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Business trends

Livestreaming brings US fashions to Chinese shoppers

Startup ShopShops links boutiques with followers of Taobao commentators

For foreign brands interested in China as a source of growth, livestreaming offers the chance to tap into an audience of upwardly mobile young consumers with increasing discretionary income. (A screenshot of the ShopShops website)

NEW YORK -- On Liyia Wu's phone screen, a young woman with cropped hair is trying a black off-the-shoulder dress. She turns around, describing the fit and feel of the dress in Mandarin Chinese, pointing out its embellishments and details.

It is the way one might show off a recent purchase to a close friend -- but this fitting is being broadcast on Alibaba Group Holding's Taobao shopping site, and thousands of people are watching. Those who like the dress can scroll up to purchase it; others type in comments that appear in the bottom corner of the screen. "How do I order this one?" one viewer asks. Another viewer notes, "It looks very pretty on the girl."

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