Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group took a major step into Internet finance on Friday by starting funds sales on its popular online shopping platform Taobao.
Taobao, China's leading online retail platform, received a no-action letter from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Thursday for its funds business, according to the Alibaba Group.
That makes it China's first Internet company to provide services for funds sales institutions.
Alipay, also run by Alibaba, will provide third-party payment services for the online funds sales.
On Friday, the first batch of 17 funds institutions, including Guotai AMC, E Fund and Aegon-Industrial Fund, opened their online funds shops on Taobao.
Persons aged 18 or above can buy funds after passing the real name authentication through the Alipay online payment service.
These funds shops will provide a one-stop service for buyers to open accounts, place and pay for orders, as well as manage their fund accounts, "similar to online clothes shopping," said the Alibaba Group.
As the provider of the funds sales, the funds institutions will also offer consulting and other services for online buyers.
Taobao has introduced risk appetite classifications to serve customers based on large-scale data analysis. Beginners in money management will get reminders about risks.
Beside these risk notifications, Taobao has also set order amount limits of 2,000 yuan (about 328.2 U.S. dollars) for each equity fund, including stock funds, hybrid funds, QDII funds and index funds.
Alibaba saw transactions made on Taobao and Tmall, its two customer-to-customer and business-to-customer websites, exceed 1 trillion yuan (162 billion U.S. dollars) last year.