Shanghai Evening Post, 4/21/11
Taobao's online real estate platform, Taobao Real Estate (fang.taobao.com), has launched a "New Properties" online real estate e-commerce channel. As of April 20, the channel lists 6,891 new properties in 86 buildings across 27 cities in China for users to purchase directly online.
A Taobao spokesperson said that the company is now in talks with property developers in Guangzhou, Chongqing and a number of other cities, and expects to begin adding approximately 7,000 new units from buildings in phase-2 construction to its listings in mid-May. The spokesperson, surnamed Suo, said Taobao Real Estate now primarily focused on online sales of newly constructed housing, and a platform for purchasing pre-owned housing may be launched at a later date. Once the platform has scaled up in terms of the number of participating developers and brokers, Taobao Real Estate will begin considering revenue sharing and other profit models for the platform.
Suo said that Taobao will begin partnering with brokers to offer promotional time-limited group buy deals to help consumers become more familiar with online real estate purchasing. A "land grab" promotion currently underway offers housing in the seaside city of Sanya for RMB 1 per square meter, and Taobao plans to extend similar promotions to other cities.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Taobao Partners with Chinese Real Estate Brokerage" MD 3/25/11 issue.