Alibaba's popular online marketplace Taobao held its third showcase bazaar, the Taobao Maker Festival, at West Lake in Hangzhou last month where exhibitors showcased their wares and creativity.
Unlike other bazaars, however, zero sales were made as Taobao is eponymous with online shopping. Chris Tung, chief marketing officer for Alibaba Group, emphasised that the festival was held to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Taobao merchants and to give them a wider platform to reach their audience. Data from China Business Network suggests that 77% of independent designers on Taobao were 33 or younger. Despite its baggage as a marketplace of counterfeit products, Taobao provides a low-entry barrier for entreprenuers to start their businesses.
About 20 Chinese designers showcased their work during the festival which was also live-streamed on the Taobao app and Youku. The fashion show was no doubt modeled after Singles' Day's glitzy 'Buy Now, See Now' show held every November.