16 Very Unusual Things For Sale on Taobao

Taobao Marketplace is one of China’s largest online shopping platforms, comparable to Ebay or Amazon. The website was launched in 2003 by China’s Alibaba Group. Taobao is a place where small businesses and individuals can sell products to consumers – anything from clothes to medicines. What’s on Weibo has compiled a list of remarkable products for sale on Taobao.


1. Dogs are popular in China for different reasons (see our ‘20 Facts About Dogs in China article). Dressing up dogs in every thinkable way is trendy. Taobao offers different types of clothing for dogs, shoes and accessories for dogs, and even dye for dog hair. Always wanted a pink-haired malteser or a rainbow-afro poodle? Here’s your chance.




2. One can buy underwear of every kind on Taobao. Although the underwear itself is often unusual (or fake) too, so is the way of modeling it.



3. Ironically, communism has become a commercial industry in China. There are various communist-themed restaurants in Beijing and other cities, and many people like to dress up as ‘Red Guards’ for special occasions such as weddings or graduations. These customs can be bought on Taobao.



4. What’s on Weibo featured an article about China’s booming abortion industry earlier this week. Taobao does not only sell professional equipment for doing abortion procedures, it also sells ‘do it yourself’ abortion kits for 38 RMB (6 US dollars) and ‘abortion pills‘ to cut off early-stage pregnancies.



5. Want to show off what you (don’t) have? This T-shirt will make people look twice – are we seeing a cheeky cleavage or something else?


6. All kinds of animals are for sale on Taobao, from very cheap to very expensive. If you’re not into frogs, how about a 4000 dollar (25000 RMB) cat? Or would you rather have a 160.000 dollar one (990000 RMB)?


7. If you are not a cat or dog person, there are always sturgeons for sale, too. Keep it or eat it.


8. For those interested in sex toys, Taobao is a true paradise with a large selection of made-in-China bedroom gadgets. A popular product is this item; vibrating thimbles to get things buzzing. Also available: vibrating lipstick.


9. For many single girls, Chinese New Year’s and other festivities are stressful times: these are the times that parents will ask their daughters why they are not married yet. This is why ‘rent-a-friend’ services have become very popular on China’s internet. Young men provide their services in pretending to be your boyfriend at various prices, depending on his looks and (academic) career.


10. If China’s single girls want something special for the bedroom, there is always a plastic boyfriend available on Taobao.


If he is not your style, there are althernative faces. How about this one?


11. Barack Obama merchandise is popular in China; Obama watches, Obama toys or posters –  but recently most popular is the products depicting Kim Jong-eun and Obama hugging each other. Available as tshirts or phone covers.






12. For the ones who do not really like Obama and/or Kim Jong-eun that much, there will always be Putin.




13. Farmers can buy their equipment online. Taobao sellers offer all kinds of equipment necessary for castrating cattle. To avoid any mistakes, they also add a picture of how to do this castration.


14. From chocolate to bananas, all kinds of foodstuff can be found on Taobao. But did you know you could also order goat brains or fresh cow brain online?



15. Sometimes yelling at someone can be really helpful to elevate stress and ventilate negative feelings. This is why some sellers on Taobao offer their services to be yelled at. For 2 RMB, you can scream at a real person for 5 minutes.


16. Afraid that your partner is cheating on you? Taobao offers equipment that makes it possible to be your own private detective. This gadget lets you check on any traces of semen in underwear or on bed sheets- they can be used up to 30 times.




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koetse.148x200About the Author: Manya Koetse is the editor of What’s on Weibo. She’s a Sinologist who splits her time between the Netherlands and China. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Literary Studies, Japanese & China Studies and completed her MPhil in Asian Studies. Contact: manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.[/box]

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