What is Alibaba Tao Style?

Rising power of Chinese sport brands

A few people have asked us what is Tao style? Is it part of Chinese culture or in any way related to Taoism or Tau Te Ching or Laozi?
In short, the answer is probably no. However a couple of caveats to that.
Firstly TAO or 道 in Chinese crudely translates to the road or the way.

The eagle eyed among you would also have note that the first character in Taobao is different. As are those in the Taostyle logo. So, as tempting as it may be to think that Alibaba, as canny marketers, would try to associate THE WAY with their brand it is unlikely Chinese users, at whom this is aimed, would make any connection to Tao as in road or way. Or, as an analogy, English speakers would be very unlikely to associate “Be Aware” with honey. Or bees. Or even wasps! Unless the sign was hanging over an apiary!

Taobao is of course a multi good E-tail platform, portal or digital mall. However so far, we have only seen Tao Style applied to its clothing platforms. We first became aware of Taostyle back in early 2019 when Alibaba announced:


This seemed to tie in with their then also relatively new “New Retail” concept: spearheaded in their Hema Stores.

In short Alibaba, or more precisely Taobao teams up with local retailers to launch a brick-and-mortar, multi-label store to host independent clothing brands that sell on the Alibaba Group-owned online marketplace. The “Taostyle” store currently offers about 350 items from a rotating selection of 20-plus brands. The first batch of partners features some of the most popular and fastest-growing brands on the e-commerce site, such as Lamps, Roaringwild, Ayuko and THESSNCE.

Now, it’s very likely the below vid will not play in this site. However, by a fortuitous coincidence, you can see it in sparkling full active colour in your own browser- just visit WATCH: New ‘Taostyle’ Store Brings Online Brands Offline. If you are more cerebrally inclined, and are not impressed by our shallow explanation, you can read the original April 2019 Taostyle background store here- we dug it up- just for you!

You may also like our background story: Alibaba, from Ma to Zhang

If you need advice, support or assistance with your China marketing, online or off, don’t forget Everlyne is always open to chat- you can reach her below.

Thanks for reading our China news, marketing, tech and social media article – we hope it was useful, relative, informative, valuable.

Not Useful?
Then perhaps you may like to chat directly and personally with Everlyne?

But please, be aware of local (China) time when calling from overseas. Despite rumours to the contrary, Everlyne is human, not a bot, she do does eat, drink and sleep – sometimes.

Whatever your question re Chinese Business, Marketing Tech or Social Media, she will know the answer, or know someone who does! A brief intro below;


In 2003 Everlyne Yu co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bic Brands.

She began Uengager, a company focused on customer engagement, as a SaaS MarTech company in 2017.

Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne

I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers.
I know you have questions or want to talk about your brand or business in China so please, drop me a line opposite. If you prefer live chat, call and talk to me live, in person direct.


Everlyne is also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China. She is CEO of Uengager, business development officer for Bicyu.

Everlyne hs been privileged to work with a variety of international organisations, from VW, Cushman Wakefield, Sodexo, Bristol Myers Squibb to local Chinese firms such as Midea, and OK Order.

If you’re looking for guidance, tips, advice on any aspect of starting or growing a business in China or training, coaching your existing China marketing team for excellence, be sure to check out Uengager. Home page and base for Everlyne Yu. Read her short bio – opposite left – or contact her direct – below – for a free, heart to heart chat.

Bicyu client logo bar
A selection of Bicyu clients since 2003


Published by The Bic

Bicyu is a NZ registered, British owned MarTech business based in Beijing providing marketing, tech, education and information services to European, NZ, Australian, UK, African, and Asian firms doing business in China. We work with local ones too. We've been here doing this since 2003. We also incorporate Aim2D and Uengager in our small brand list.

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