China’s largest retail website Taobao and Yahoo Japan (YHOO.NASDAQ) launched a joint service yesterday which they hope will create the world’s largest online shopping market, the AFP reported. The service is expected to attract 250 million customers and offer 450 million products, far more than US rival eBay (EBAY.NASDAQ), which has 90 million active users. Online stores on Taobao will be able to sell Chinese products to Japanese consumers directly at Yahoo Japan’s "China Mall." Taobao is a unit of Alibaba Group (1688.HK), which counts Yahoo among its leading investors. The move to partner with Yahoo Japan is part of a wider global expansion strategy, including the launch of a new partnership between its wholesale site Alibaba.com with US online payment system PayPal (which is owned by eBay and also competes with Alibaba’s Alipay product). PayPal has announced plans to accept payments made with UnionPay debit cards – which are ubiquitous in Asia – later this year.
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