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Sign Up for a Taobao Account


Update: old payment methods don’t work anymore

(DEC 2014) We have received reports of buyers not being able to recharge their account because they need to verify their ID with Taobao. This process seems to disqualify the payment methods we advised on the site previously for foreigners. There are a few alternatives / workarounds for payment: (see here and here

) but your best option may be to use a good Taobao Agent if are just making a few purchases and wish to avoid the headaches. Below is provided as a reference on how to sign up, but the guides currently do not have guidance on payment. So if you do follow the following guide, be aware that as it stands currently, you will get stuck at the payment step and won’t be able to complete your purchase!



Registration Takes Less than a Minute

If you have ever signed up for anything online, the Taobao registration process will be very familiar.  Before you start, you will need a Chinese mobile phone.  You can also cross reference our guides with the official Taobao walkthrough for Asian customers who live outside of China. The processes are nearly the same.

Start by going to the Taobao registration page.

Step 1: Fill out your username / password / password again / CAPTCHA.  Hit the orange button.

Step 2: Type in your Chinese mobile phone number.  The link in the green box allows you to attach an email address to your account. You will still need to confirm with a Chinese mobile phone number.   That checkbox (that you can’t uncheck) will automatically give you a limited Alipay account (which can add money and buy stuff, but not take money out).

Step 3: A box will pop up asking you to type the 6-digit number sent to your mobile phone.

Step 4: That’s a bingo!  You are registered.

Next Step

But before you can start buying things, you will need to add money to your account. That means a trip to your local China Post Office to buy a Taobao Recharge Card.


  • Karen said:

    I subscribed to Taobao some time ago, before your very useful site was available, my painstakingly translating the pages etc. I think though that I failed to keep the alipay box ticked. Now when I use the link on your site to open the page to recharge the account, it asks me to sign into alipay, ie doesn’t take me to the link. any suggestions on what I can do from here – how to set up linked alipay account?

    thanks – great site by the way and look forward to buying something soon


  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Hi Karen,

    Ask and ye shall receive! Check out our new guide to Registering for an Alipay Account

    And let me know if that solves your problem.

  • Kylie Horsfall said:

    I think your website is fabulous – well done! I have been wanting to buy from TaoBao for ages, and now I feel like I can get an account and get started. Thanks so much!

  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Rock on Kylie! Let us know how it goes.

  • David said:

    I signed up for my account today. Thanks!

  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Rock on, David! Let us know how you do on your Taobao journey.

  • A.Galipeau said:

    You know I have been diying to get an account,not to buy cheap stuff I can get here.I want writing brushes which good ones are hard to find and are very expensive. especially when I find out what they pay for them in china.The collections are very limited and most of the srtuff on the english web is absolute crap like those sets in the fan shaped case.They are everywhere yet on taobao no where to be found.Its Irinic when most electronics and stuff like that is similar to western prices. The greed makes me sick. When I see a brush on Taobao for 7 Yuan(about one dollar) and its like 50 dollars here.

  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Writing brushes!? That’s an interesting inquiry. Where are you writing from, A. Galipeau?

  • Lisa said:

    Where can i find information on how to set up an on-line store at Taobao? I live in both Italy and the US. Your site is fantastic (fantastico!!)

  • Oseas said:

    Hi me again. I am from USA can you buy stuff even if your not from CHINA.

    Thank you. for the responds

  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Hi Oseas, there is good news for you. Buying from Taobao is even easier for people outside the US, since you don’t need to worry about signing up for an account. There are dudes that will help you take care of all that for a very small fee.

    Check out this link: Buying on Taobao from Overseas

  • aloha99 said:

    I just signed up today. Though I don’t read much Chinese it was pretty easy thanks to your site. FYI the layout for the signing up page – and the one that follow – is now different. Though they have pretty much the same information on it it might confuse a bit people who read zero Chinese.

  • The Field Guide (author) said:

    Hey thanks for the heads up, aloha! We will get our goblins on the case right away.

    If you see any more cobwebs in our tutorials, let us know!

  • Ant said:

    Yes, I’m struggling with the new signup page.

    Worked out:

    The top seems to be email

    Next username?

    There seems to be a button to download an exe file??

    Then don’t know besides the catchpa

  • Karo said:


    I just registered last week and everything was going well. But when I wanted to connect in my account 1st time, my password was rejected. After tried several times, I followed procedure to change password and still doesn’t work. Could you help me ?


  • laobanniang said:

    Hi Karo, that sounds like one of those tricky browser incompatibility problems, I guess you were not using IE or windows system? IE is the only browser that Taobao supports well, maybe you can try to change your password again in IE, see if it works fine. please let us know if you still got problems. =)

  • Jonas said:


    I was just wondering if there would be any way to revert this procedure and delete an account? I have stopped using taobao since I will be moving very soon. I have no money on the account and I therefore I would like to delete it.

    By the way, this is a brilliant website!! It helped me a lot when I started an account and I am usre that it is helping everyone else.

  • laobanniang said:

    Hi Jonas, I looked through the internet, looks like Taobao doesn’t provide much option for cancelling the account. Only accounts that never had any transaction behaviors (such as make an auction, transfer money, sell a product etc) can be cancelled, you can do it by leaving a message to Taobao staff through here. Choose the first option from the first drop-down list. However, if you did one of these, your account can’t be cancelled, I don’t understand why.

  • Jonas said:


    Thank you for replying. I think that this is funny but i guess I will survive. I will just leave the account the way it is and move on. Thanks a lot for your help and thank you to everyone who made this web site possible!

  • laobanniang said:

    You’re welcome Jonas, we wish you had a great time in China and welcome you to come back any time!! =D

  • Master Arvey said:

    The registration site looks a little different on the Mac. I’d be happy to email TFG some screenshots. Basically, for Taobao, you can only use Webkit-based browsers (i.e. Safari or anything else). You need to download and install a plugin. I don’t know how dangerous this plugin is. I installed it and my registration screen looked similar to what was shown in this field guide. I assume you have my email. Thanks for the site!

  • Helen said:

    I’ve been trying to register for an account for the past two days, hoping that the next day it wil work but I’m running across the same issue. It jkeeps bringing me back to the sign up page after I have input all necessary info, it leaves a red x next to the security code. I think it means that I didn’t type it in correctly, I make sure it’s right every single time, but it won’t let me pass!! what to do? HELP!

  • laobanniang said:

    Hi Helen, try to do this in IE explore on a windows based computer, with the security plug-in installed. This is a very typical problem of the crappy security plug-in Alipay has….

  • Carrie said:

    I’ve registered on Tao Bao but haven’t received the e-mail back giving me the the confirmation and I have checked my junk-mail box- Any suggestions?

  • laobanniang said:

    Hi Carrie, It’s possible that your email server blocked the confirmation email or it’s simply lost on the way of transaction when your server is busy. If you haven’t cleaned up your cookie in your PC yet, you can re-do the registration again still using the same email. This will let Taobao send you an confirmation email again. If it’s your server that’s blocking registration mail from Taobao, you’ll have to try register again using another email address…

  • Alex said:

    Currently the link on this page does not work for registering. It actually takes you to a page where you do not have to input your cell phone number and any try registering will fail with the misleading “wrong captcha” given as reason. If instead you follow the 免费注册 link(top left on the taobao homepage) you will be presented with the option of snail-mail or cell phone registration.

  • Chris said:

    Help! I tried signing up and I’m using IE explorer, everything went well until I tried to activate my account using ”
    http://member1.taobao.com/member/register_confirm.jhtml?u=f3f7f4310bfd5aa15a6e4a3d328076fe&a=6ooRVWko&i=null&y=null&r=null&src=null&st=null&tu=null&rdn=” the activation link that was emailed to me but I keep getting

    对不起,激活失败。 !! what to do?

  • laobanniang said:

    I heard it’s usually caused by a delay on taobao server. Maybe try again after 24 hours? If it still won’t work, you’ll have to call Taobao service hotline 0571-88157858 to help… Please let us know how it goes. Wish you good luck! =)

  • LoriAnn said:

    I’m on a Mac and tried to get around the plugin issue by trying Alex’s suggested link: http://member1.taobao.com/member/newbie.htm. It DID let me sign up, without any of the problem with the CAPTCHA like I’d been getting over and over again with the “Taobao registration page” link at the top of this post. The confirmation email showed up (in my spam folder of course) minutes later.

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  • Anon said:

    I HAVE TO GO TO A POST OFFICEEEE?!?!??!?! Thats a real pain in the butt….

  • R said:

    Just tried to register with Safari on Mac. First sign-up screen does not ask for email, only username and password. Next screen wants a China phone number. Things appear to have changed. I don’t use a mobile in China. Does anyone know if one can register nowadays without a mobile number?

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  • W said:

    Taobao didn’t ask me for an email when registering. Like “R”, Taobao asked me for a chinese cell phone. It was ok for as I have one.
    The cellphone is use to receive a password which is used as a confirmation code (instead of receiving an email and confirming by clicking on a link)
    Next stop for me: the post office! Hope it will be OK !!

  • Sarah said:

    Please could you tell me if I have to pay with Alipay and go to the post office or is it possible to use a Chinese debit card?

  • Bordeaux3 said:

    After registering with email, another window open asking for a Chinese mobile number. I’ve tried every combination possible of our various mobile phone numbers but keep on receiving an error message saying that the mobile phone does not exist. Any suggestion? I am using Google Chrome on a Mac.

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  • Judy said:

    I followed this procedure yet still was not able to access the limited alipay account. It wanted me to enter my username and password but would not accept my password. Therefore I was unable to recharge with the money I put in at China Post.

  • Angel said:

    Hi, i have tried several times today to register for a Taobao account but
    to no avail. I get to the stage where i type in my email and it says i will get an activation email but despite the fact that i have tried several times today,I still have not received any activation email so I obviously cannot complete the registration. I’m really interested in shopping on Taobao. Please let me know how to go about the registration. Also what is an Alipay account please? Finally, does the Trade Manager on Aliexpress automatically work with the Trade Manager on Taobao.com? Loko forward to hearing from you.Thank you.

  • Enrico said:

    Hi guys, I too would love to buy on this site, are an Italian guy, and I do not have a sim Chinese … how can I do?
    you can use other sim?
    And if you can not use other sim, how do I confirm the code?

  • Hika said:

    I’ve not chinesse phone number…how could I log in then?
    Please help me.

  • angel said:

    I do not have a chinese mobile number and I want to register and start buying from Taobao.com. Please how can I do that? Please kindly reply.

  • basil said:

    How do i make an account im in japan ive been trying to make an account and i put in my phone number to recieve the sms and im not recieving anything

  • Sary said:

    Hi Taobao,

    For my site don’t have Chinese phone number so how to sing up account? Why required to put it? Pls advise

  • Flora said:

    Hi, i think your site is really great, thanks.. I tried, but when i enter my Chinese number, it always says: the number is invalid.. this is not true, i get text messages from friends and so on.. when I enter my German number it also says the number is invalid.. do you have an idea what i did wrong? thanks! :)

  • magda said:


    I don’t have a chinese mobile number!! how then to register in Taobao?

    kindly send your reply to my email


  • Lazaro Alvarez said:

    If I do not have a Chinese mobile number what are my alternative options or do you have an app that I can get a china number from

  • Regina said:


    Have the same problem as well, how to register in Taobao if I don’t have chinese mobil number?

  • John Wheaton said:

    I am having the same problem as others. I’ve been in China 5 years and have been using Taobao just fine, but I would like to add funds to Alipay from my CCB bank account. Although I have verified my identity, the Alipay site still requires me to enter a Chinese ID number, bank number, etc. So I am unable to recharge my Alipay balance. There is no foreign passport option. I would really rather not change my profile to say I live in HK. So, what can I do?

  • PJ said:

    You need a Chinese mobile number for registration. If you don’t have one, i doubt some app will help you. The only method I see would be to have some friend with a Chinese phone number give you the confirmation code.

    If anyone knows if it’s possible to register more than one account with one phone number, let me know. In that case I might be willing to help people out by providing my number and sending them the codes…

  • julia said:

    What is my ID number..it needs it for me to be able to add my bank card (Unionpay)

  • PJ said:

    For those trying to register:

    It IS possible to register without a Chinese number and Passport/ID.

    Simply select your country in the very beginning where you are asked for a user name etc. This will then lead on to allowing you to add a non-chinese phone number as well as a non-chinese ID number.

  • ashley said:

    hi i created my taobao account and i was checking out with my order and its asking for an ID, can you tell me what that is?

  • Ralph said:

    Is it possible to sign up as a foriegner with a Chinese phone number? I live in China and only have a Chinese phone number but it then asks me for a Chinese ID number, which I obviously don’t have. Any way around this? I have foreign friends who use the site just fine but they signed up a while ago, have things changed? Thanks for your help!

  • ivy said:

    Is it a must to do 快递 when I want to buy stuff bcuz this costs more than the thing I want to buy ?

  • Emily said:

    Question..while trying to set up my payment settings, I tried first for the alipay. That didn’t work, and now I’ve recharged my account at the post office, but I don’t know how to get to the page where I enter in my recharge code! Help!

  • Teana said:

    it show me that my phone number is wrong when i register. but how? the number is true

  • Timothy Takemoto said:

    Thanks for the link to the registration page.
    There is now an English language page at

    But all the same I failed to log in.

    One thing that perhaps Karo was having difficult with years ago is that one has to have at least one digit (0-9) in ones password.

    I can’t register because even though Taobao accepts my Japanese mobile number, no SMS is recieved by my phone. I have tried my number with or without the first “O”

    If I can’t use a credit card then it would be no good to me anyway.

    Many of the things on Taobao are also available on aliexpress or dx but Taobao seems cheaper.

  • ravi said:

    I am trying to register taobao but the verification code keeps getting wrong pls help.

  • emelly said:

    hi there I have a problem during registration instead they ask for where you are from and phone number. I wrote my phone number correctly but they won’t let me register it keep saying wrong number please help I’m from Malaysia

  • mary said:

    hi. i have been using taobao for more than 3years. i recently got an issue. whenever i try to log in to taobao, i am redirected to alibaba.com.https://passport.alibaba.com/ac/password_find.htm?fromSite=0&actionType=pc_stolen_open this is the link to where i am redirected. i tried to log in from other computers, it still shows the same. other people cou ld log onto their account using my computer though. could you help me solve this problem please? is it safe to enter my taobao account name and password here? i tried to create another account but i couldnt register because my mobile number is used for the current account and i dont know how to cancel this account.

  • Miley said:

    What if i dont have a chinese phone number?

  • shamenda said:

    Dear sir, I do not get the full page of taobao home page. I live in Dalian, China.

  • Michelle said:

    I live in the USA and I am trying to create a Taobao account, but when I submit my cell number to get a verification number, I either only get the very end of the message that says to “please call +86-571-88158198” with no first half showing the verification code or I get no message at all. Please help.

  • Sharon said:

    I just signed up to Taobao and get myself one of those Alipay recharge vouchers from the local post office.
    However, with my not so good Chinese, I had done the following:
    1. I signed up for an Alipay account without signing in to my Taobao account
    2. Now, I can’t link the two accounts together!!
    Please, can someone help me!? I’ve already put the voucher into the account and now I can’t do anything with it!! I’m practically locked out of Taobao in the Alipay account!!

  • Yee Mon said:

    I don’t have chinese ph no…how can i open an account???

  • D said:

    Hi I have created my taobao and alipay accounts, but when im about to buy anything , during the real name verification they ask for chinese id number. pls help

  • Eden said:

    How come not able to see the Captcha code when sign in Tao on computer?

  • abdolbashir said:

    i like tobe a membar of taobao Account

  • sangeeth said:

    hi guys
    i had registered my Taobao account and i am living in china i need to buy some clothing stuffs from Taobao
    so that i need to register my bank account in Taobao website
    i am not familiar with chinese language and i need to know the steps to be followed to add my bank account to Taobao account
    so that i can enjoy shopping
    please help me !!!!

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