The site has yet to launch, but it will be a marketplace for merchants to sell their goods online–much like eBay or Amazon.
It will be run by two startups – Auctiva and Vendio – that Alibaba acquired in 2010. This launch also follows Alibaba's $15 million investment in the vintage e-commerce site 1stdibs and its $200 million investment in Shoprunner, another U.S. company.
One of the huge secrets to Alibaba's $100 billion success in its home country is that that it blocks China's search engine from searching inside two of its most popular web stores, Taobao and Tmall. (To understand that contrast from the norm, Google search "buy ___," and you'll see that Google will pull up product listings from sites like Amazon and Ebay.