Daily Digital Pulse of China: e-commerce, Taobao, Bitcoin, Alibaba
Alibaba Bans Bitcoin
China’s largest online marketplace will ban the sale of bitcoin on its Taobao platform. This decision is partly due to the announcement by China’s Government that it is cracking down on the virtual currency as a form of legitimate payment. As the digital currency can be used for unlawful capital flows, many financial institutions are turning their backs on bitcoin. Taobao is also banning the sale of any guides, computer hardware or software relating to bitcoin ‘mining’. Another one of the key reasons why Alibaba Group has made this strategic decision is because the company is planning a giant public offering of stock and wants the smoothest transition as possible – a move that is conservatively estimated to be worth over $100 billion.
LightInTheBox.com Acquires American Social Commerce Site
LightInTheBox, a Chinese e-commerce and sourcing company, has acquired Ador, formerly known as Lockerz, which is a Seattle-based social e-commerce startup, for an undisclosed amount of money. The CEOs of Ador will join Light In The Box as president and vice president. Furthermore, the former Ador office will become the first American office for the Chinese company. Light In The Box will be able to leverage Ador’s social expertise, its partnerships with US retailers, and the Ador team’s prior experience with Amazon.
The Biggest Internet Trends of 2014
For the first time ever, the Chinese can have their pick of decentralized, non-government operated financial services. There are a myriad of different types, including money market funds, such as Baifa, microfinancing, p2p and p2c lending, and e-wallet services. This trend is still growing, and is forecast to be one of the biggest in 2014. Another trend growing in popularity is online to offline services, what with most Chinese internet users turning to their mobile phones to browse the web. 4G services will only make it that much easier, as China Mobile is planning to sell 100 million 4G devices in 2014.
Sina Weibo Users Demographics 2013
Sina Weibo launched its 2013 Weibo User Development Report on December 6, to help social media marketing. The number of netizers in China reached 591 million and Chinese mobile users accounted for 464 million. Sina mobile was reported to be one of the most important social media networks. Male weibo users accounted for 50.1%, which was slightly higher than female users at 49.9%. Slightly more than half of wiebo users were born in the 1990s, while only 2% of users were born before the 1970s. The predominant industries from which Weibo users were from consisted of community service, school, real estate and IT industries. Business service was the lowest at 4.46%70.8% of Weibo users had a bachelor or above degrees. 88% of Sina Weibo users had used mobile payment, with Aliipay being the most popular method. 80.68% used mobile payment for shopping online.
Source:China Internet Watch