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The Secret of Taobao's Success

Amazon has earned the moniker “the everything store” in the U.S., but in China Alibaba’s e-commerce sites, especially Taobao.com, dominate, with Amazon almost nowhere to be seen.

Taobao really is the everything store: The Alibaba-owned retail platform sells everything from sunglasses to cadavers (for $21,000, to people claiming to be medical students). A friend in Beijing recently purchased the dress she would wear to her sister’s wedding from Taobao because “there are many more choices” than she could imagine finding in any shopping mall or bridal shop.