E-commerce giant Taobao attempts to offer its most enthusiastic product yet: Chinese creativity

HANGZHOU, China: “& ldquo; To be young is to produce.”

& rdquo; So announced one of the digital couplets welcoming visitors to Taobao’& rsquo; s celebration of Chinese imagination and creativity – the Taobao Maker Festival – held at Hangzhou’& rsquo; s notoriously picturesque West Lake over the previous weekend.

Taobao Maker Fest - digital couplet
The digital couplet took a prominent spot inviting guest to the innovation-themed zone at Taobao Maker Festival. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Mr Chris Tung, primary marketing officer at Alibaba, told a media instruction ahead of the celebration’& rsquo; s launch on Thursday (Sep 13)that more than 200 merchants from its online shopping website were handpicked to display their products. This number, he included, was up from the 108 invited last year.Many of the

exhibitors are either millennials or more youthful, he stated.

“& ldquo; Taobao Maker Festival, which receives a huge number of visitors every year, is the ideal stage for these young developers to experiment and commercialise their original concepts,” & rdquo; the business stated in its news release.

Locating the occasion outdoors at West Lake was one of the numerous firsts in this year’s edition which ran from Sep 13 to 16, Mr Tung shared. The previous two editions were held indoors.Another was the focus to wow

visitors with the products and innovation on display across 6 themed zones-development, anime, intangible cultural legacy, vintage, family pets and gourmet-at the stretching venue.A night market was likewise introduced for the very first time.To improve the shopper experience, Mr Tung likewise pointed out the usage of blended

truth. Channel NewsAsia was not able to try it out at the demonstration area which had the Microsoft logo design emblazoned plainly, hinting at the use of its HoloLens. Company agents limited the demonstration to picked VIP guests that day as they stated a few of the devices was not working properly.Entering the premises, one of the most noticeable screens was an imposing, Pacific Rim-style robotic hunched over as if in await its next opponent.Pacific Rim, anybody? This Chinese merchant, Future Wise, is releasing its robotic XX21 as part of the #TaobaoMakerFestival.– Kevin Kwang (@KevinKwangCNA) September 13, 2018 Two people can fit into the cockpit of the robotic,dubbed XX21, with the & ldquo; motorist & rdquo; controlling its arms and fingers. The robotic’s view of the crowd was beamed to a close-by flat-screen TV.The business behind the metal monster is Chinese start-up Future Wise(Beijing) Robotic System Technology, which started operations in 2015 and led by 34-year-old CEO Han Lei.Mr Han” told Channel NewsAsia that while those thinking about the robot would likely be hobbyists and those in the movie and entertainment market, he hoped the robot would also be used for more practical things like fire-fighting. It is not inexpensive, setting back clients who put orders through its online store millions in

Chinese yuan.While Future Wise peddled the possibilities of the future, another Taobao merchant is wishing to commemorate and restore a language from the nation & rsquo; s past.

Among the bags created with Nushu script, which reads: “You metropolitan folks truly understand how to party.”Hunan native Ho Yuan Hui, 27, shown Channel’NewsAsia that he began his year-old company to stimulate awareness and usage of the Nushu language, which was used just by the females of Jiangyong in his home province.Mr Ho stated using Nushu has dropped and now only & ldquo; 10 or so people & rdquo; utilize the language fluently.The current design graduate marketed products

from bags to wallets and handphone covers printed with Nushu characters to highlight the originality and culture behind the art.Yet for each merchant

pitching an intriguing item, there are numerous more at the Taobao Maker Festival that appeared to have simply given a local twist to items currently readily available in the broader global market.Take for example the pets-themed zone -a brand-new addition

to the show, according to Alibaba CMO Tung.Many of the stalls there were flaunting pet houses, accessories and clothes that aren & rsquo; t unusual to those readily available anywhere else. Among the merchants, which offers things like pet strollers, relaxing with her pet dog at a brand-new addition at the festival: The pets-themed zone. One of the shops, Kill All the time, hung out attires like light-weight jackets and outside wear suggested for one’s furry friend. Those at the vintage-themed zone had the usual offering of old vinyl records, books and antiques like retro electronic cameras and coke cans. It was reminiscent of a hastily tossed together flea market.Others simply gave a 21st-century makeover to icons from Chinese culture and folklore. One merchant, for circumstances, took characters from the Monkey King(or Sun Wukong)and placed them on a stick much similar to a touristy knick-knack you may discover at an airport present shop. Characters like Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie from the Monkey King folklore were among those displayed on a stick at this stall manned by a middle-aged man in what looked like an ancient Chinese clothing.(Image: Jeremy Long)Maybe what best expressed the lofty ambitions of what Taobao desired the festival to be and what was eventually delivered was the style show held in conjunction with it for the very first time.Mr Tung informed the media that his short for the team behind the program was to provide a mystical and bewitching experience for visitors like”seeing fairies in the forests & rdquo;. The crew managing the festival’s very first fashion program hard at work, even as the night sky was pierced by the many spotlights installed for the event.The e-commerce giant selected as good a

place as any to attain that goal: West Lake & rsquo; s Broken Bridge. It invited 20 top designers in China to display their initial works not just to the visitors but likewise to those enjoying the live stream of the program on its mobile app and online streaming platform Youku.Guests were seated on a floating platform

backed by what seemed to be a wall of spotlights and surrounded by massive speakers perched atop the lake.However, these were marred by a tension-filled entry to the floating platform, followed by more than an hour of awaiting the show to start. Clearing the Broken Bridge of passers-by and park visitors also took longer, and more security, than what this reporter is utilized to seeing back home.The style program just began soon after 11pm, when Alibaba Group co-founder and chairman Jack Ma showed up to much excitement(and bodyguards). Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma participated in the celebration’s first fashion show at the renowned West Lake venue. (Picture: Jeremy Long)

Mr Ma’s exit on the same runway the designs and dancers had only simply abandoned significant the night’s abrupt end.

—– Kevin Kwang (@KevinKwangCNA) September 13, 2018

It was a fitting denouement to the style program, and the total festival.

Amid the hype and energy took into creating an amazing event and bring in public buzz, the only question that lingered after was: “That was it?”

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