Taobao Union, the affiliate advertising program of Chinese B2C and C2C e-commerce company Taobao, today announced a RMB 2 bln investment plan aimed at small and mid-sized websites, with RMB 1.5 bln allotted for Taobao merchants and the remaining RMB 500 mln set aside for external e-commerce sites that belong to Taobao Union and are covered by Taobao’s e-commerce search engine. Wang Weiyi, general manager of Taobao Union, said the program is aimed at funding the growth of both popular and new websites. In addition to the RMB 2 bln in funds, Taobao Union will launch a contest to determine the best website administrators and Taobao customers.