeting the Chinese market in the right way (i.e. perfect i18n support, interfaces built with Chinese languages in mind etc), these knockoffs would get less traction.

(Of course there's always the political problem, the knockoffs are often State-sponsored etc etc, but I bet they'd suffer in face of superior competition, if they actually had real competition.)

Look what happens when western companies try? Google, for example...

Why would people be crying that knockoffs of US sites have not rolled out to the US? Perhaps I missed your sarcasm...?

> China's web, while accessible via the "regular" internet (vs things like Iran's and NK's version of the internet) is really an internet all to its own.

Same goes for Russia.. and in smaller scale to some other countries.

this is not because China isn't trying to market itself outside, it is because if China expands overseas, then it will threaten the interests of amazon, ebay, facebook, twitter, yahoo, gmail,cnn, and fox. if people had a chance to try out the Chinese version, 50% of them would choose the Chinese version instead. facebook, twitter, amazon, ebay, cnn, fox, gmail, and yahoo would absolutely retaliate by launching some kind of trade war, including all kinds of dirty tricks, sabatoge, etc. this is what China is afraid of, and this is why China is afraid to expand. why do you think most of the world uses gmail, yahoo, facebook, ebay, and twitter. it's not that they are unable to develop their own, it's that they don't want to break the unwritten rule, that is, do not threaten the business interests of american corporations. this is why the u.s. spends so much on military. if they had no military to back up their corporations, then people would simply go in their own direction, and the market would be up for grabs, but for now, it will stay firmly in the grips of the u.s. corps

Taobao is fantastic for buying anything China makes (which is almost everything). It is part auction house, part business-to-business sales. There are even quite a few services to get around the language barrier.

A word of caution, if something goes wrong your money is almost certainly lost. Sometimes the firm that you bought it from has folded (I've had this happen in the time it took to deliver the order) to the seller sending bricks. It is buyer beware to the extreme but usually for the price you are paying you can afford to lose the occasional shipment and still save money.

Interesting to read your comment and dmoy's.

On the one hand, compared to Amazon.com, Taobao sounds like a horrible shopping experience. On the other hand, compared to a shuk (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is), it is a vast improvement.

Context is everything.

with all due respect to Tsagadai, I disagree. Taobao is an excellent shopping experience and I've never been ripped off there (perhaps my wife is an expert taobao-ista, which helps).

(1) Shops are absolutely crap scared of a bad review. Shoppers avoid bad reviews like the plague, and there's normally so much competition that you can always find an alternative. The 1 time we gave a bad review, we had a call from the seller within 1 hour offering all manner of things for us to take it back.

(2) Delivery is excellent - next day courier services. Taobao practically revolutionised the postal service in China because the national postal system was so bad. So, 10RMB (around £1) can get you national, next-day delivery for most small items (eg. a small parcel).

(3) The mobile site is awesome, full stop.

(4) There's just so much choice. I can buy official, full price products from the brand (ie, not a reseller, but the actual company), or 2nd hand, or knockoffs. Most knockoffs are clearly marked as such.

(5) Safety - it's not a direct payment system per se, but an escrow service. If you aren't happy in any way with your product, you click a button and the seller gets nothing.

Most of the time the experience is fantastic but like any shop you can get ripped off. I've been ripped off a few times on ebay and craigslist too. Certain product categories tend to attract scammers and I know many people who have never had a bad experience (other than getting things months late but that is usually caused by customs or courier services at either end). As always, until the product is working and in your hands you should be wary of the seller and take precautions to avoid becoming a mark.

Taobao has one factor that generally makes it better than ebay and most other online retailers and auction sites: it is the sole source of income for many companies that sell through it. Many Chinese manufacturers are only selling their products through the alibaba ecosystem so they really care about their reputation. That is why they get defensive or start offering all sorts of things to remove bad reviews, because it can shut down their whole revenue stream.

ive used both ebay, and taobao, and i have been ripped off once from taobao, compared to about 5 times on ebay. i am not including ebay the corporation themselves ripping me off. they froze my account, and took all my money. i've also talked to someone else who had her account frozen with about $10,000 in her account. ebay is now using the excuse of "security" to freeze your account. they say they want to protect your "online safety", but the truth is, they just want to take your money. many ebay employeees have come forward and exposed the dodgy practices of ebay. China will always come up with the better stuff because people are constantly criticising China, so they strive to be better. on the other hand, anyone criticising ebay, or amazon will be met immediately by 100 shills who say that ebay, and amazon are great. thats why ebay and amazon will never improve because instead of spending time to make themselves better, they are spending money hiring shills.

There are a lot of stories about Shop-owners begging customers to change their bad review, and some shop-owners goes further trying to bribe Employees inside Taobao company (to cheat on the review system), last year Jack Ma (the boss) fired quite a few people because of this.

Makes me wish I could read/write/speak the language.

You don't need to because they want to sell to you and there are also third parties helping this happen.

There is aliexpress also which is in many languages.

My friends and I do online shopping a lot, so far as I know, Taobao is better than all other competitors in China, such as Amazon China / DangDang / JinDong...

Taobao is awesome. The barrier is a bit higher without being able to read Chinese, but with someone to help you navigate the final portions, it's a damn good deal. Way more relaxing than going to the markets and getting mobbed.

Will they ship anywhere? i.e. will they send an individual item to North America? or even a whole container?

Yes they will (most of times). One thing to remember: Taobao is entirely third party sellers. Nothing you buy come from Taobao itself. So from item to item, the terms vary quite a bit.

mostly, but I don't think all?? The TMall section is large retail stores - it's the equivalent of buying from a large high-street retailer. Some of them are shipping thousands of packages a day, so you can place some faith in them (ie. at least 110+ stores made more than 10million RMB in a day, so it's not like buying from a street market trader.)

There are companies setup that will buy things for you on taobao and ship them to you overseas. They help with customs etc and have sites in English. Google 'taobao english' and/or 'taobao agent'

I wonder if there's an opportunity for a service "to help you navigate the final portions"?

After reading this I messaged a friend of mine who has been living in Hong Kong for the past 3 years and he said, "every single female I know uses Taobao religiously, it's awesome; I'm surprised you guys haven't heard of it!".

That said, even after his explanation of "it's kind of like amazon prime" I still don't understand what's going on here.

I've been using taobao intensively for our business for quite a long time. we are a hardware start-up, we bought components from taobao, make, assemble PCB prototypes from taobao, It's so much better than ebay, for example, they have a IM client for you to chat with the seller, negotiate price and shipping cost in real time, and once the deal is made, they can change the price instantly for you. There also sites that buy taobao things for you and ship them to the US, so all you need is a paypal account or a credit card, and the ability to read Chinese.

taobao also allows you to list contact information like qq, and cell phone numbers, whereas on ebay's totalitarian platform, you cant do this

Article forgets to mention that it was singles day in China, and Taobao did a special promotion for it. Still a good record to hol.

first sentence?

Although I still wasn't sure what "singles day" is (some sort of reverse of Valentine's Day?), it's a little clearer by itself than "double sticks day" (a phrase which yields all of 3 results on Google).

Googling "singles day" explained everything.

singles day is kind of kidding among young people. Blogger will write articles/poets this day to comfort people whom is still single, also merchants will give a discount for the same reason...

The 1st-Jan is considered to be small singles day, then "11th-Jan" and "1st-Nov" the middle singles day, and "11th-Nov" the ultimate singles day.

Wow, it seems you know a lot about the Chinese new popular "festival". Your explanation is totally correct!

right, 應該讓老外知道中國電商在「光棍節」搞促銷的手段是多麼厲害。


Reading on a low-res tablet, I couldn't see the right half of the screen. Thought you might want to know.

Same on my netbook. Needed to [ctrl]+[-].

problem solved, thanks again.


While you're at it, I see the same thing in Firefox on Linux. There is no horizontal scroll bar, either, so I can't scroll to the cropped text. My window size is currently 1066x891.

Same problem on ipad 3. Can't see the right edge of text.

For me it's not surprised for me that you guys don't know Taobao. I would like to say you can buy everything on Taobao, it's true. For many people in China, once they come up with something want to buy, they search on Taobao first. And according to my own experience, you can get what you want in 99% of the time. You can even explor many creative goods on Taobao. Actually Taobao has done this sort of big sales many times but not big as this time. Also, there's some small villages in China that most people in the village are selling their goods on Taobao and the village has more than 5 carriers carry all the stuff every day for these sellers.

Does anyone know what they did in 2011 from a sales perspective? They are a marketplace for small retailers, so I'm curious what their margins are or commissions they take. What % of the total online commerce for that day was this? Also are these all credit card transactions or are they COD? Other forms of payments? Is taobao handling all the payment transactions? sorry for all the questions, I don't read chinese so I can't find all this info on my own.

I don't know revenue/profit (I think they're listed, so you can check them online). Sales on this day last year was something like 5.2bn RMB from memory? Again, not sure about commissions either - I've only ever bought stuff from the site.

Again, AFAIK everything goes through ZhiFuBao. It's an escrow service in fact, so the buyer must confirm receipt of the item before any money goes to the seller. There's no COD, and that's part of the success (people in China are very worried about scams and had zero faith in online shopping before Taobao setup their system). You can pay using most mainstream credit cards/banks in China, although I think things like AMEX or mastercard aren't supported.

> Does anyone know what they did in 2011 from a sales perspective?

The 11.11 fest began in 2009

2010-11-11: RMB 0.936B in Alipay

2011-11-11: RMB 5.2B in Tmall+Taobao

2012-11-11: RMB 19.1B in Tmall+Taobao

source: 2010年,淘宝当日录得9.36亿元支付宝交易额;2011年,淘宝和天猫当天的支付宝交易额约为52亿元;2012年,当天的交易额大幅增长至191亿元

they dont take commisstions, thost retailers pay the rent of online store,there are difference between stores, some stores they are is rent free which doesnt have adavanced functions,some of them need to pay rent ,and still cheap

They own their own version of PayPal which lots of people use, which easily links up with all of the major Chinese banks + debit cards. They also do a lot of pre-paid business where people go into the post office and put money on their account. Sounds weird but it's huge over there.

Don't know about commissions but given how fiercely competitive the market is (and most of the competition is on price) there is no chance the fees are anything like ebays (taobao is chinese ebay/amazon).

Side note but interesting: most of the sellers there offer live chat customer service. You see something you want and you can immediately IM the person through taobao and ask questions, make modifications to the order and bargain on the price. It's awesome and so common that it's basically expected.

Taobao doesn't charge any commission; most of their income comes from advertising on the home / category / search pages (you might not have noticed they were ads because they're all for Taobao stores or products sold through Taobao), and you can also pay to add extra features/customization to your Taobao store page.

As a witness, I am so proud. HBase also plays a pivotal role in this Crazy sales. One important application of taobao read 10Gbps and write 5Gbps data per second from HBase. Another incredible thing is that 1000 million trades has been processed in Alipay in one day, and even unbelievable thing is , they don't use Any IBM mini computers, instead, they only use 10 PCs with fusion IO devices in the trade database.

Beyond being impressed by Taobao's scale, I would caution HN readers not to fall into the trap of thinking about China as a monolithic unit. Assuming that China is homogenous is just as foolish as assuming America is homogenous. Taobao's success is also tied to their ability to understand the drastic cultural differences between different areas of the country, and understanding how to market to these "countries within a country." If you are unfamiliar with China, I would highly suggest reading about Patrick Chovanec's "Nine Nations of China."

1. http://chovanec.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/the-nine-nations-of... 2. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/11/the-nine...

mostly, we use java on customed JVM, mysql, customed Nginx(tengine), and etc.

As a marketplace how does the discounting work? Do they entice their merchants to put up discounts on this day? Are they mainly doing centeralised fulfillment like a fulfilled by amazon or is it up to the merchants to dispatch?

taobao.com is like ebay, tmall.com is another branch, with certificated salers. There's no fulfillment like Amazon, everything is up to the buyer to choose.

The discounting began a month before Nov 11 where the price of the item is set as the ceiling, from the then price can only be made lower.

Is their any information that confirms this. $3.1 billion is almost .5% of China's GDP. This sounds wrong.

Are you sure? Last year's GDP is 47 trillion RMB:


Update: the correct link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_GDP_of_the_People%27...

The single quotation mark is filtered by HN comment system

You're off by a factor of 10.

That being said, it still seems dubious--given China's online population of 538 million people, that's $5.7 average per person spent, which is a little higher than the average per person expenditure for last year's entire Cyber Monday ($1.2 billion according to the article, and around 210 million people online in the US as of February 2011 according to an online source makes about $5.6). In a country whose average urban per capita disposable income is around 10x lower than the average per capita disposable income in the US overall, I'm taking this with a grain of salt.

fair point - the figures released by taobao are those in the article, so if you distrust those, then so be it.

Anecdotally, I believe it. Everyone I know was buying stuff that day, and not in small amounts - I bought 2 years worth of toothpaste, some baby products, shower gel... average per-order value needs only to be 180RMB, 86RMB per reported user, which isn't a lot of money at all here, despite income disparity.

I understand you. But perhaps you are not familiar with the Chinese shopping habits and the situation now they faced with. High price good with heavy tax in the physical stores would be only sold with 50% discount in taobao online shops. If US could have such discount percentage, I believe that $5.6 could just be a small change

You are off by about an order of magnitude. China's GDP is about $7 trillion US.


It's also all over the news in China too, as far as you trust that :)

Yes! We do!

Some app in Java, and more and more app will in Lua. We just changed the ad system and take more than 200% up qps/pc.


I find this story to be complete BS. I find it hard to believe this much volume in one day from one site and everything worked like a charm. The payments gateways worked flawlessly? I think this is just a publicity stunt to drive traffic.

u r totally wrong!The payments gateways is fine!The technical skills of alibaba is beyond your imagination.Taobao has their own database called OceanBase,in that day,this database load more than 1.5 billion visit and the alipay(支付宝) finish 100 billion deal!

I think it is just a figure for advertisement or PR, please do not take it seriously. Does anyone remember the news about "Alibaba Transferred Alipay Ownership Without Yahoo Approval", by the way, Taobao is owned by Alibaba group.

What does a dispute between two corporations have to do with their reported sales figures? Racist much? Just because they are a Chinese company doesn't mean they should not be trusted.

Share some data from alipay DB system, for the core payment database, total 4 billion transaction processed, 28 billion SQLs are executed, and 193 billion memory data blocks are touched, and 1.3 billion physical disk read only.

haha !!!!I'm chinese ,after reading your comments I feel strang。 and do u know the meaning of 11.11? hah ,it means single's day! hah!!!!!!! last , www.xiaoneiit.com ,it's my website..... :))))

I don't speak or read Chinese, but my guess is that not all of these sales were online, that for many (most?) the payment occurred in retail stores.

nope - taobao is a 100% online store. It's a single shop, where individuals or big brands can setup stores. AFAIK they have no physical outlets at all, and everything goes through their own custom payment portal called Zhi Fu Bao (支付报). That's why it's so incredible!

Great introduction. I am an Chinese and I use Taobao really a lot while I was in China. There is no such things like physical Taobao shops at all.


操,能说明中国的光棍太多了么? Fuck, may I say that Chinese has so many single man? 还得注册!!!

see what they did: //player.youku.com/player.php/sid/XNDczOTM0OTcy/v.swf

haha !!!!I'm chinese ,after reading your comments I feel strang。 and do u know the meaning of 11.11? hah ,it means single's day! hah!!!!!!!

hi,guys.I am Beijing.It's really interesting to see your comments. There are always something exist in this earth ,your do not know .haha

Thanks for paying attention on taobao~~~~



comments so awesome


me 2 lol when i see your post :-)

Surprised nobody is talking about the most interesting part.

Taobao runs almost entirely on Nginx-Lua-MySQL. And I mean entirely. There is no application server just Nginx. And every request is non blocking all the way from user to database and back. Very, very fast.


In fact one of the developers from Taobao wrote the Lua integration.

The ngx_lua solution is awesome, but Taobao runs mostly on Java, not Lua. The software stack is Nginx(Tengine)-Java-MySQL.

I know URL file extensions aren't necessarily related to the technologies being used, by why is it that the URLs end in .php on taobao.com? Did they migrate from PHP to the new stack and then want to keep the existing URLs for some reason?

Not all of Taobao. Most of the business logic is still written in Java.

Could someone please expand on how they integrate Java with nginx/tengine and Lua?

OT: sounds like there's where GO should be, integrated with Nginx to have an end-to-end async stack.

"1hr after the promotion opened, the first package was received."

I think that is the most interesting part. It's pretty incredibile how efficient taobao is in such an inefficient country.

The country can be scarily efficient given appropriate incentives and/or connections. If something is stalled beyond reasonable period, chances are there are wheels to be oiled somewhere.

Yup! The one day courier service is one of the big draws of the site besides there being a shop for just about anything.

That's amazing but doubtful. Anyone received his/her package at 01:00 a.m.? BTW, Taobao is a third-party e-commerce platform, it doesn't handle the delivery.

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