Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace, on Wednesday said the upcoming Taobao Maker Festival will be the biggest yet, spotlighting hundreds of young entrepreneurs on the platform.
Slated for Sept. 13-16 in Hangzhou, organizers will draw inspiration from the city’s rich heritage and folklore to put a new spin on ancient Chinese culture from visual design to its selection of exhibitors, Taobao said in a statement. The exact location was not announced, but Alibaba officials said it would take place near the city’s historic West Lake.
WATCH: Meet Tao Doll, Taobao’s beloved mascot.
Some of the millennial merchants showcasing products at the four-day event include anime model maker Infinity Studio and AstroReality, the creator of 3D printed moons that users can explore through an augmented-reality app.
“The Taobao Maker Festival has become not only an iconic [platform] for demonstrating creativity, but also a top destination for the world to better understand China’s younger generation,” Taobao said.
The festival, now in its third year, is also used to highlight the latest technologies and products from Alibaba. Taobao last July showcased its cashier-less, queue-free coffee shop, the Tao Café. Some of the technologies from the café, including facial recognition and radio-frequency identification, have recently been applied to the new grab-and-go shop at Alibaba headquarters.
In September, the venue will feature a 300-square-meter “futuristic shopping area” powered by AR, where thousands of visitors will be given headsets that allow them to see brand information, reimagined in-store decor and animated virtual companions as they shop.
WATCH: Inside the Taobao Maker Festival 2017.
The Taobao Maker Festival will also host a runway show for indie designers selling on the platform. The event is part Taobao’s push to be a top destination for millennial consumers, who are increasingly showing an appetite for cool and off-beat brands.
“[It is said that] if you want to see beauty and splendor of China, go to the West Lake. Today, [we hope] when people look for creativity in China, they go to Taobao,” the company said.