An Alibaba spokeswoman confirmed that the Tmall page is indeed Apple’s and that it opened recently, but declined to comment further. An Apple spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Tmall is one of Alibaba's two dominant online marketplaces and hosts over 70,000 merchants, including brands like Nike and Gap. Its structure is essentially an online shopping mall, with trusted brands each having their own store portal. However, Tmall requires each seller to pay a deposit, an annual service fee and charges a commission on each transaction.
The online store mirrors Apple's own Chinese store portal, but allows the company to reach China's fast-growing population of online shoppers.
The move is yet another effort by Apple to boost sales in China as the company is also set to start selling iPhones to China Mobile's 700 million subscribers on January 17. Apple also recently announced its annual Lunar New Year sale, a one-day event for Asian countries also known as "Red Friday" because of its similarities to Black Friday, would take place on January 10.