Apple's next China move: An official store on Alibaba's Tmall

Tmall is a major shopping Web site in China with more than 70,000 merchants, and now Apple is getting in on the mix.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Apple's Sanlitun store in Beijing
Apple's Sanlitun store in Beijing Apple

Apple has already opened 10 brick-and-mortar stores in China, and now it's doubling up on digital.

The iPhone maker has opened an official online store in China on Tmall, a giant online marketplace owned by the country's e-commerce company Alibaba.

Tmall has become a major entity in online shopping in China. The store currently has over 70,000 digital storefronts, selling everything from sneakers to clothing to electronics. According to the Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported on the news, Tmall has official storefronts from major retailers, like Nike and Gap.

Apple has made it increasingly clear over the last couple of years that China is extremely important to its future. Recently, Apple finally inked a deal with China Mobile to get its iPhone in the hands of the carrier's 750 million customers. Apple has also aggressively opened brick-and-mortar stores in the country to try to attract more people to its products.

Apple's Tmall store has not replaced its own online store for China. According to the Journal, the Tmall storefront does, however, come with a design similar to that of Apple's online retail site.