“I Could’ve Bought a House”: Online Shoppers Lament Over Newly Revealed Spending History

Taobao has a new feature that allows users to check their spending history - a rude awakening for impulse buyers across China

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3:16 AM HKT, Sat August 3, 2019 1 mins read

Ever realized that the amount of money you spend online shopping could have bought you a brand new apartment? Taobao users did — and they aren’t happy about it.

“Taobao Life”, the platform’s new feature, calculates a user’s total amount of spending per account, as well as their number of purchases. It’s a quick and convenient way to track your spending habits and stay on top of your budget… so needless to say, netizens were outraged.

Weibo has been overflowing with screenshots from users lamenting Taobao’s drain on their wallets.

One user spent over 1 million RMB on Taobao alone. (170,000USD).


Taobao is China’s most popular e-commerce destination, founded in 2013 by internet heavyweight Alibaba Group. The platform offers everything from electronics to baby food to used cars, and has made online shopping in China more popular and more convenient than ever.

In a world where a couple of clicks can buy you pretty much whatever you want, impulse buying is a way of life. Whether that means you’re Taobao-ing a professional arguer to verbally attack your foes, ordering massive octopus gummies for lunch, or just trying to get a new computer charger, the math is simple. Taobao + free time = big spending.


If Taobao is the online shopper’s ultimate fantasy, the “Taobao Life” feature might just be their rude awakening.

Interested in checking your damage? Here’s how it’s done in 2 simple steps:

  1. Go to your Taobao settings and click on the ‘profile’ icon
  2. Click the “Achievement” (成就) icon

It’s that easy. Happy (unhappy?) shopping!

Cover photo by Kevin Grieve

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