International

Century 21 China marketing homes on Alibaba’s answer to Amazon.com

Developers, brokers hope online-to-offline sales channels can boost sluggish sales

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Century 21 China Real Estate subsidiary Shanggu is displaying property inventory on Alibaba Group's Taobao.com, a Chinese shopping site similar to Amazon.com, the latest example of the growing reliance on "O2O" (online-to-offline) sales channels to boost sluggish sales. Shanggu will also hold online property auctions in cooperation with property consulting company Fangpaipai, providing buyers with "a flexible, safe and authentic platform to search for their ideal property," parent company IFM Investments Ltd., the exclusive franchisor of the Century 21 brand in China, said. "Shanggu's expansion onto Taobao is a big step forward for Century 21 China Real Estate's growing O2O offering," said Donald Zhang, chairman and chief executive officer of Century 21 China Real Estate, in a statement. China's largest property developer, China Vanke Co., announced last month that it would offer discounts on homes in a dozen cities around the country through Sept. 30 on Taobao.com as part of ...