Taobao Mall, a unit of Alibaba Group Holding (which also owns listed unit Alibaba.com; 1688.HKG), announced Monday that it will allow 38 competing Chinese online retailers to open virtual stores on its site, the Wall Street Journal reported. The decision marks a strategy shift for Taobao Mall, from direct competition with other online retail sites like 360buy.com and Yihaodian to cooperation. Taobao Mall does not sell any merchandise itself or have a retail brand. In the past the site has hosted stores for retail brands like Uniqlo (a subsidiary of Fast Retailing; 9983.TYO) and Dell (DELL.NASDAQ). Taobao President Daniel Zhang said that Taobao is also willing to host stores for websites like Dangdang (DANG.NYSE). In June the Alibaba Group split its Taobao business into three companies: Taobao Marketplace, home of the original consumer-to-consumer online market; eTao, an e-commerce search engine; and Taobao Mall.