Appconomy has announced a Cloud Commerce Platform, called Zhangyingbao in Chinese, that provides merchants on Taobao, Alibaba’s popular C2C ecommerce marketplace, with a service for making custom mobile apps for their storefronts.

The startup, which is dual-headquartered in Shanghai, China and Austin, US, has been testing the service since late last year, already helping more than 2,000 merchants create apps.

Appconomy CEO Brian Magierski views the new platform as a solution to the problem that online retailers have with forming lasting relationships with their customers.

“The Zhangyingbao service, through the merchant-specific mobile apps it generates, offers a robust solution to the problem, providing merchants a unique, convenient option that saves on advertising costs, enhances their shop’s popularity, and builds strong relations with their customers via in-app notifications and other communications,” he said.

 Appconomy launches mobile app platform for Chinese ecommerce merchants

Zhangyingbao was built “in a matter of weeks” with the help of Neusoft, which provided integration and support services.

Taobao, roughly the equivalent to eBay in the States, is huge in China. It has played a significant part in the development of the country’s overall ecommerce ecosystem. Taobao and Alibaba’s B2C Tmall site had a combined sales volume of over $157 billion (RMB 1 trillion) last year.

Appconomy wrapped up a $16 million Series A funding round late last year. The company has also developed a mobile rewards program for Chinese retailers and merchants that consolidates their promotions into a single app.

Image via Flickr / keso