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Taobao to stop selling investment funds on May 18

(Chinanews.com)    15:44, April 29, 2016

Amid a changing business environment, Chinese e-commerce website Taobao.com has decided to terminate online subscriptions to investment funds on May 18, less than three years after its opening, Beijing Times reported.

Zhonghai Funds said it would stop offering its fund on China's largest online retail marketplace from May 15. Several other funds also made similar announcements that they will pull their services from Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group.

On Nov. 1, 2013 the online shopping platform teamed with 17 Chinese funds to allow Taobao users to buy into investment operations as easily as purchasing clothes online.

Wang Qunhang, deputy general manager at Jian Financial Information, said Taobao fund stores were the best platform in the past to promote awareness and practices of Internet finance.

But the rapid growth of Internet finance and mobile Internet have given customers much easier ways to manage their investments, it was added.

Another fund company said sales by fund stores on Taobao have been sluggish except for an initial temporary surge at the beginning. Data showed 38 fund companies sold products on Taobao and nearly 1.8 million deals were made in the past two years.

Online closures are expected to have little impact on fund companies, which mainly sell products directly on their own e-commerce sites.

In 2015, Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial Services Group also invested 200 million yuan into fund123.cn, which sells products offered by banks, asset management firms and fund companies. Insiders say the collaboration means Alibaba would choose a third party to continue exploring opportunities offered by its huge user base.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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