Taiwan bans Alibaba’s Taobao

Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba’s business to business marketplace TaoBao has run into difficulties in Taiwan. In a dispute between Alibaba and the Taiwanese authorities, Taobao has been fined and will have to close down operations in Taiwan.

The dispute centres around business registration details. Apparently Alibaba and Taobao are registered as a Singaporean company, and not as a native Chines firm, which is against business investment rules.

Taiwanese officials have levied a small fine of about $8k but have ordered Taobao to cease trading in Taiwan within six months. Another option would be to restructure the company so it complies with the rules.

In any case, it’s a headache that Alibaba haven’t commented upon publicly.