According to information from Taobao.com, the Chinese online shopping website has started the construction of its Taobao City development in Yuhang District of Hangzhou at an approximate cost of CNY1.36 billion.
Taobao City is planned as the new office building of Taobao.com. The construction of the Taobao City is reportedly to be divided into two phases, which will be both completed in the next five years. When it is completed, all 1,700 employees of Taobao.com will all move to Taobao City.
In addition, an enterprise zone will be specially created in the project, providing a place for Taobao.com to nurture more medium and small-sized e-commerce vendors in the future.
When asked about Taobao.com's big move in light of the financial crisis, Lu Weixing, spokesperson of Taobao.com, said this project was already decided at the end of 2007. In addition, statistics show that Taobao.com solved the job problems of more than 400,000 Chinese people in 2008 and more than one million indirectly were hired with the help of Taobao.com. Taobao.com predicts that in 2009 more than 600,000 people will gain direct and full employment with the help of the website and more than two million will get indirect employment.
Lu added that the investment for the Taobao City will mainly come from its parent company Alibaba Group's previous investment.
Prior to this, Alibaba Group had announced plans to invest CNY5 billion in Taobao.com.