Alibaba’s C2C online marketplace Taobao recently implemented on its app a live ranking function based on hot-searched topics among Chinese internet users to boost sales of related goods, according to Chinese online news portal Sina.
For instance, among the top eight topics on the ranking today at around 10:30 am, the first one was related to Asia’s top singer Jay Chou’s new song. When a user clicks on the live rank, related products will be showcased, according to Sina.
The move suggests Alibaba’s intentions to match social elements into its e-commerce platform. Taobao, one of the country’s earliest e-commerce sites, is still a search-based platform, a model viewed as out-of-date by the emerging e-commerce company Pinduoduo.
Users usually access Taobao to search directly for what they need, while platforms like Pinduoduo employ special algorithms to recommend to its users’ goods they might need.
Currently, the new Taobao function is only visible to 50% of Taobao’s app users.
The company has not replied to KrAsia‘s request for comment.