What is Alibaba Tao Style?

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:

“NEW ‘TAOSTYLE’ STORE BRINGS ONLINE BRANDS OFFLINE.”

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.


Hello, I’m Everlyne Yu, founder and CEO of Uengager and WPBeijing Marketing Studio 2003.

I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the China market and have been privileged to work with many international clients, such as VW and their release of their Bora and the extremely successful CC as well as a long term, ongoing relationship with Sodexo.

Selected Clients

I am happy to chat and discuss any questions, no matter how small or trivial you may think. Probably someone has already asked the same question- many times!

In China Marketing- there is no such thing as a silly question.

To see how your brand can flourish in China, please talk to Everlyne now, or understand more about me.

Ev Yu
Everlyne Yu CEO Uengager

Published by Bicyu.com

Bicyu is a NZ registered, British owned MarTech business based in Beijing- the one in China. Yeah sort of a mongrel. We provide 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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