What is 1688.com?

Many international customers or importers are familiar with alibaba.com and aliexpress.com, but what is 1688.com? Many customers have started to buy from it, if you don't know about it, now please read carefully.

1688 Homepage
1688 Homepage

Alibaba group in China have four major online platform for business, they are as below

  1. www.alibaba.com (focus on B2B international trade)

  2. www.aliexpress.com (focus on B2C/B2B international trade)

  3. www.taobao.com (focus on China domastic C2C/B2C sales)

  4. www.1688.com (focus on China domastic B2B/B2C sales)

Many website may say that 1688 is a Chinese version of aliexpress, that's not exactly true. Because there are so many re-sellers or traders on aliexpress, but on 1688, almost 95% sellers are manufacturers.

How to define real manufacturer and trading company?

So you can image even many aliexpress sellers are buying from 1688 and re-sell to international market.


1688 was founded in the year of 1999, which was aiming to provide online market place for B2B companies. One year after, the website divided into two parts, 1688.com focusing on China domastic trade, alibaba.com focus on international trade.

As you may image, 1688 was not designed for end customers in the beginning, it focus on B2B/wholesale business. And because of this reason, most of the companies in the website are true manufacturers and they sell their products in very cheap price--compare to taobao.com and aliexpress.com

Since the market has becoming very transparent, many end buyers aware the existance of 1688.com, they rushed to it and try to buy from it. Due to this trend, some of the 1688 companies started to provide low MOQ which is suitable for end customer and drop shipping service. (P.S only inside of China)

The difference between 1688 and taobao.com?

1688.com is a B2B major market and taobao.com is a B2C/C2C major market, the shopping experience for end customers on taobao will be much better than in 1688. That's because 1688 is not designed to meet a shopping pleasure, it is only an online market for wholesale, so you don't expect very beantiful image and very good service on 1688.com.

Both taobao and 1688 do NOT support selling to foreign customers, receiving foreign currency and ship abroad. So to hire a buying agent for either website is a key part for success purchasing.


1688.com is very suitable for international wholesalers and importers to buy cheap product with good quality. But you should have a 1688 buying agent to help you success.

You can find my 1688 buying agent service page for detail of service and more information available or you can contact me directly(see below)!