gCommerce - an eCommerce innovation from China?
The news site Sohu reported in an article last week (http://it.sohu.com/20090312/n262760344.shtml Chinese only) that Chinese eCommerce market leader Taobao was to introduce its own social network. According to a PR spokesperson the SNS will be named 淘江湖 ("Tao Jiang Hu") and will mostly be formed by combining several of Taobaos already existing sites and services. However additionally the news report said that this new SNS may add several "shopping related games" through an API open to third party developers. The slogan of the SNS is reported to be "淘，我喜欢。淘，共闯江湖" which roughly translate into "Search what I like and explore/play in a game world together".
The concept of combining eCommerce with social networking or gaming is not new to Asia. The Japanese video hosting site Nico Nico Douga for example allows its users to post purchaseable items related to the respective video. You can find an overview of Nico's eCommerce functions here in a post by our Open Web Asia friends over at Asiajin.