Tue

15

Apr

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Online Shopping,

China E-Commerce

14% of Chinese Shop Online Everyday

According to a report created by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 14% of Chinese respondents shop online daily. Over 60% claim to shop online at least once a week, which is much higher than the global average of just 5% who shop online everyday and 21% every week. When it comes to mobile shopping, Chinese consumers ranked first, with 4% of respondents shopping via mobile everyday, 20% using it once a week, and 27% once a month. The global percentages are 2%, 7%, and 12%, respectively.

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

Chinese online market revenue and mobile users increase exponentially

The Ministry of culture today released a report stating that the popularity of mobile Internet and more specifically online music increased remarkably. Market revenue of China’s online music business reached 7.41 Billion Yuan, an increase of 63.2% since 2012, while the online music market increased 140% to 4.36 Billion Yuan.

Of particular interest were the online user figures. The number of online users only increased by 4.6% to 450 million people, however the number of mobile music users grew 203% from 96 million to 291 million, highlighting the huge move towards mobile Internet usage. Although the report sounds promising there were still problems regarding network efficiency, which plagued the development of the music industry, but the Ministry of Culture has said they will focus on improving policies and regulations to progress the integrity and effectiveness of the system in order to promote continued prosperity and healthy development.

Source: Alibuybuy

China E-Commerce

China Overtakes the U.S. as the Biggest Online Spenders

The Chinese e-commerce industry is predicted to be worth $541 billion USD by the year 2015. In fact, 49% of the population made an online purchase last year, a figure that is meant to increase to 71% by 2017. The demographic of the Chinese online consumer is comprised primarily of younger people, with 60% of the consumers under the age of 30. They are also considered to be affluent – online spending is highest in China’s tier one cities, and those earning more than 5,000 RMB per month are likelier to make online purchases. The market is also dominated by mobile devices, with 464 million of its 591 million internet users opting to use their smartphones or mobile devices to surf the web.

Source: The Future of Commerce

China E-Commerce

LinkedIn attempts to enter Chinese Market

With LinkedIn making its entry into the Chinese market after many people were skeptical about the Western network getting over the countries great firewall, its greatest challenge lies in adapting to an entirely different culture. In comparison to the Western world, Chinese relationships are more private, and people keep their cards very close to their chest, which is the opposite of LinkedIn’s fundamental approach; publicly broadcasting one’s professional contacts.

Trying to change the mindset of an entire society will ultimately result in failure. LinkedIn is still in young in China, and is effectively seen as a startup but if it manages to adapt effectively and localize its use here, it may provide China’s young-up-and-comers with another professional social network in which to build relationships.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Fri

11

Apr

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat, Cache-Cache & B2C

China Digital

WeChat adds image recognition feature which can benefit online-retailers

 Since the release of the WeChat 5.0 version (launched in August last year) users could already learn more about a product like books or music albums by scanning the barcode on the cover or packaging and be redirected to the company website – and in some instances directly to the e-commerce sites for purchase.

 

This week WeChat released a new Image Recognition Feature. Now users no longer have to rely on barcodes but can simply scan a book cover and e.g. read reviews from Douban Book (a popular chinese platform for book ratings and reviews) or purchase the book directly from online retailer Dangdang.com. WeChat plans further enhancements to this service which is currently offered for free.

 

Source:Technode

Source:JingDaily

China E-Commerce

French Ready-To-Wear Brand Cache-Cache to accelerate it’s development in China E-Commerce.

As part of its development strategy in China, the French ready-to-wear brand Cache-Cache has decided to step on the accelerator for their investments in the Chinese e-commerce market. The brand has over 850 brick-and-mortar stores across the country and is already selling its products on Tmall. Cache-Cache is now considering to have its own platform of e-commerce to reclaim its online business in order to support its omni-channel strategy based on web-to-store. Online sales should allow the brand an annual growth of 30%.

Source: Les échos de la franchise

China E-Commerce

China’s B2C Industry Rapidly Gains Market Share

Despite both platform types growing at double-digit rates, it seems as though Chinese online consumers are increasingly turning towards business-to-consumer platforms over consumer-to-consumer ones to satisfy their online shopping desires. C2C platform sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of all Chinese online retail sales in 2013, but it has been predicted that the B2C sector would overtake the C2C one by 2017, as its growth rate is twice as fast. Why the rapid growth rate for B2C platforms? Shoppers have grown to prefer the higher quality and service of official flagship shops. It isn’t a matter of Taobao, China’s most popular C2C marketplace, performing poorly – it is simply due to the fact that there is more and more competition in an area where there wasn’t any for quite a while. The number of C2C e-tailers has actually decreased by 17.8% year on year from 2012 to 2013, and it is estimated to fall even further to just 9.18 million by the end of this year.

Source: iResearch China


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Thu

10

Apr

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Mobile Internet

China E-Commerce

China’s Mobile Internet Industry

China’s Internet industry has taken a turn to focusing on monetizing the smart phone market. Companies are gradually shifting their businesses from PC to mobile due to high mobile phone penetration rates in the country. Mobile phone penetration is nearly at 100%, and the majority of the aforementioned commoditization is coming from the increasingly popular, lower-cost, domestically produced smart phones, particularly within rural areas. Monetization for the industry is primarily coming from mobile gaming, e-commerce, and new forms of mobile payments.

 

At the end of 2013, Chinese mobile phone users exceeded one billion, with over half of them being smart phone users.  It has been estimated that the smart phone penetration rate in China will reach or even exceed 90% by the end of this year.  Despite this prediction, foreign smart phone shipments to China in the 4th quarter of 2013 decreased by 4.3%, quarter-on-quarter, the first drop since the 2nd quarter of 2011.  This is mostly because of the attractive prices of domestic brand phones, such as Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Coolpad, (which typically go for less than half the price of an Apple iPhone).  The average purchase price of a smart phone in China actually dropped from 2,321 RMB in 2011 to 1,773 RMB (US$286) in 2013. 

 

The availability of these new, affordable smart phones allows for residents of rural areas to be able to access the Internet for the first time.  It has been reported that 62% of mobile Internet users earn less than 4,000 RMB per month, with migrant workers making up a significant part of this total.  The Chinese government, however, has plans to help rural areas catch up to the more affluent cities by aiming to achieve 85% fixed broadband penetration and 95% 3G/4G user penetration by 2020.

 

With smart phone penetration on the rise, mobile e-commerce is growing rapidly.  Online transactions in China reached 1.9 billion RMB in 2013, making up 7.8% of total retail sales in the country.  The mobile shopping industry’s total transaction value grew by 165% to 168 billion RMB, nabbing 9% of the total online shopping industry, as compared to just 4.8% in 2012.  It has been estimated that it will eventually reached one trillion RMB by 2017. 

 

Besides smart phone penetration getting so high, what else is contributing to the growing rates of mobile shopping?  The big e-commerce platforms are heavily promoting mobile shopping by providing discounts to those making purchases via their mobile devices.  Also, people are increasingly choosing to spend the little free time they have to shopping through their mobile devices instead of stepping foot in shopping malls.

Source: Fidelity

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Wed

09

Apr

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Jingdong

China E-Commerce

JD.com to Develop its O2O Model

Jingdong has signed with about 10,000 Chinese convenience stores to establish an innovative online-to-offline retail plan. These 10,000 convenience stores will cover 15 cities, and will include brands like Quik, Good Neighbors, Buddies, C&U, and Meijiya. The deals will let Chinese customers buy items online and have them delivered or be picked up at physical locations. It will also let them use online payment methods at the brick-and-mortar stores themselves.

Source: China Tech News

China E-Commerce

JD.com to take a Leap into the Chinese Virtual Communications Industry

JD.com will be launching JD Mobile this May, which will include both products and numbers. JD.com recently revealed the brand logo and a sample SIM card designed for the line. The new logo will have Joy, JD.com’s mascot dog on it, representing a link between the parent company and this new one.

Source: China Tech News


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Mon

31

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba's Investment & Tmall

China E-Commerce

Why Foreign Brands Use Tmall

When considering selling their products in China, foreign companies simply cannot ignore the influence and significance that Tmall has on the market. The site attracts hundreds of millions of Chinese shoppers, a fact that should not be overlooked. Asos, having officially entered China a few months ago with a bit of a thud, has realized this and will finally be opening its official Tmall flagship store in April, offering a 50% off cardigan sweater to attract customers. Tmall, with over 2,000 foreign brands and 70,000 sellers in total, dominates 45% of the B2C e-commerce sales in China. Alibaba’s impending IPO, which is slated to be one of the biggest public offerings in U.S. history, has the potential to increase the platform’s exposure and allow it to more easily attract foreign brands. With a growing Chinese middle class comes the desire for more foreign goods.

Source: Wall Street Journal

China E-Commerce

Alibaba Invests $692 million in Chinese department store chain

Alibaba has invested $692 million USD in InTime Retail, which has 28 department stores and eight shopping malls across the nation. The deal will let Alipay users pay in-store using their mobile apps after syncing the app to virtual prepaid cards. Online changes will also occur. Tmall shoppers will be able to earn InTime member points at select stores, and InTime will ship merchandise to online buyers from their physical stores. Doing this will shorten delivery times in some areas, and will also widen the range of international fashion brands offered to Tmall customers.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Thu

27

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, E-Payments, Alibaba & Jingdong

China E-Commerce

Tencent Invests in South Korean Mobile Game Company

Tencent has invested $500 million USD for a stake in South Korea’s CJ Games. CJ games develops both casual and more in-depth mobile RPG games. The casual ones are meant to be integrated with Korea’s KakaoTalk and its social gaming functions. When the deal is finalized, Tencent will own 28% of CJ Games. Not only does Tencent have the country’s most popular messaging app, WeChat, is is also China’s biggest gaming company. The deal could bring some of Korea’s games to China via WeChat.

Source: Tech In Asia

China E-Commerce

The Growth of China’s Electronic Payments is Going Strong

The vice president of Baidu has announced that Baidu will be establishing its own mobile game division by merging its Duokoo mobile game business with its 91 Wireless game business.

Source: Digital Journal

China E-Commerce

Taobao’s Foray into the Domestic Service Market

Taobao’s mobile app has launched a domestic services platform that connects customers with domestic service providers. This new feature is called “home life” and will initially only cover Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and 15 other cities. There are 70,000 regular housekeeping staff assigned to the platform. The service will be funded by Alipay and will allow patrons to rate the services afterwards.

Source: Women of China


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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Searched Content,

China E-Commerce

What Content Did Chinese Search Most In 2013?

A new report released by Baidu shows that in 2013, the top 5 most-searched contents were film&TV, commodity supply & demand, education, game and travel. The demand for education, travel, film & TV increased significantly in 2013. Baidu suggested webmasters paid attention to these field.When it comes to education webmasters may integrate information about professional examinations to provide one-stop service for users. In terms of course ware and recommendation, websites could segment users according to their vocation and demand, then provide them with specific information.Regarding the demand for travel, there are noteworthy differences for webmasters.The film &TV resources can be deeply integrated by relationship between films and actors. The content construction of information about film & TV is also important for webmasters.

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

Alibaba’s Introduction of the ‘Cloud App’

Alibaba shifted up a gear against Amazon this week, with founder Jack Ma announcing the ‘Cloud App’ – a cloud service targeting the mobile user. Alibaba has moved quickly in this sector: February 24th 2014 saw an alliance between Alibaba and Neusoft (China’s biggest multinational IT service provider) to develop this cloud service. Amazon’s web service ‘AWS’ was launched in 2006 and has grown to be the global leader in cloud computing. Their dominance globally has led Amazon to entering their 10th market with confidence, and December 18th 2013 saw this entrance into the Chinese market, leading to both Ali Cloud and Tencent Cloud giving 40% to 50% discounts on their service. Although AWS is seen as invincible in the global market, the Chinese market may be a harder nut to crack - Alibaba will not give up without a fight.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Mon

24

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, WeChat, Alibaba

China E-Commerce

Tencent Invests in Mobile E-Commerce Site for Low-Income Phone Users

Maimaibao, a mobile commerce retailer that caters specifically to low-income mobile phone users, has received an undisclosed amount of funding led by Tencent. How does Maimaibao specifically target such users? It does so through implementation of a WAP mobile website, which is accessible from Symbian and feature phones on 2G networks. A majority of Chinese people who use such phones generally live and work in places that don’t offer access to PCs and are people who cannot afford to buy more advanced smartphones. What is WAP? It is a simplified protocol that was used on some phones before HTML was supported, and is still occasionally used for simple tasks such as email, reading news, downloading music, and checking stock prices. Not many websites actually support WAP these days, however. Maimaibao was one of the pioneering Chinese companies to enter the mobile commerce industry, and its focus is still on WAP. This new round of funding will be used to create a new budget smartphone under the brand Big Q, which already has three available models, all of which drive traffic to Maimaibao’s store. Maimaibo sold 200,000 of the phones last year, and is working towards selling a million this year. Maimaibao also saw a turnover of 2 billion RMB last year, and reported and average order of 300 RMB.

Source: Tech In Asia

China E-Commerce

WeChat Reaches 355 million Monthly Active Users in Q4 2013

WeChat’s monthly active user numbers have soared to 355 million, a 121% year-over-year increase and 6% quarter-over-quarter. Typically, most other mobile services count simply logging in as an active action, whereas Tencent only counts either sending one message or making a transaction as one.

Source: Tech Node


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Thu

13

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Online Food Ordering & Smart Devices

China E-Commerce

Ordering Food is China’s Most Popular Offline-to-Online Activity

Many restaurants have been taking advantage of the Internet by allowing customers to order their food online via computers and smartphones. Various online food ordering services used different marketing initiatives, such as giving subsidies to restaurants and catering companies and announcing special offers and giveaways to customers. Yi Tao Shi, one of the major online food ordering companies, has 300 food delivery employees all around the country. The even bigger E Le Ma has established 12 branches throughout the nation. So how do these companies make profits? Typically from charging advertising fees from restaurants and commission fees from restaurant orders and fees collected from food delivery.

Source: Want China Times

China E-Commerce

China’s 700 Million Smart Devices

China’s population collectively owns 700 million smart devices, only 59% of which were bought to replace a consumers’ previous smart phone or tablet. This means that nearly have of the country’s smart devices were first-time purchases. We can see that more and more Chinese citizens are moving toward the use of smart devices. Devices priced above $500 USD make up 27% of the total, and users of these higher-end devices have a more diverse range of needs, whereas those who use devices that are $150 or less tend to use their devices for games more so than anything else. The top 10 most popular Android devices are completely comprised of Samsung and Xiaomi products. While 4G is still growing, it has been predicted that the service won’t truly take off until next year. The path to success for all such devices, however, seems to be socialization of apps. 55% of Chinese market apps provide links to Chinese social networking services and the volume of app content sharing to social network platforms per mobile Internet user per day has tripled in the past 6 months.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Wed

12

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-Commerce, Alibaba & Tencent

China E-Commerce

Asia’s Half-Trillion Dollar E-Commerce Market

Go Globe’s new infographic on e-commerce in Asia is stunning in two ways. Visually, it’s very appealing. What’s more, the information it contains is pretty mind-blowing as well. Some highlights on the Chinese side of things are as follows.

  • China’s e-commerce spending is double that of Japan.  It is projected that Chinese online shoppers will spend $274.5 billion in 2014, as compared to just $127 billion in Japan.  
  • 60% of online spending in Asia is done by Chinese consumers.
  • 74% of Chinese mobile phone users utilize their devices for product price comparisons and reviews, as compared to just 43% for the global average.

Source: Go Globe

China E-Commerce

Alibaba Aqcuires a Majority Stake in ChinaVision Media for $804 Million

Alibaba has acquired 60% of ChinaVision Media, a company that provides a myriad of media-related services, such as newspapers, movies, mobile content, television program promotions, artist management, and more. The company directly invests in movies as well as licensing content from third-party content providers. Alibaba has been developing Aliyun OS, which is an Android-based operating system for smartphones and smart TVs. The OS on its own doesn’t seem to be enough to attract users, however, so investing in the content that ChinaVision owns might make it so.

Source: Tech Node


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Mon

10

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tmall, WeChat, Dang Dang, Yihaodian, Jingdong

China Digital

Promotion for U.S. Pork Goes Live on Tmall

A flagship store has opened on Tmall this week, one that guarantees delivery of eight U.S. pork items within 24-48 hours. The site is also offering discounts of up to 50% off during a seven-day sale celebrating its grand opening. The new site brought in more than 400,000 visitors within the first few hours of business. There was even a draw organized by the USMEF giving away a sample of American pork, which received 2,000 applications in the first hour. The pork products are sourced from three U.S. processors and are sold through three specialized distributors who deliver the frozen products in under 48 hours. The site is providing a wealth of information on U.S. pork products, including an informational video on the production of pork in the U.S. The distributors are also promising product quality buy providing a ten-fold money back guarantee. The USMEF has been working for a year to build up its online sales potential. Initial efforts were focused on assisting online vendors with ideas and expertise in order to better packaging so the geographical footprint of shipments could grow.

Source: KTIC Radio/a>

 

China Digital

WeChat in Midst of Testing POS Payment

It has been claimed that WeChat will launch its POS payment system on March 22 o fthis year. Its POS system will consist of customized POS machine and WeChat payment, targeting offline store payment. When a customer is purchasing goods, the special WeChat POS machine will generate a QR code to be scanned and paid with WeChat payment. This move is yet another push for WeChat’s offline to online integration plans and to enter the retail payment market.

Source: China Internet Watch

 

China Digital

Dangdang and Yihaodian Partner Up

Dangdang, China’s largest online book retailer, and Yihaodian, one of China’s major online supermarkets, have teamed up and will launch flagship channels on each other’s platforms. Both of the stores will offer the same products, pricing, logistics, and customer service that are already available on each respective website. Knowing all this, why the partnership, then? The companies can then enrich the product selections available to their customers.

Source: Want China Times

 


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Wed

05

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, Mobile Messaging Apps, Online Video Sites

China Digital

 

Tencent Opens Its Payment Service to All Businesses

Tencent has done something big for its popular mobile messaging app, WeChat. It has added support for any brand to allow their consumers to make purchases or buy services within the app itself. It also works for in-store payments. With the app’s ubiquitous nature, this feature is sure to bring more brands to WeChat and more users to its payment feature.

Source:Tech In Asia

China Digital

 

Analyzing China’s Top Mobile Messenger Apps

Tencent’s WeChat and QQ have all the other competitors beat by quite a bit, with QQ’s 325.71 million active users and WeChat’s 295.712 million. Another point to note is that male usage outnumbers female usage by quite a bit, as males make up 61.69% of the demographic and females make up the rest. Users of such apps are predominantly in the 35 or below age group and from medium and low income backgrounds. When considering occupation, workers/service workers were the primary group, followed by public institution leaders and staff, and after that, students.

Source:China Internet Watch

China Digital

 

An Overview of China’s Online Video Market during Q4 2013

China’s online video market reached 12.81 billion RMB, with a 41.9% year-on-year increase. That market is expected to maintain rapid growth and reach 36.6 billion RMB by 2017. What’s contributing significantly to these revenues is the fact that mobile client commercialization is increasing, and thus, bringing copyrighted content (television shows and sporting events) to such online video sites. Revenues from advertising accounted for 75% percent of total revenue in 2013. This percentage is expected to increase to about 77.1% in 2017. The monthly online video user coverage of PC web pages and PC clients was 460 million and 340 million respectively in November of 2013. The user scale continues to grow remain at a stable, steady rate. In contrast, the number of users of mobile video apps reached 170 million in November of 2013, up a staggering 72.9% compared to the number of users in December 2012.

Source:China Internet Watch


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Mon

03

Mar

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alipay, Alibaba & Luxury E-Commerce

China Digital

 

Alipay Discontinues WeChat’s API Payment Gateway

Not long ago, Alipay announced that it would shut down the application programming interface (API) payment gateway for Tencent’s WeChat public accounts platform, which would cause a bit of grief to WeChat in the short term, as it is still trying to establish its merchant groups. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in the Chinese e-commerce world, however. In 2004, eBay tried to block Alibaba’s Taobao, but Taobao offered free listings to sellers and introduced website features created in the best interests of local consumers. Also, in 2008, Taobao blocked the search service of Baidu. This type of ‘blocking’ has become the norm in China’s internet industry and has resulted in fragmented user experience for Chinese consumers.

Source:Want China TImes

China Digital

 

Alibaba Teams Up with Retail Chain to Obtain Edge in O2O Market

Alibaba recently announced a joint campaign between Taobao’s mobile operations and five retail chain operators for the upcoming March 8th shopping festival. A trial service will be introduced at one Intime City mall in Hangzhou, allowing users to pay for their purchases by mobile phones rather than at the till. An Intime executive has said that e-commerce must be embraced by retailers. The partnership will let consumers consumers can connect online shopping options and those in the real world so that they can also make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Alibaba also plans to work with operators in marketing, traffic, member database, and payment services. Alipay will also offer discounts and bargains to users of its e-wallet mobile payment services at stores of seven convenience store chains.

Source:Want China Times

China Digital

 

Alipay Now the Largest Mobile Payments Platform in the World

The number of Alipay users reached 300 million at the end of 2013 and have made 12.5 billion payments via the service. Over 2.78 billion of these payments were made through Alipay’s mobile service, totaling 900 billion RMB ($150 billion USD). Total mobile payments through Square and Paypal equaled to about ($50 billion USD).

Source:China Internet Watch


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Fri

28

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Ctrip, WeChat, Jingdong, Social Media, Alibaba & Mobile Shopping

China Digital

 

Ctrip to Implement WeChat Payment Service for Purchasing Attraction Tickets

Users of this service will soon be able to buy train tickets, group-buy deals, gifts cards, and more. Unlike purchases for flight tickets, hotels, and other similar travel-related necessities, attraction tickets are more likely to purchased via mobile devices as they require smaller amounts of money and are usually needed during the actual time of travel. Purchases made through this WeChat payment system will be eligible for discounts of 20%-30%, while ordering through the proprietary Ctrip mobile app will allow users to receive a 5 RMB cash reward.

Source:Huaxia

China Digital

 

Tencent Likely to Buy Stake in Jingdong

Tencent has reportedly hired Barclays to advise on the matter of acquiring a part of JD.com, China’s second largest B2C e-commerce marketplace. This move will afford Tencent more leverage in competing in its multi-faceted rivalry with Alibaba, China’s other Internet giant.

Source:eBrun

China Digital

 

China’s Social Media Landscape for 2014

For every Western social site or app, there seems to be a Chinese counterpart. Typically, these Chinese-developed sites are in response to things blocked by the Great Firewall. In any case, the Chinese social media scene is a much different animal to that of the West, and the accompanying infographic may help to demystify things just a bit. Some highlights of the graphic are as follows:

  • WhatsApp is not often used in China. Its counterpart, WeChat, is the main messaging app used by what feels like the entire Chinese population.
  • Youtube is blocked, but there is a wide array of video services to choose from, the most popular ones being Youku and Sohu. These sites often contain licensed telvision shows and movies.
  • Even when the Great Firewall isn’t in the way, Chinese apps still seem to be more popular, as is the case with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Vine.

Source:Tech In Asia


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Thu

27

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu, Jingdong, Mobile Penetration, LinkedIn & Mobile Games

China Digital

Baidu Continues to Obtain More Acquisitions in 2014

Despite a 50.3% rise in revenues year-on-year, net profits for Baidu dropped 0.4% during the last quarter. Most of this dip can be attributed to a veritable acquisition sprees that the other two Chinese Internet giants (Alibaba and Tencent) went on last year. In the past year, Baidu bought 91 Wireless, an Android app store, Nuomi, a group-buy site, a video portal, and Zongheng, and e-bookstore. 20% of Baidu’s total revenues, however, came from mobile, as it runs the fourth most popular android app store in China.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Jingdong Interested in the Virtual Credit Card Market

As we mentioned previously, JD.com has established its own virtual credit line for its customers, with much cheaper rates than traditional banks. How can the platform be able to charge so much less? It can do so because of the enormous amounts of shopping records that it has collected over time. For example, if a customer regularly buys maternity and baby products, that customer is more likely to have a family and stable income, thus resulting in personal credit. The question that now arises is: Will Jingdong’s credit service be able to replace some small credit cards? Some finance experts seem to think that it is indeed possible. However, what might be the biggest obstacle in JD’s way is the other Internet giants who are also trying to become major financial players.

Source: iResearch China

China Digital

LinkedIn has Launched the Chinese Localized Version of Its Site

LinkedIn launched the beta version of its site on February 25th, naming it “Ling Ying.” Learning from the previous in-China failures of other Internet giants like Google and Ebay, LinkedIn built an entirely new model to take on the Chinese demographic. LinkedIn actually established a joint venture in China with Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital instead of simply setting up a branch company in the country. With the help of local companies, LinkedIn China could more easily operate in a Chinese manner.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Wed

26

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Luxury Shoppers, Tencent & Mobile Devices

China E-Commerce

Tencent’s Video App Reach 160 million Views on Valentine’s Day

Tencent’s vine-like video sharing app, Weishi, had over 160 million views on Valentine’s Day. The app allows users to make 8-second video snippets with options to add tunes and themes to the recorded content. On Valentine it had been prepped with romantical themes, such as writing “kiss” or “love” in the corner of the screen. Weishi can be shared on any Chinese SNS, but work best as embedded media in WeChat, QQ and Tencent Weibo.

Source: Tech In Asia

China E-Commerce

Cheap phones Drive E-commerce Growth In Smaller Cities

The low priced, high-speed smartphones are causing international brands to reconsider their market strategies in China. Cheap mobile devices have allowed new customers in lower-tier cities to enter the E-commerce arena, and they are pushing an explosive growth. Instead of investing in real estate in order to set up retail storefronts, international brands are able to connect and develop an entire new customer base online. If the current inflow continues McKinsey Global Institute predicts that Chinese online revenue could generate $650 billion in by 2020 since there are still a lot of foreign retailers not yet present in China.

Source: Red Luxury

China E-Commerce

Chinese Luxury Shoppers Increase Abroad

More Chinese than ever went abroad in 2013, many of them with crave for luxury products. Last year, shoppers from China accounted for over one-third of the luxury purchases in Western Europe. Chinese tourist dedicated 33% of their travel budget to shopping alone. No wonder they are the world’s top spenders. According to report “Serving the Global Chinese Customer”, Chinese consumers currently make more than 60% of their luxury transactions outside China. Brands that want to get a piece of the action therefore needs to do their best to keep the luxury shoppers on mainland. Especially since this number will increase rapidly in the future, currently only 5% of all Chinese nationals owns a passport.

Source: Jing Daily


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Tue

25

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Legal feuds, IPO's & China's LinkedIn

China E-Commerce

Over 100 Million Alipay Payments During Spring Festival

Over 100 million Alipay payments were made during the seven-day holiday of 2014 Spring Festival, 52% of these were mobile. Meanwhile Alibaba announced that the real-name users of Alipay approached 300 million by the end of 2013, with more than 100 million users using the mobile service for most of payments. Altogether subscribers made 12.5 billion payments during 2013, totaling over CNY900 billion. Data also revealed that 11.34 million people paid cell phone bills using Alipay Wallet, more than 1.5 million paid cab fares via Alipay and about CNY200 million was handed out in digital red envelopes during the seven day festival.

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

Tencent Win 3-year Long Legal Battle Against Qihoo 360

Qihoo 360, an anti-virus software developer, was ordered by The Supreme People’s Court on Monday to pay five million Yuan (about $800 000) to Tencent Holding. This is the result of a long spun legal feud, dating back to November 2010, when Tencent discovered that Q360 provided tools to help QQ-users change the operating mode of QQ software. According to Qihoo, they did this in order to promote their security software and increase market competitiveness. Q360 also said that Tencent have been abusing its market dominance to maintain monopoly. Currently Tencent has around 816 million active QQ users monthly while Qihoo 360 has about 465 million PC users a month.

Source: Xinua Net

China E-Commerce

Sina Announce 42% Increase of Net Revenue in 4Q13

Sina corp. released their result from 2013’s fourth quarter, showing a net revenue of $197 million (an increase of 42% compared to the same period last year). Advertising revenues were $160.1 million (45% increase from a year earlier) and non-advertising revenues amounted to $36.9 million (30% increase over the same period last year). The total net revenue landed on $665.1 million (26% increase), advertising revenues were $526.5 million (28% increase) and non-ad revenues ended up at $138.6 million (19% increase).

Source: Tech Sina


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Mon

24

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-Commerce Alliances, Alibaba & E-payments

China E-Commerce

Alibaba May Buy AutoNavi

Alibaba Group Holdings revealed that they are interested in buying Autonavi. The E-commerce enterprise has provided a non-binding proposal letter to digital map content and navigation company AutoNavi, purposing $1.1 billion to make it a wholly owned subsidiary. Currently Alibaba holds about 28% of AutoNavi’s shares. If the deal goes through, Alibaba said the goal is to improve customer service capacity by sharpening the competitiveness of AN’s map engine and navigation business. An independent committee has been established by the digital map company to evaluate the proposal.

Source: Finance Takung

China E-Commerce

Chinese Wholesalers Suffer After Rise of E-Commerce

The rise of e-commerce companies have taken a huge toll on Chinese apparel wholesalers. The wholesale market is starting to be seen as outdated, especially with the growing trend of apparel branding. While wholesalers keep seeing a decline in sales, more and more business owners choose to work with retail or e-commerce. Sending products straight from the factory to retail stores or online platforms is simply more lucrative, whereby wholesalers are cut out of the chain. Since online businesses are known for its low prices, an increasing number of wholesale operators see it as a must to open a channel for e-commerce, an industry analyst said to WCT.

Source: Want China Times

China E-Commerce

Tencent invest in Tourism Booking Platform

Together with Boyu Capital and Oriza Holdings, Tencent has invested CNY500 million in the online Chinese travel agency 17u.cn. The company announced that they will use the funds to become the best Chinese leisure tourism market, aiming to improve services in domestic and outbound traveling – as well as mobile sectors. 17u still holds the controlling stake in the company and informed media that they plan to achieve an independent IPO in the future.

Source: Iheima


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Fri

21

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Bitcoin, Alibaba, QR Codes & Tencent

China E-Commerce

Alibaba to expand global footprint

The battle for mobile messaging applications rages on. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba invested heavily in WhatsApp killer Tango. With an investment of $215 million the 4-year old California-based messaging application Tango is valued at about $1 billion. Tango has over 200 million registered users spread across the US, Europe, The Middle East and Asia. Not only does the move help Alibaba pave its way to an upcoming and possibly the largest public offering of a Chinese company in the US, but also strengthens the company’s position in mobile. This expertise might come in handy, as last year Alibaba launched its messenger Laiwang to compete with Tencent’s WeChat. Just like WeChat, Tango is more than just a messenger. It’s also a content platform with video, social and gaming. Therefor Tango could contribute to further overseas expansion of Alibaba’s online commerce business.

Source: Forbes

China E-Commerce

Tencent may team up with JD.com

Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s largest Internet company, and online retailer JD.com are discussing to combine their E-commerce business. Currently JD holds about 13 percent of the online retail market share. Therefore a partnership with Tencent might help to narrow the gap to market leaders Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s dominating E-commerce operator. It is, however, still unclear how the prospect for any binding agreement would look like.

Source: CNBC

China E-Commerce

Chinese mobile Internet users reached 500 million

The number of Internet users in China has reached 618 million, while the mobile Internet usage arrived at 500 million subscribers in the end of 2013. According to a report released by China Internet Network Information Center the development theme have shifted from “quantitative change” to “qualitative change” during 2013.

Source: I Research China


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Thu

20

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat, Money Rewards & Weibo Record

China E-Commerce

Record: Over 800K Weibo posts first minute of year of the horse

More than 34 million Weibo users interacted during the Spring Festival Gala and posts referring to the festival reached 45.41 million in a little more than four hours. It was, however, in the first minute of the New Year of the horse that the new record was set. 863 408 posts were published – compared to the previous year, when 808 298 posts reached the Weibo web. The first day of this year’s Chinese Spring Festival took place on the 31st of January.

Source: Xinua Net

China E-Commerce

Taobao will reward users who discover "hacker loopholes" with 50K RMB

A loophole that could be used to hack accounts was discovered on E-commerce site Taobao. Through the loophole hackers would be able to gain access of all sorts of information including account balances, transaction records, shipping addresses and other sensitive private details. The vulnerability has supposedly been fixed, but users still worry that the privacy hazard will trigger a new wave of security threats. Taobao officials insist on having eliminated eventual risks and promise to honor alarming users who notifies the company about any future breaches with 50 000 yuan straight from the company’s reward fund.

Source: News 163

China E-Commerce

Tencent takes 20% stakes of daily deals-app Dianping

Tencent has announced that they are going to take a 20 percent stake in Dianping, the Chinese listings portal that also offer daily deals. This partnership will invite a lot of Dianping content (consumer reviews, online restaurant reservations and take-out ordering services) to Tencent’s two giant social networks; WeChat and QQ. WeChat is already covering mobile payments, taxi- and cinema bookings – which will make it an even stronger E-commerce platform. Alibaba might have to step it up if they want Alipay to remain China’s top e-wallet service.

Source: Finance iFeng


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Wed

19

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-Payment, Digital Advertising, International Retailers & WeChat

China E-Commerce

E-payment business grows rapidly 2013

With 25.78 billion online orders and a turnover of 1.075 trillion yuan, Chinese E-payment business went up 27,40% compared to the previous year, according to data released by People’s Bank of China. E-payment includes three categories of payment services – online payment, mobile payment and phone payment. The turnover of the complete Chinese mobile payment industry rocketed to 9,64 trillion yuan ($1.59 trillion), meaning a growth of 317%.

Source: Tech Node

China E-Commerce

8 Facts about digital advertising in China

  • Online shopping is one of China’s highest growth categories. In 2011 it had a growth of 30%, compared to 50% last year. 
  • 70% of China’s more than half a billion internet users are first-time users surfing the Web on a mobile device.
  • The Chinese digital market will be larger than its TV market this year.
  • The money spent on social media ads will grow faster than any other of the digital sub-segments. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be up 67,6% by 2018.
  • Mobile social will make up more than 10% of the Chinese digital market 2018.
  • The growth of mobile usage leads to larger digital ad revenues. Chinese mobile-based advertising comprises 10% of digital ad revenues and 3.5% of the total ad revenues.  
  • After the U.S., China has the largest search advertising market in the world.  Top five advertisers in China 2013 are P&G, China Mobile, Volkswagen, L’Oreal, & 360Buy.
  • The most popular online activity is instant messaging (85%)

Source: Clickz

China E-Commerce

International retailers struggle online

Fast-fashion retailers expanded at a faster rate than luxury retailers in China last year. Companies like Zara, H&M and C&A opened more stores than planned, while 65 percent of the luxury retailers did not reach the expansion goal. However, international retailers are not doing a great job online, where domestic operators are dominating. The international retailers struggle with the Chinese online shopping for various reasons. According to a survey, made by KnightFrank, a few of the factors include difficulties of finding good quality sites, new policies on anti-corruption or a change in strategy for internal reasons. Domestic online operators account for circa 50 percent of the internet commerce, while international retailers represent less than 3 percent of the online market share. to know their customers long after they leave their stores.

Source: Retail In Asia


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Mon

17

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, Dianping, WeChat, Luxury Consumers, & Mobile Browsing

China E-Commerce

Tencent Takes a Stake in Dianping

Recent rumors of Tencent’s possible acquisition or investment in Dianping have become fact. Multiple sources have revealed that Tencent has already acquired a stake in Dianping and will announce the news early this week.  

 

Rumors are circulating that a 20%-25% stake has been bought by e-commerce giant Tencent - valued at around USD1.8 – 2 billion. 

 

Dianping is currently in its eleventh year, being founded in April 2003 and is currently the most popular ratings & review service in China. As of Q4 2013, active monthly users were at the level of 90 million, 75% of views coming from mobiles. The platform currently has 8 million merchants and 30 million ratings/reviews – covering 2,300 cities in China and a dozen countries.

 

Dianping has found its competitors in group-buying and other lifestyle/local sectors. Since group buying has become one of Dianping’s major revenue sources, group-buying services such as Meituan have become direct competitors.

 

Having had a slower growth rate than some other group-buying services, Dianping has big plans for acceleration this year – the company has now launched a food delivery service and is currently building a hotel booking service.

 

It is expected that Dianping’s services will be integrated into Tencent’s properties, especially their successful mobile messaging app WeChat.

 

Source: Tech Node

China E-Commerce

Who is the Chinese Luxury Consumer?

Pinning down the quintessential Chinese luxury consumer is a tough thing to do, as there are a few different types.  It has been estimated that globally, there are 300 million luxury consumers who spent $295 billion USD in 2013.  In terms of size, the Chinese made up the third largest group (14% of the total), after Americans and Europeans.  Spending-wise, however, the Chinese were second in line with $1.7 billion USD, right after the Middle Eastern consumers.  Breaking down the global luxury consumers, we can estimate that about half, or 150 million of them, are true luxury consumers, or people who purchase luxury goods on a consistent basis.  Though they only make up half the group, they account for about 90% of 2013’s total luxury market, and the Chinese make up about 19% of this group ($29 million USD).  Today we’ll be looking at the two groups, omnivores and the opinionated, of Chinese luxury consumers who make up 60% of the group as a whole.  Overall, females are the top spenders (60% of the group) and Chinese luxury consumers will spend mainly overseas and at monobrand stores.  Another factor that contributes to luxury spending is gifting, which is seen as a cultural ritual. 

 

Omnivores:  Omnivores are known as those new to luxury and are often inhabitants of lower-tiered cities.  They have an insatiable appetite for luxury and are brand name and status conscious.  This group is the one typically portrayed in the media.  Omnivores do most of their shopping abroad and have low sensitivity to advertising and are influenced by social networks.  They are usually in the 30-40 age group (the lowest age group of the consumers). 

 

The opinionated:  The members of this group are typically found in Beijing and Shanghai, followed by Western Europe and the U.S.  This consumer is typically a highly educated manager in his/her early 40s.  They shop repeatedly throughout the season, usually in his/her hometown or country, during work-days.  They leverage new technologies and tablets.  They are strong luxury connoisseurs with the highest level of brand awareness.  They are very receptive to superior in-store service, and targeted communication is crucial to driving their purchases. 

Source: Red Luxury

China E-Commerce

The Chinese are Spending Twice as Much Time on Mobile Browsers as They Did Last Year

UC Browser is the most popular mobile browser in China, with 65% market share when measured in monthly active users.  The effective usage time on mobile browsers increased by 97% from November 2012 to November 2013.  These browsers also reached 210 million monthly active users by November 2013, a 51 percent increase from the year prior.      

Source: Tech In Asia


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Tue

11

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu & Alipay

China Digital

Baidu Users Comparing Luxury Goods Prices

It’s no secret among China’s luxury consumers that the prices of luxury goods are much higher on the mainland than elsewhere, but they’re getting more cost-savvy—new data from Baidu shows that internet users consider price to be the most important concern when searching for luxury goods online. Baidu’s data centre reports that the term “price” was by far the most common search term associated with luxury bags and watches in 2013. Internet searches are often used to find the original price of luxury goods before China’s notoriously high tariffs are imposed, says the report. Chinese luxury consumers are using price searches to measure whether or not items are worth buying. The high prices have driven Chinese consumers to buy an estimated two-thirds of luxury goods outside the mainland. In addition, they use a variety of other purchase methods to avoid tariffs, such as daigou (buying online from someone who has purchased an item abroad) or having their travelling friends and family buy items for them.

Source: Jing Daily

 

China Digital

Alipay Is Worlds Largest Mobile Payment Provider

Alipay, the payment subsidiary of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, said over the weekend that its total mobile payment volume reached 900 billion yuan ($148.41 billion) in 2013, making it the largest mobile payment provider in the world. The number has far exceeded the combined payment volume of the world's two leading payment firms, US-based Square Inc and PayPal, a division of eBay Inc, the company said in a posting on its official Sina Weibo account Saturday. But Alipay is facing increasing competition. Major rival Tencent launched its mobile payment service via its popular instant messaging service WeChat in August 2013, which many analysts consider a strong competitor for Alipay in the mobile payment field. WeChat payment has gained a significant number of users through its aggressive promotion recently, such as its cooperation with taxi-hailing app Didi Dache and its "red envelope" campaign during the Spring Festival holidays, which enables users to send out cash gifts to their WeChat friends by linking their bank cards to the software. Feeling the competition, Alipay also launched a similar cooperation with taxi-hailing app Kuaidi Dache, hoping to cultivate users' habit to use mobile payment services in offline deals.

Source: Global Times

 


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Thu

06

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Instant Messaging

China Digital

WeChat's Virtual Red Envelopes Go Viral

Chinese tech giant Tencent's idea to allow users of its WeChat messaging app to send out "virtual red envelopes" during Chinese New Year has proven a huge hit, reports the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post. Tencent launched the feature on WeChat on Jan. 28 to allow users to give electronic versions of "hongbao" — red envelopes containing cash traditionally handed out during Chinese New Year — to family and friends on their contact lists. The amount of money handed out in each transaction is relatively small, generally ranging between 0.10 yuan to 100 yuan (US$0.02 to US$16.50). To add a bit of fun, the sender can decide how much to hand out in total and to how many people, but it is left up to the app to randomly choose how the money is divided and to whom. Data compiled by Tencent showed that from Chinese New Year's Eve to 4pm on the first day of the lunar calendar, Jan. 31, more than 5 million users tried out the feature to deliver in excess of 75 million virtual red envelopes. An average of 9,412 virtual red envelopes were received every minute during this period. The viral success of the feature could extend far beyond Chinese New Year, as tech analysts point out Tencent's likely real purpose: to make users link their WeChat account to their bank accounts — a prerequisite to both sending and receiving the virtual hongbao — and thus substantially strengthening Tencent's potential ability to charge WeChat users in the future.

Source: Want China Times

 

China Digital

Chinese Choose IM Tools Over Texts For New Year Greetings

Chines people used to send Lunar New Year greetings to their beloved ones via text messages (around 0.1 yuan or 1.64 cents per message) or phone calls. With the popularity of IM services which only charge for data flows, more and more people shift to WeChat, QQ or Weibo to extend New Year greetings in recent years. The number of messages sent through WeChat doubled YOY on the eve of Chinese Spring Festival (Jan. 30, 2014), the peak date when Chinese send wishes for the new lunar year. The number of messages received via WeChat tripled during the same period as compared with 2013. In the peak minute of the day, around 10 million messages were sent, according to data released by Tencent, developer of WeChat. The number of messages sent through QQ, another popular IM service developed by Tencent, hit 13.6 billion, peaking at 32.70 million messages per minute during the eve of lunar new year. Moreover, 16 million users sent wishes via QQ Video, citing data released by Tencent. This year’s number of greeting text messages sent via telecom carriers is estimated to slump at least 5% YOY to 30 billion from 31.17 billion in 2013 and 32 billion in 2012, respectively. Under the pressure of IM services, the declining trend of text message revenue continues ever since it witnessed the first drop in 2011. In the first half of last year, the revenue of China Mobile, China’s largest telecom operator by revenue, from phone call business dropped 1.2% YOY, while that for texting message business plunged 5.5% YOY.

Source: Tech Node

 


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Thu

06

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Mobile Commerce & New Year

China E-Commerce

China Consumers Favor Mobile Commerce

Mobile payment services in China saw strong growth in 2013. A new report from iResearch, an online tracking and data analysis firm, shows that independent mobile commerce platforms have found a great deal of support from Chinese consumers. People throughout the country are turning to these platforms in order to shop online and pay for products with their mobile device rather than with physical currency. As device ownership continues to grow, mobile commerce is expected to become much more prevalent throughout the country. Chinese consumers favour mobile commerce services because of their convenience and the fact that they allow people to manage their finances from their mobile devices rather than being forced to do so at home from their computers. The iResearch report also suggests that mobile shopping is no longer the main attractor of most mobile commerce platforms. According to the report, online money transfers and banking features are quickly becoming the main reason people use these platforms. As these services see more attention from consumers, their use of NFC technology is beginning to diminish. China has established itself as a very active and attractive mobile market. Not only are mobile payments flourishing throughout the country, but mobile games are also generating a great deal of profit and economic activity. Advertisers in China are also beginning to focus on mobile consumers more aggressively, launching interactive mobile marketing campaigns that are designed to be more dynamic than traditional marketing initiatives.

Source: Mobile Commerce Press

 

China E-Commerce

Chinese New Year Market Snapshot

China's consumer market boomed during the first few days of the Lunar New Year holiday despite falling luxury gift sales, according to the country's Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday. In the first four days of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, the most important traditional holiday in China, consumer market sales expanded steadily and quickly, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Without giving nationwide figures, the ministry said consumer market sales in the cities of Beijing and Chengdu had risen by 9.2% and 13% year on year respectively. According to the ministry, sales in Shaanxi, Anhui and Henan provinces grew by 14.3%, 11.2% and 10.4% respectively. Online business and the catering, tourism and entertainment sectors have also prospered during the holiday, according to the ministry. Sales of luxury gifts such as expensive alcoholic beverages and rare seafood, which are sometimes sent as gifts to officials during the holiday, have fallen sharply. Experts have viewed the drop as a direct result of the central government's anti-graft and frugality campaign.

Source: Want China Times

 


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Wed

05

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: LinkedIn & Tesla

China Digital

LinkedIn Targets Growth in China

The one major U.S. social network not blocked in China is starting to expand its presence in the world's most populous nation. LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, Twitter and Google, is not banned by state censors, but only recently appointed its first president for China, George Shen. Shortly thereafter, LinkedIn started to integrate its accounts with users' profiles on the Chinese chat app WeChat, which has around 300 million monthly users. Internet analysts and recruiters say that LinkedIn has a better chance of catching on in China than many other US tech groups. Other groups, if they were unblocked, would need to compete directly with China's established tech giants. Tencent, whose HK$991.6 billion (US$127.7 billion) market cap is less than $5 billion behind Facebook's, runs WeChat, which is increasingly popular as a social network and marketing platform. Sina dominates blogging with its Twitter-like Weibo microblog, which is partially backed by ecommerce giant Alibaba. Baidu and Youku Tudou, meanwhile, lead in search and online video. The online job hunting market, however, is fragmented between local groups such as Zhaopin and 51job, and a very high turnover rate among employees means high demand for recruiting services. Despite not offering a complete Chinese version of its desktop site, LinkedIn says it has more than 4 million users in China. Globally, it has 260 million members, 54 million of whom are in Asia.

Source: CNBC

 

China Digital

Carmaker Tesla Wins China Fans With 'Fair' Price Strategy

In China, where higher prices mean prestige, luxury U.S. electric carmaker Tesla is taking a bold step to win over clients by curbing the mark up to just half of what some of its rivals can command. Though it risks relegating its brand to a lower tier, Tesla's marketing strategy could prove a model for other imported brands, which have come under fire from China state media and regulators for inflated prices. In a blog post last month, the firm detailed the lower-than-expected 734,000 yuan ($121,400) China price tag for its high-end Model S electric car. The price, still 50 percent higher than in the United States, includes only "unavoidable" taxes and transport costs. One reader survey on popular site QQ.com, which received over 80,000 votes, showed that 90 percent of consumers supported the U.S. carmaker's move. Analysts said the lower price strategy could deter premium segment buyers, who are usually willing to spend extra to guarantee quality. While other auto firms already offer price rebates to lure China buyers, Tesla is the first to make a clear statement about charging Chinese shoppers the same as in overseas markets, turning transparency into a neat marketing ploy. Last year, Tesla's total car sales were around 22,500, mostly in the United States. The California-based company, which plans to open stores in 10 to 12 Chinese cities by the end of 2014, says it expects China to contribute to one-third of its sales growth this year.

Source: Reuters

 


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Wed

05

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Foxconn & WeChat E-Trading

China E-Commerce

Foxconn to launch B2B e-trading platform

Hon Hai Precision Industry — the world's largest contract electronics maker, also known as Foxconn — will launch a business to business (B2B) trading platform in early March, a move perceived as a way for the company to broaden its business model. As the first step for the new initiative, the company will develop a B2B e-trading business by launching a platform called B2BFoxconn.com, which will become a venue for selling semi-finished electronics products in the initial stage. Hon Hai has ambitions to transform itself into a commerce-oriented company from a manufacturing heavyweight by selling its products by itself, and that the B2B platform is expected to help the manufacturer reach this goal. Hon Hai will develop its commerce operations in a bid to provide value-added services to its clients.To facilitate the e-commerce development, the new business will be supervised directly by Hon Hai's headquarters, while the company will coordinate its subsidiaries in a bid to develop their e-commerce platforms.

Source: Want China Times

 

China E-Commerce

WeChat Used For Art Sales In China

The use of Chinese instant messaging app WeChat as a sales channel for collectors has added an unintended feature to the popular smartphone application. The number of deals struck over mobile phones for art works and artifacts are on the rise in China, and WeChat's "friend circles" feature has made the app the most favoured option among collectors. Antique shops have also joined the bandwagon, with one vendor of Song dynasty (960-1279 CE) ceramics in central China's Henan province saying that his sales through WeChat have grown five folds compared to sales through his physical store. The shop owner said that WeChat offers an atmosphere of sharing a hobby among collectors similar to that in the real world since they can comment on the photo of an item and chat with others through texts, voice messages or video calls. Meanwhile, art expert Zhou Zhiyao said that WeChat has helped antique shops, dealers and collectors to share information in a more efficient way and garner popularity. There have been some collectors who conducted auctions through WeChat on a small scale, Zhou said, adding there is a potential for such a format to play a supplementary role for traditional auctions in the future.

Source: China's Future

 


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Mon

03

Feb

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat Banking & Bitcoin

China Digital

WeChat Banking Emerges in China

Several Chinese banks have now launched banking services via popular mobile phone app WeChat, as they try to tap into the rapidly changing online business world. Launched as an instant messaging smartphone app, Tencent's WeChat began attracting banks, which have established accounts dedicated to businesses and groups, after introducing payment features. Two of the services commonly offered through these banks' WeChat accounts, are a search for branch locations and the ability to make appointments to avoid queues at the bank. China Everbright Bank's WeChat service can even recognise a user's location and send locations of nearby branches to the user's phone. WeChat also provides an alternative to the banks' service hotlines, with some of the banks hiring staff to man the service. Besides checking their account balance, China Merchant Bank, China Everbright Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank allow their clients who have signed an additional contract to buy financial products through their WeChat accounts. For people who are not familiar with using apps or even smartphones, these WeChat banking services are just a novelty among the youth but as the e-commerce and online banking sectors continue to grow it is likely the adoption of these digital services will spread.

Source: Want China Times

 

China Digital

BTC China Starts Accepting Deposits Again

In December 2013 BTC China, the online currency exchange, stopped accepting deposits in its home currency, RMB. Since then, what was once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange by transaction volume has continued to exist using a voucher system. But on Friday, after a six-week hiatus, BTC China started accepting deposits in RMB again. BTC China now offers a bank transfer payment method, but the third-party systems – Alipay, Tenpay, Yeepay, etc – are yet to move into the market. The news might not bring forth a resurgence of Bitcoin fever like we saw late last year, though. Many Bitcoin enthusiasts cashed out when the Bank of China made its announcement in December. To help regain some of its former glory, BTC China has launched a program where those who post multiple buy and sell offers receive a bonus fee, and those who take the offers are charged a fee. The aim is to increase liquidity in the market Until February 15, every time RMB 100,000 ($16,500) is rebated through the program, the maker and taker whose transaction passes the 100,000 threshhold each receive an RMB 1,000 ($165) prize. Many of BTC China’s domestic competitors, such as OkCoin and Huobi, do not charge a commission and have been using the bank transfer method for some time. This digital market moves fast and it is expected that more developments will follow shortly.

Source: Tech in Asia

 


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Wed

29

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Internet Speed & Mobile Payments

China Digital

China’s Mobile Payments 707% Growth in 2013

The total transaction volume by Chinese independent mobile payments services reached 1219.74 billion yuan (roughly $200bn) in 2013, a 707% year on year increase, according to the latest report by online tracking and data analysis service iResearch. The independent payments that iResearch refers to are all payments services excluding those by conventional banks and China UnionPay, the bankcard association. And ‘payments’ include peer-to-peer money transfers. The major driver of the growth, however, isn’t mobile shopping anymore but online money transfer, credit card payoff and other mobile payment applications. Payments as a percentage through text messages decreased steeply in the past three years, from 92.5% in 2010 to 6.1% in 2013. 93.1% payments were through mobile payments apps or other services in this year. The share of near field payments declined from 2.6% one year ago to 0.8% — NFC, the only mainstream near field technology, isn’t widely adopted in China. But it is expected that other near field payment solutions like Alipay On-site, with QRcode and acoustic payment capability, will drive near field payments in 2014.

Source: Tech Node

 

China Digital

Internet Speed in China Climbs 14% in 2013

China’s average peak Internet speed reached 737.4KB/S in 2013, up 14% as compared with the beginning of the same year, according to a broadband speed overview released by Xunlei. The peak internet speed for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan is still higher when compared with that for other regions in Chinese mainland. The connection speed of Shanghai and Beijing reached 1,190.3KB/s and 970.2KB/s, respectively. The development of broadband infrastructure is quite uneven, while peak Internet speed of Xining, a city in North West China, is half that of Shanghai. From regional perspective, there’s little difference between the Internet speed of the North and the South. However, the Internet speed for eastern, middle and western regions shows a descending trend. This trend is highly correlated with the economic development levels of these three areas. Big data download capacity is becoming the rigid demand of users. China’s average download per capital per time reached 113MB, with 16 provincial-level regions exceeded 100MB and five areas surpassed 200 MB. In order to accelerate broadband construction in China, the central government released the “Broadband China” strategic plan last August, targeting full broadband network coverage by 2020. China is also planning to construct seven backbone network nodes in addition to three existing ones in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Source: Tech Node

 


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Wed

29

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba Diversification & Performance

China E-Commerce

Alibaba Backs China Potential For Vintage Luxury E-commerce

Now that Chinese e-tail giant Alibaba dominates China’s e-commerce mass market with behemoths Taobao and Tmall, it’s moving into something slightly more niche: vintage luxury. According to tech site Recode, the internet giant approached 1stdibs, a U.S.-based site which sells vintage luxury items through a network of retailers, to offer Series C funding. The luxury e-tailer was founded in 2001 with the goal of bringing the Paris flea market to the internet, which is certainly a high-end one—the average purchase price is $2,000, according to 1stdibs. The website offers a plethora of vintage fashion, jewelry, watches, furniture, and even fine art. Although based in the United States, Chinese buyers are part of the website’s significant contingent of international customers, which make up one third of its total buyers. Alibaba has proposed to help 1stdibs’ efforts in Asia, where the company is eyeing a growing number of individual Chinese buyers. As China’s wealthy luxury shoppers become more focused on individualism, the concept of high-end vintage is slowly cropping up with the opening of new vintage boutiques and promotion of vintage car culture. Alibaba clearly sees potential for luxury vintage in China, stating that 1stdibs has “a great vision and strong sense of mission for their company.”

Source: Jing Daily

 

China E-Commerce

Alibaba revenues surge in Q3 2013

The total revenue of China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group rose 51 percent to US$1.78 billion in the third quarter last year as it continues its expansion in the online shopping sector. Profit in the three months up to September 30 added 12 percent from the previous quarter to reach US$800 million, according to a stock exchange filing by Yahoo, which holds a 24 percent stake in Alibaba Group. Last year, Alibaba Group made a string of investments to boost its presence outside the e-commerce sector. Alibaba paid US$586 million for an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog service, to boost social commerce income. It also has been pushing forward on mobile payment services through Alipay, the third-party payment service affiliated with the group, to tap the growing demand of consumers to browse and purchase from smart devices. On November 11, during the Singles' Day shopping spree in China, when vendors offered a 50 percent discount, transactions reached a record 35 billion yuan (US$5.77 billion) on Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao platforms.

Source: Shanghai Daily

 


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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat Update

China Digital

WeChat 5.2 New Features

Mobile app giant and instant messaging platform WeChat has rolled out its 5.2 update for both the Chinese version and its international counterpart. The new update adds depth to the overall user experience which is what many observers were looking out for. The most notable addition for both domestic and international versions of WeChat, users can now bind their LinkedIn profiles to their WeChat account. This addition now opens the door for recruitment and self promotion through WeChat. It also marks a strong first-step for LinkedIn’s career in China, which officially began earlier this month when it hired Derek Shen, CEO of China’s group-buying site Nuomi, to act as president for China. WeChat is currently going through a second wave of international promotion, verified accounts for certain celebrities including Matthew McConaughey and Paul Scheer have surfaced in recent weeks. However, WeChat has yet to gain popularity internationally the way it has in China, where it’s become a social network, blogging platform, RSS feed, and marketing tool. It will be interesting to see whether this changes in the near future.

Source: Tech in Asia

 

China Digital

Public Account Optimization

Wechat social marketing value has developed quickly in the past six months and an increasing number of enterprises are putting an emphasis on the China based instant messaging app. Quite a lot of third-party developers have also transferred their focus from Weibo to Wechat, catering to the growing demands for Wechat public account management. According to the China Internet Network Information Centre the five major ways of searching for a Wechat public account are: keyword, QR code scanning, friend recommendation, friend circle sharing and Weibo enterprise account. Wechat users tend to search actively rather than passively, to avoid information noise. Users can struggle to find their intended account when searching using keywords on WeChat. One issue is that the extension of the keyword is too wide, too many search results can make it difficult to pin down the desired account. The other is that the keyword is too exact to have any search results. Therefore how a Wechat public account is named should be tactical.First, avoid using uncommon words and find short, memorable words to be the account name. Second, try to make the account rank top in the automatic search and optimize your keyword match types. The Wechat public platform only provides a search box for public accounts, giving the initiative totally to Wechat users. Content marketing therefore becomes crucial because it is easy to lose trust from Wechat subscribers if all you have is an intriguing or misleading title. Around 30% of Wechat users will enter Weibo enterprise account names into the Wechat public account search box. One advice for active Weibo enterprise accounts which plan to register Wechat public accounts is to be consistent in your account name.

Source: China Internet Watch

 


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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-commerce & Mobile Marketing

China E-commerce

Baidu buys out e-commerce site Nuomi

Chinese search giant Baidu has announced plans to acquire the remaining shares in group-buying website, Nuomi, further expanding its business portfolio beyond search. The search engine operator said it was buying out the remaining shares of Nuomi, from social media company RenRen, and will be the site's only shareholder and investor following the deal.Nuomi is a group-buying site, which launched in June 2010 and had since diversified its business to include lifestyle content. Nuomi handled $120 million worth of transactions in second-quarter 2013, and had a base of 3.8 million active users. A Baidu spokesperson told news site Tech In Asia the move demonstrated the importance of the group-buying business to the company's location-based services strategy. The site noted that the company had integrated group-buying deals into its Baidu Maps mobile apps, which has more than 80 million users in China.

Source: ZDNet

 

China Digital

Impact of Mobile Content on Consumer Spending in China

Across the Asia region, mobile device brands have the most digital fans and followers, with 72% of Asian consumers saying that they follow a mobile device brand in the digital space, according to Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2014, a new study from Waggener Edstrom Communications.78% of Asian digital consumers say they obtain information about product and services using social media, the survey also found that greater online engagement with brand content led to increased spending levels.The healthcare and food and beverage sectors have seen the greatest impact of digital followers on consumer spending, with an average increased spend of 129% for healthcare and 90% for food and beverage.The study reveals the relationship between brand storytelling online and key consumer behaviors such as brand advocacy, spending, and engagement.In China, 86% of digital consumers actively consume online advertorial content or click on digital ads. Chinese consumers who follow food and beverage brands online spend up to 160% more on food and beverage products every week. Consumers in China who follow personal care brands online are 14% more likely to recommend a personal care brand, product, or service to a friend, family member, or colleague.

Source: Holmes Report

 


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Mon

27

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

The Online Shopping Landscape in China Drives New Challenges For Companies

It is not a secret to anyone that Chinese consumers are searching to buy quality goods at higher prices and use social media to gather product information. According to a new report by The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai), in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, an increasing number of consumers are relying on consistency and integrity in their purchasing choices, a large change from a previously price driven market. This change signals greatly required alterations by both Chinese and International consumer brands with regard to the marketing channels they use and most importantly the content they drive in China. As a result of this the report details that with the increased usage of e-commerce and social media, the second most significant trend detailed in the report stated that both multinational and Chinese companies recognize the importance of developing digital marketing and sales channels. However, most companies declared that they are yet to be adequately prepared to convert growing online interactions to a sales advantage. The report, however, noted that leaders in this area demonstrate the benefits of strategic use of data derived from online viewing and purchasing habits and from this have displayed desirable results through alignment of digital activities with their corporate strategies and across organizational functions. For many large companies in their current situation this gives them the opportunity to build products and brands that can deliver great value. Experts are confident that this trend will increase brand loyalty among consumers focused on value which means that they will pay higher prices for quality products and services. Still to get to the sales conversion point consumer companies face large challenges in online retailing in this dynamic market.

Source: Retail In Asia

China Digital

Baidu Acquires Nuomi

Baidu has struck up an agreement with Renren to buy, in its entirety, the e-commerce site Nuomi. China’s number 1 search engine will become the platform’s exclusive investor and only shareholder. Baidu has made this move because it feels good about China’s massive local service industry market.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Baidu has Invested $15 million in a U.S. E-commerce Luxury Site

1stdibs, a New York-based retailer for upscale interior design, decoration, and fashion, has just received $15 million in series C funding from Alibaba. One-third of the platform’s business comes from outside the U.S., and will help Alibaba better serve China’s quickly-growing consumer market for luxury goods.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Wed

15

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Online Spending

China Digital

 

China is Spending More and More Online

With the people of Guangdong province leading the way, China’s online spending keeps on increasing. The latest data from Alipay tells us that the nation’s per capita online transactions, which incloude shopping, money transfers, and bill payments, came out to over 10,000 RMB (US $1,642) last year. Spending in Guangdong accounted for 16% of 2012’s online spending. As a whole, the spending of tier-1 cities is the greatest, but Alipay has also noted that smaller cities were not to be ignored. For example, shoppers in Yiwu (Zhejiang province), spent an average of 40,000 RMB ($6,569USD) last year, which is more than twice the amount of the average in Beijing. Alipay’s list of top 100 small cities and counties, 36 belonged to Zhejiang province, 27 from Jiangsu, and 13 from Fujian. Shoppers who spent over 1 million yuan ($164,219 USD) were from Yiwu and Cangnan counties, in Zhejiang province, and Changshu, located in Jiangsu province. Analysts have said that although those in lower-tier cities may have lower income than those in higher-tier ones, due to lower living costs, they may actually have as much or even more disposable income to spend online.

Source:ZD Net

China Digital

 

Internet Finance

Chinese Internet and e-commerce giants are transforming the country’s financial industry. Internet powerhouses have begun introducing financial products for their customers. The most notable financial product to date is Alibaba’s Yu’E Bao. Yu’E Bao is a money market fund where users can place their savings. This fund is invested and is currently earning interest that is greater than any of China’s banks – around 7%. At the end of last year, Yu’E Bao had 43.04 million users with a collective deposit of $30.4 billion US dollars. This value makes Yu’E Bao the largest single public fund in China. Consumers can access this fund with as little as 1 Yuan, thus highlighting the spirit of the Internet – being open with a bottom up approach. These types of funds are gaining popularity amongst consumers as the government has a strong grip on interest rates. In October, Baidu announced its online wealth management product Baifa and NetEase released Tianjin.

Source:Want China Times


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Fri

10

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Telecom, Tencent

China Digital

 

Tencent’s Micro Cloud

Tencent has released news of its upcoming 2.0 version of its Micro Cloud storage service. The new version will give the user several new features that convert the experience from an integration service to a storage one. This new version is expected to be available on January 15th. The cloud service now has 300 million users, a milestone reached just seven months after it hit the 100 million user mark in May of 2013. Users can now save websites, files, and notes and will be able to sync everything across multiple devices. The service will also be implementing integration into other Tencent products, such as QQ Offline Transmission, QQ Mail, QQ Album, and more. Tencent also wants to have the cloud service pre-installed into devices like smart phones and wearable ones.

Source:Tech Node

China Digital

 

Tencent’s Micro Cloud

The Chinese government is now issuing mobile virtual network operator licenses, and Alibaba’s subsidiary company, HiChina, and also JD.com have obtained them. What does having these licenses mean? The companies can now lease mobile services from the three state-run carriers but can offer their own packages with data and discounts. As of right now, 11 firms have received these licenses. JD.com hopes to become the country’s fourth-largest mobile carrier within the next half decade. This move will likely result in more mobile shoppers for the companies’ e-commerce platforms.

Source:The Next Web

China Digital

 

Bitcoin Value Drops 15% After Taobao Decision

Bitcoin shares have fallen by 15% in a single day. This drop in price came almost immediately after Taobao announced that it is placing an official ban on use of bitcoin effective January 14. The e-commerce platform also announced that it would ban certain bitcoin accessories, such as computer hardware and software for bitcoin mining. Industry insiders believe that as long as bitcoin in still available on other major platforms, Taobao’s decision will not affect the price too much in the long term. Bitcoin’s value fluctuated immensely throughout 2013. The digital currency was worth $13 US in early 2013, with the price reaching as high as $1200 US later in the year. Bitcoin’s current value is approximately $780 US.

Source:Want China Times


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Thu

09

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: e-commerce, Taobao, Bitcoin, Alibaba

China Digital

 

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.

Source:Reuters

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Wed

08

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba, Sina, B2C E-Commerce, Social Media apps.

China Digital

 

Alibaba and Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming, an industry worth 11.2 billion RMB in 2013, has become huge in China, and Alibaba wants a piece. This coming Wednesday, the Internet super company will be making its first foray into the world of mobile games. Historically, Alibaba has largely been a PC-oriented company, but has been making big efforts to make its name in the mobile sector as well. Along with Laiwang, its mobile messaging app, and Alipay wallet, its mobile e-payment app, Alibaba will be covering all bases after releasing mobile games. For those who are curious, Alibaba will be implementing a 7:2:1 revenue sharing model – with 70% going to developers, 20% going to Alibaba, and 10% going to charity.

Source:Alizila

China Digital

 

China Social Sharing Apps Used In Travel

Sina Weibo and Wechat ranked first and second in social sharing networks for travel, with 81.7% and 72.9% respectively. Of those that used social media while traveling, 85.1% shared photos of their travels, 68.1% shared statuses of how they were feeling and 46.8% shared information about their travel location. While traveling the most used mobile app map was the Baidu map with 39.6%, followed by Autonavi with 18.8%. 47.7% of Chinese consumers chose their mobile map app based on the fact it was straightforward to operate and user-friendly. 31.8% choose the map app due to the fact the app could offer all-round daily life service.

Source:China Internet Watch

China Digital

 

Microblogging + Alipay

Sina and Alibaba have teamed up to open joint microblogging Alipay accounts. Previously, customers had to log into their Alipay accounts separately after making a purchase on Weibo, but that hassle is no longer necessary. After transactions have been made, customers can communicate with sellers and share their purchases on their microblogs.

Source:IT Feed

China Digital

 

Shanghai Launched Cross- Border B2C E-Commerce Platform in FTZ

Shanghai Free Trade Zone officially launched cross border e-commerce platform kuajingtong.com on December 28, 2013. It is the first e-commerce enterprise granted by Chinese government. Kuajingtong aims at becoming the official and standard cross-border e-commerce platform in China. The site is supported by Shanghai customs, and has the advantages of product authentication guarantee, competitive pricing, transparent taxes, convenient logistics and customer service. Kuajingtong overseas products only require 50% custom duty, while normally other enterprises have to pay 150%. The company has contacted about 20 international B2C enterprises’ and plans to become the portal site of china cross border e-commerce.

Source:China Internet Watch

China Digital

 

China’s Telecommunication Services For Sale

China is set to permit foreign ownership of several national telecommunication services. Areas such as call centers and home Internet access will be open to full foreign ownership whereas the ownership of firms providing online data and analysis will be capped at 55%. In order for foreign companies to offer these services, they must base their infrastructure in the Shanghai free trade zone. The free trade zone was established in September last year with the plan of opening up parts of the economy and providing a fresh wave of economic growth. Earlier this year, the government announced that it would allow foreign firms to make video games consoles within the free trade zone and sell them throughout China. Furthermore, within the zone, the government is experimenting with free trade in the Chinese currency and allowing interest rates to be set by market forces.

Source:BBC


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Tue

07

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse: E-Commerce in Rural China, Amazon,

China Digital

E-Commerce Goes Rural

The Internet – once known to be accessible only to a certain part of the population – is now expanding into the far reaches of China, where users are typically illiterate farmers who have never even touched a computer, let alone used one to purchase anything and everything. In Suichang County, the local government has created a project called 51ganjie, which has established web-connected service stations in 5 remote farming villages. This project is meant to help villagers buy things via the Internet, such as their daily necessities, electronics, clothing, and farming supplies. There are even plans to expand services and allow farmers to sell their produce online. Delivering to such remote regions was not economically viable before, but with integrated logistics and order consolidation, it has been made possible. Another plus is that these farmers can raise their overall standard of living from the extra income they will receive by selling the fruits of their labor online.

Source: BRW

China Digital

Amazon Launches Their Cloud Services In China

Amazon announced on December the 18th the launch of its cloud service in China. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with government authorities in order to bring its service into the country. Amazon Web Services is (AWS) is a strong company having estimated sales of over US $700 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The announcement of their arrival in China has caused Alibaba, Chinas market leader in e-commerce, to make price cuts for all its public cloud services and also set in place favorable plans for long-term clients. Microsoft is currently the only foreign provider of public cloud services in China, as restrictions to foreign companies entering are tough. Amazon is likely to face tough competition from Aliyun, which provides products more tailored to the Chinese market. The vice president of ChinaNetCenter welcomed the competition as a positive development, saying it would make Chinese service providers more competitive.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Taobao’s ‘Star Effect’

Chinese celebrity Fan Bingbing is paying substantial dividends to the luxury brands she endorses. Fan is brand ambassador for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Mercedez-Benz and Adidas. It was reported by Taoboa that her ‘Star Effect’ generated RMB450 million in e-commerce revenue. Taoboa demonstrated that the ‘Star Effect’ is quantifiable by releasing a list of the most lucrative brand ambassadors generating income for the site in 2013. A Chinese language report on Sina explains that Taobao shop owners closely watch Fan to find ways to capitalize on her numerous public appearances.

Source: Jing Daily


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Mon

06

Jan

2014

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba & WeChat

China E-Commerce

Alibaba’s Investment Fund One Of China’s Largest

The investment fund backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba has become the country’s largest. The fund - Tianhong Zenglibau - is linked to the third-party payment service Alipay, and reached 185.3 billion Yuan at end of 2013. To put the fund’s growth into perspective, the fund totaled less than 10 billion Yuan at some stage throughout 2013. Alipay users have the ability to transfer funds from their Alipay account into a Yuebao account where the money is subsequently invested into the currency fund to earn interest. The fund currently has returns of 6.7%, but forecasts suggest that the fund is over performing and long-term returns of 4.5% are to be expected./p>

Source: Want China Times

China E-Commerce

WeChat to Face Tough Competition in 2014

WeChat needs to start watching its back, as other companies are planning on working harder than ever to take down the biggest mobile messaging app in China. It has been told by one of its employees that Alibaba is looking to combat WeChat in four key areas: telecom services, the actual messaging aspect of the app, online vendors, and celebrity accounts. Momo, an app used to acquaint nearby strangers, is also gaining traction – more than 80 million users have registered for its services – a milestone that has made the app profitable. Line, the popular Japanese messaging, is also working its way into China by partnering up with Chinese companies, including Qihoo 360 and Baidu.

Source: Want China Times


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Thu

26

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Mobile Retail, E-Commerce, Taobao, Alibaba, Mobile Security

China E-Commerce

The 5 Defining Characteristics of the O2O Mobile Era

Wu Xiaoguang, the CEO of Tencent, has expounded on the five attributes of O2O in an increasingly mobile world. He emphasizes how e-commerce and traditional retailing will become symbiotic. The five characteristics are as follows:

  1. Consumers are constantly connected to e-commerce stores, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The shopping experience is no longer confined to just the physical store. The customer can leave the store and still be connected and in communication with a store’s correspondent.
  2. With consumers using mobile devices for so many aspects of everyday life, retailers will find it easier to carry out CRM practices via mobile services.
  3. Customers can more easily find information on the stores that are nearest to them, with the help of their mobile devices. Not only that, but stores can use mobile data to provide personalized shopping experiences.
  4. Furthermore, this data can help businesses carry out research and brand analysis.
  5. Finally, a customer will no longer just be a nameless, faceless being. Businesses will be able to get to know their customers long after they leave their stores.

Source: IT Feed

China E-Commerce

Taobao ‘Hazy’ Keywords

Taoboa recently published the top searched keywords on its e-commerce platform for 2013. Several search trends are quite interesting and could be helpful to marketers trying to understand Chinese consumer habits. 2013 has witnessed a major purchase increase in hazy weather related products. The number of people who purchased dust mask on Taobao increased 181% from 2012. Additionally, air purifiers increased 131% from the previous year. The cities that led the way with these purchases were Jiangsu, Beijing and Zhejiang with Jiangsu spending 347,513 Yuan. In total, Chinese consumers spent 870 million Yuan (USD 142.4 million).

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

Alibaba Reportedly Invests Tens Of Millions of Dollars in Mobile Security

Alibaba has reportedly invested tens of millions of dollars into an LBE security master, to ensure a dominant place in the Mobile Security sector within China. LBE Security Master is a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) application for Android platform. The platform adopts an AVL SDK, a type of anti-virus engine, to protect smart phones from the ever present and reoccurring malware (malicious software), adware (software supported by advertising), and spyware (software that has the ability to gather information about a person or organisation without their consent). All leading Chinese Internet companies have recently released mobile security services in order to be part of the growing sector. Baidu launched “Baidu phone protector” last week.

Source: Technode


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Tue

24

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba

China Digital

 

Alibaba’s International Platforms to Merge into a Single Marketplace

AliExpress, Tmall International, and the international segment of Taobao will be brought together as one in order to more easily target overseas consumers. As some may not have known, Alibaba actually started as an international business-to-business trading company, but exploded into something completely different domestically. AliExpress, once a part of Alibaba’s B2B, became an e-tail platform earlier this year, as more and more buyers from outside of China turned out to be individual consumers, rather than businesses. Considering how massive Alibaba and its platforms have become, a step toward international expansion is only natural.

Source:Sina

China Digital

 

WeChat Case Studies

WeChat is a mobile text and voice messaging service that reached 270 million active users last month. The mobile application has over 600 million registered users and is owned by Chinese company Tencent Holdings. Due to its large membership base, the app has become an attractive destination for marketers. Marketers can create public accounts on WeChat and actively engage with their target market. Five WeChat success stories to date are CNFOL, Mideace, Wyn88v, Lacrocheposay1975 and Qunar-wang.

Source:China Internet Watch


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Mon

23

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Jingdong

China Digital

 

JD.com and Free International Delivery

JD.com’s international website, JD.com Global, has begun providing free international delivery on orders over $49. This move represents a new light for international lovers of Chinese cultural products, such as books. With 200,000 international users, JD.com can now order with somewhat reckless abandon from the world’s largest Chinese language book collection, which contains over 800,000 titles. Most parcels to U.S. addresses should arrive within seven to twelve days upon ordering.

Source:ECNS

China Digital

 

Jingdong Sets Up O2O For Convenience Stores

Next year, Jingdong (jd.com) is said to operate online to offline (O2O) operations with businesses in 20 cities throughout China. Jingdong has recently been working with convenience stores, with the aim of achieving delivery of orders within 10 minutes from the time the customer placed the order online. Jingdong is the main platform for online to offline convenience stores. The company is also looking at setting up a convenience store membership system, to make the customers experience more efficient, useable and profitable. There has been a trial period on the Jingdong site for convenience stores using O2O, and customers have been spending on average 100rmb a day.

Source:EBrun B2C

China Digital

 

iPhone Frenzy

China Mobile is set to roll out the iPhone 5s and 5c on its telecommunications network on the 17th January 2014. Pre-orders start on December 25th and the iPhone’s will operate on China Mobile's 3G and 4G networks. China Mobile boasts 763.3 million phone subscribers with 181.1 million already signed up for 3G. The company aims to sell 100 million 4G phones on-contract in 2014. By the end of the year, the telco plans to complete the rollout of over half a million 4G base stations, covering more that 340 cities with 4G service.

Source:Tech In Asia


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Fri

20

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Sina

China Digital

 

Sina’s New Credit Card Payment Service

Sina has rolled out its new credit card payment service called Xinyongbao. New users will receive RMB50-100 in credit without any bank account information needed. The money received will depend on different criteria, such as payment record, purchase history, etc. on Sina Weibo and its platform apps. The only “merchandise” available on Xinyongbao currently are Sina’s online games. The service, however, is geared towards mobile payments for virtual sales like eBooks and mobile videos. Sina will charge merchants 12-20% in fees.

Source:Sohu

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Thu

19

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, Alipay, Bitcoin & JD

China Digital

 

Tencent’s Own WeChat Just Might be the Death of Tencent’s Other Messaging App, QQ

Tencent’s enormously popular mobile messaging app, WeChat, meant a new, positive path for the Internet company, but such strategic moves do not come without sacrifices. QQ, the company’s PC-based messaging app, was quite widely used, but could not possibly stand up to the rise of WeChat, especially with the decline in PC use and the Chinese penchant for mobile devices. The gradual phasing out of QQ wasn’t determined by the market, but by Tencent’s future course of action. While it may seem as though WeChat has everything going for it, there is precisely one significant hurdle it hasn’t been to jump – the app lacks the ability to be Tencent’s cash cow, as QQ was previously. For the time being, however, Tencent is okay with that, as the company is certain of WeChat’s significance in the future mobile market. WeChat had fierce competition when it entered the market, so Tencent had to focus not on making revenue, but gaining a large user base. The popular Internet company can’t keep going on like this forever, though, as a lack of revenue will surely catch up with it.

Source:China Internet Watch

China Digital

 

Alipay Vending Machines on University Campuses Now Being Made “Sonic”

One hundred and fifty of the universities across the country have Alipay vending machines available to their students. These machines, however, are now being equipped with microphones, allowing for a “personal payment” feature. Previously, this feature was only available in subway stations, taxi queues, and shopping payment areas at which customers can use Alipay to pay for their products.

Source:IT Feed

China Digital

 

Central Bank Issues New Bans On Bitcoin

Alipay and Tenpay have terminated their payment and clearing services for Bitcoin after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued a ban forbidding banks and third-party payment companies from doing business with Bitcoin exchanges. This ban also extends to other crypto-currencies such as Litecoin as well as other peer-to-peer currency trading sites. To date, BTC China and Okcoin are the two major domestic exchange sites that have had parts of their business halted. Furthermore, companies such as Baidu and Guoke have also suspended related business. The PBOC has created a space of support by leaving private clients to make their own decisions about doing business with the virtual currency.

Source:China Web 2.0


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Mon

16

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: SEM, Taxi Apps, Walmart, Delivery Services

China Digital

 

China Search Engine Market Share – November 2013 Results

Baidu, Chinas largest search engine, is loosing market share as its competitors become stronger. While their volume still ranked first at 63.55%, it has decreased monthly by 0.31%. 360, another top SEM in China, ranked second, increasing its search engine market share volume from 1% to 21.84%. Sogou and Google were ranked third and fourth. Except for Baidu, 360, and Sogou, other search engines such as Google and Microsoft Bing, all dropped below 3%. During November only 360, Sogou, and Youdao had a growth in market share. Soso had the biggest drop in volume share, decreasing by 1.4% and Sogou grew by 0.74% monthly. This is potentially attributed to the recent integration of the two companies.

Source:China Internet Watch

China Digital

 

Taxi Market

Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings are in direct competition for China’s taxi hailing app market. These two Internet giants own and operate the Kuaide and Didi apps respectively, and are fighting for market share party due to the unprecedented success of Uber. Kuaide was ranked the top app in the third quarter and after its absorption of competitor Dahuangfeng, its national market share exceeds 50%. Kuaide covers nearly 40 cities across China, whilst Didi services approximately 15. Reports suggest that whichever company wins the battle, will ultimately lead in the future operation of O2O (online to offline).

Source:Want China Times

China Digital

 

Walmart Enters Free Trade Zone

Due to liberal policies in the Shanghai free trade zone, Walmart is entering the third-party payment market. Walmart previously acquired B2C e-commerce website Yihaodian, however due to regulations, the company was unable to operate a third-party payment platform. Consequently, the company moved its business to its newly established corporation within the zone – Niuhaidianshang – as the zone encourages foreign investment. This strategic move enables the multinational retail chain to run both third-party e-commerce and value added telecommunications businesses.

Source:Want China Times


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Fri

13

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent & Taobao

China E-Commerce

Tencent’s Fengling Unveiled

Fengling has been released. Tencent created this WeChat-based mobile web design tool to specifically target mobile marketing and promotion. It helps users make HTML 5-based websites and also lets them integration interaction, communication, and LBS and KPI monitoring functions. Users can choose from two different types of websites to create: General sites, which can be made using a drag-and-drop method, and industrial sites, which is a more customized option, only available to members.

Source: QQ Blog

China E-Commerce

What Have the Chinese been Buying on Taobao in 2013?

Astoundingly, almost 6,000 individuals residing in upper-class areas of China sent more than 1 million RMB (approximately $164,000) each on Taobao’s platforms in 2013. Big-purchase items such as cars, land-use rights, and vacations became available on Taobao this past year, so it’s no surprise that people have been able to spend so much. It has also been reported by Alibaba that fathers were becoming much more involved in purchasing goods for babies, as they accounted for 44 percent of all transactions in the category, up from just 12 percent last year. Sales jumped nearly 200% on dashboard video cameras (3.3 million sold this year), possibly attributed to the increase in automobile sales, as well as an increase in car accident disputes. Unsurprisingly, 870 million RMB was also spent on anti-pollution products, an almost 200% increase in 11 months. And finally, the giant rubber duck that brought many visitors to Hong Kong and Beijing prompted 8.5 million RMB in sales on duck-related items.

Source: Ebrun


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Tue

03

Dec

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent & Taobao


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Wed

13

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: China E-Commerce

China E-Commerce

11.11 Helps Winemaker Jiuxian Break Record Sales Of 220 Million Yuan

It seems the holiday not only helps sales in clothing, beauty products and consumer electronics sectors, but now liquor companies are also benefitting. Jiuxian, a winemaker in China, announced that after 24hrs the company broke a record of 220 million yuan in sales. The numbers are surprising for the winemaker because last year’s total sales for the day were 61.5 million yuan. After one hour since the sales frenzy started Jiuxian passed 40 million yuan. Double eleven only began almost 5 years ago but it seems to be proving that many industries including the wine industry can benefit from this online trend.

Source: Ebrun

China E-Commerce

Suning's Own China E-Commerce Payment Service

Electrical goods supplying company Suning has just bought the domain yifubao.com, to release their own payment system. The payment system will probably be similar to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's Alipay, or Tencent's Tenpay.

Source: Tech.QQ


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Tue

12

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

Singles Day Ends With $5.7 Billion Spent On Tmall

As Singles Day concluded it was obvious the quirky holiday was on its way to smash records. By 12pm yesterday, after 12 hours since the online sales frenzy started, Tmall alone accrued $2.86 billion in online sales, surpassing totals sales accounted for last year’s “Cyber Monday.” As the sale drew to a close at midnight China’s largest shopping event topped $5.7 billion (RMB 35 billion), an 83% increase from the previous year. Not only did sales increase but one point of interest was the way these sales were done. Approximately 21% of total orders (171.4 million) were placed over mobile devices, up from 5% last year. The increase is probably due to the free mobile data the Alibaba group provided during the 11.11 sale. But all is not business. Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s executive chairman, said that he believes this sales event is not just to “post big numbers” but to actually build a relationship between business’ and its customers., Mr. Ma hopes that in the future 11.11 will be day where merchants can thank consumers.

Source: Alizila

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Tue

12

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: The Results Are In

China Digital

 

Singles Day Ends With $5.7 Billion Spent On Tmall

As Singles Day concluded it was obvious the quirky holiday was on its way to smash records. By 12pm yesterday, after 12 hours since the online sales frenzy started, Tmall alone accrued $2.86 billion in online sales, surpassing totals sales accounted for last year’s “Cyber Monday.” As the sale drew to a close at midnight China’s largest shopping event topped $5.7 billion (RMB 35 billion), an 83% increase from the previous year. Not only did sales increase but one point of interest was the way these sales were done. Approximately 21% of total orders (171.4 million) were placed over mobile devices, up from 5% last year. The increase is probably due to the free mobile data the Alibaba group provided during the 11.11 sale. But all is not business. Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s executive chairman, said that he believes this sales event is not just to “post big numbers” but to actually build a relationship between business’ and its customers., Mr. Ma hopes that in the future 11.11 will be day where merchants can thank consumers.

Source:Alizila


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Mon

11

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Eleven Eleven So Far...

China Digital

A Big Start For Alibaba

China’s annual shopping bonanza 11.11 has started with a bang. The country’s top e-commerce company Alibaba is watching its sales in real time, keeping the world updated with regular sales figures. Tmall, Alibaba’s open marketplace saw $177 million spent in the first six minutes, jumping to $266 million (RMB 1.64 billion) after 10 minutes, nearly $500 million (RMB 3.021 billion) after 20 minutes and $1 billion after the first 50 minutes. The hour before midnight saw six million Alibaba customers placing online items in their virtual shopping baskets, eagerly awaiting the start of 11.11 when the discounts became active.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Singles Day an E-commerce miracle?

November 11th has become synonymous with online shopping. According to a recent study by AdMaster, on this day online shoppers are expected to spend an average of 1,800 yuan ($295) per person. The Double Eleven Shopping Festival is celebrated in the name of “Singles Day.” What begun as a celebration for single people has become China’s most popular annual online commercial event. Singles Day has evolved into a crazy 24-hour online shopping spree when Alibaba Group, operator of e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Tmall, launched its first sales campaign on November 11, 2009. Singles Day sales figures for the Alibaba Group went from 50 million yuan in 2009 to an astounding 19.1 billion yuan in 2012 and is expected to top 30 billion this year.In 2012, China's e-commerce industry was worth 8.1 trillion yuan, with online shopping contributing 1.3 trillion yuan ($213 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce. An e-commerce miracle? Seems so since even American retailers, such as Microsoft, Gap and Toys R Us are planning to participate this year to get a piece of the pie. Not only do consumers benefit but e-commerce shops as well as brands can too. Should they effectively tie in marketing and sales strategies they can enhance their sales conversion rate, as consumers on this day are more receptive to sales promotions.

Source: China Daily


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Sun

10

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Eleven Eleven

China Digital

On Shopping and Loneliness

In the Western world, the typical image of chronic singledom may conjure up various thoughts that can verge on the slightly depressing, including the ownership of several cats, solitary nights spent hunched over in front of one’s laptop while scouring dating sites for potential mates, and the bitter emotions felt when skipping over the “plus one” tick box on those suspiciously frequent wedding invitations. In China, however, things look a little less bleak for the unattached, and the term “retail therapy” has never been more applicable. November 11th has unofficially become the country’s Singles’ Day, a day during which those without significant others either celebrate their statuses by singing their lonely hearts out at KTV, confess their feelings to another in hopes of some sort of reciprocation, or wallow in self-pity while somewhat shamelessly indulging themselves in carbohydrate-centric treats. Whatever the case may be, these people, along with China’s non-single population, can partake in the biggest retail sales day of the year, commonly known as “Double Eleven” or “Eleven Eleven.” All the major retailers in China boast incredible price cuts (typically 50% or more) during that 24-hour period, and the Chinese, widely known as a bargain-loving people, certainly know how to take advantage of such a situation. Many prepare far in advance, ruthlessly filling their online shopping carts with their desired items and waiting eagerly in front of their computers during the last few minutes of November 10th so they can simply check out their orders at the click of a button when the clock finally strikes twelve. In 2009, the masterminds behind the Alibaba group, China’s biggest e-commerce company, which is comprised of Tmall and Taobao, were the first to capitalize on Singles’ Day. In 2012, the company reported staggering revenues of $3.3 billion on Singles’ Day alone, with an expected increase to at least $4.9 billion this year. What started out as a joke on university campuses has now become the most massive shopping day of the year, with roughly half of China’s 591 million Internet users hungrily satisfying their need for discounted goods. The shopping holiday, however, is not without its faults. The day presents a logistic nightmare for courier firms, as deliveries need to be made round the clock in order to fulfill Chinese expectations for extremely timely arrival of products. Items also frequently sell out, and consumers have also noticed unscrupulous behavior of sellers, some of whom secretly increase the prices of their goods before discounting them. In general, however, it’s probably worth it to brave the turbulent waters of Double Eleven if you’re looking for amazing deals. So whether you’re shopping to fill a void in your heart or just want to finally be able to buy a pair of those expensive headphones you’ve been eyeing, Double Eleven sales will be happening in full force, and I’m sure the e-commerce companies would love for you all to take part.

Source: ForeignPolicy.com Blog


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Fri

08

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Double Eleven

China Digital

Alibaba and Double Eleven

Sales from Double Eleven promotions on Alibaba platforms are expected to rise 50% from last year’s sales to at least 30 billion yuan. In fact, shopping in general has shifted heavily from physical retail stores to online purchases. The day, which was originally to celebrate one’s single status or to seek out a potential partner, has become the biggest one for online shopping in China -- all thanks to Alibaba’s Tmall. The platform started marketing promotions for Singles’ Day back in 2009, and nearly all other retailers have since then followed suit. At the moment, Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms, Tmall and Taobao, absolutely dominate China’s e-tailing market. Orders for the two platforms accounted for 70% of package deliveries last year in China. It has also been reported that retailers will even operate at a profit loss, simply in order to gain market share, and as such, price wars have become merciless and brutal. Alibaba is also safe from potential Singles’ Day losses, as it doesn’t sell merchandise itself. The company comes out much farther in ahead in the competition for the largest profit margins, with a margin of 48.4%, as compared to Ebay’s 18.1% and Amazon’s 0.51%. In addition to all of the price-slashing madness, Double Eleven can also be a logistical nightmare for sellers, as order volumes can become overwhelmingly high -- which can potentially lead to many disappointing delays. Shentong Express Co., a courier firm based in Shanghai, has preemptively hired 45,000 temporary workers in addition to its established workforce of 150,000, to handle the upcoming busy season.

Source: Bloomberg

China Digital

Double Eleven: Jingdong Look to Impress Bargain Hunters

The recent e-commerce explosion in China has seen Single’s Day transform into a blow-out shopfest, with millions of customers looking to grab a bargain and spend big. How big is it you ask? Well, to put it in perspective, Alibaba’s two e-commerce marketplaces, Tmall and Taobao collectively processes $3 billion in just 24 hours on 11.11 of 2012 – meaning these two sites processed more than double America’s entire Cyber shop on the same day. This year, Alibaba’s executives are estimating a $4.9 billion shopping spree to take place on Monday, but archrivals Jingdong are being a bit more hesitant in revealing data. Whilst not divulging numbers, Jingdong’s senior VP of public relations Gloria Li has stressed that the company would be focused on ‘winning customer trust in areas like guaranteed authentic goods and leveraging the strength of our self-operated delivery service’. Jingdong is counting on this warehouse-to-doorstep delivery service to win over customers, looking to ensure either same day or next day delivery - even when sales volumes increase massively. Since Alibaba’s e-stores outsource their logistics and have to rely on possibly over-stretched third-party delivery, Jingdong will see this as a good opportunity to promote themselves in the eyes of 11.11 customers.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Thu

07

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Online Shopping and Mobile Advertising

China Digital

What Online Christmas Shoppers Want

During the Christmas holidays, a staggering 85% of customers base their final purchasing decisions on final cost, as well as promotional deals. With price comparisons being so easy to do, this aspect is one part of the holiday shopping experience that simply cannot be ignored. If you’re selling items on marketplace platforms like eBay and Amazon, it is absolutely crucial for your store to maintain competitive prices at all times. To make life a little easier, there are automated repricers that adjust prices according to the competitive landscape and other parameters that you set. Another expectation of holiday shoppers is free shipping. In fact, 61% of consumers say they would cancel their Christmas shopping orders if delivery fees were involved. While at first, it may seem financially unwise to offer free shipping, remember to keep in mind that there are several ways to do so while also making a profit, such as creating minimum order amounts, offering flat rate shipping, or tiered shipping options. Remember to also be as transparent as possible when it comes to different policies, shipping timelines, and deadlines. Customers don’t want to waste time reading any fine print and they don’t want any negative surprises, especially during the holiday season. Finally, a great store reputation is absolutely imperative in maximizing sales and profits. Make sure you are doing everything in your power to avoid poor reviews and ratings for your store.

Source: Retail In Asia

China Digital

China’s Mobile Ad Boom

Slow download speeds, lack of quality data analysis and start-up uncertainty in China has constrained the mobile advertising market in recent years, but a new eMarketer report states that the size of the Chinese mobile audience is just too big to bypass any longer. The report, titled ‘China Mobile Advertising: The Long Wait Is Over’ reveals that an estimated 28.5% of China’s population were using smartphones in 2012, a statistic that is expected to rise over the coming years. Not only is the market large in terms of users, but also in terms of time spent on those mobile devices. The China Internet Network Information Center found that nearly once quarter of smartphone owners were spending more than 4 hours on mobile internet daily. Despite the size and engagement of the mobile audience, expenditure on mobile advertising is still relatively tiny. eMarketer expects this investment to grow sharply in 2013, with message based advertising continuing to make up a significant chunk of the spending. However, there are challenges for brand advertisers. It is important not to overestimate the ideal that consumers in China will always engage with apps. Brand advertisers must ensure they carefully consider their marketing objectives before investing the time and money required to build a customized app.

Source: eMarketer


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Wed

06

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu, Qihoo, & Smartwatches

China Digital

Baidu Reports that 46.6% of Chinese Users Would Purchase Smartwatches

According to a recent report by Baidu, 93% of those surveyed are familiar with the concept of the smart watch. If price were no object, about 50% of those surveyed would consider purchasing smart bracelets and watches, while about 20% would definitely purchase one. The most appealing aspect of the devices seem to be their ability to help wearers keep fit and to overcome laziness by implementing sports plans.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Qihoo Wants A Quarter of Search Engine Market Share by the Year’s End

As of October of this year, Qihoo has officially reached their annual goal of taking over 20% of the search engine market. Qihoo’s biggest rival, Baidu, has lost some of its market share, going from 72% at the beginning of the year to 62% currently. Qihoo also only makes about a third of the revenue per user that Baidu does, as it has chosen not to display certain types of ads on its site.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Baidu Announces Q3 Finance Report

China search engine Baidu has announced its third quarter finance report, stating that its total Q3 revenue has reached 8.89 billion yuan. The market leader’s revenue is 42.3% up on Q3 of their previous year, with mobile search users reaching over 130 million. The company has estimated its total revenue for Q4 to be between 9.22 billion yuan and 9.48 billion yuan.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Tue

05

Nov

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-commerce, Taobao and Tencent

China Digital

Online shopping transactions up 42% on previous year

Latest IDG research reveals that in the third quarter of 2013, China’s online shopping market is up 4.0% on the previous quarter and 42.4% on the previous year. These market transactions were valued at 454.76 billion yuan, among which B2C transactions accounted for 36.6%. Within the B2C market, the top 10 B2C players dominated 89.7%, Alibaba’s Tmall representing 51.1%, Jingdong ranking 2nd with 17.5% and TenCent (including QQ online shopping) accounting for 6%.

Source: QQ Blog

China Digital

Taobao.com selling fund products

Alibaba’s online shopping platform Taobao has expanded their services into the financial sector. The 1st of November 2013 saw the e-commerce giant launch a third-party platform selling fund products, only a day after the company received the go-ahead from the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Investors will be able to buy mainly low-risk money market and bond funds for as little as 100 yuan (US$16.40) with no redemption fees or charged subscription. The sale of these funds marks Alibaba’s latest venture into China’s tightly controlled capital market, six months after the introduction of their Yu’E Bao money market fund available through their online payment service provider Alipay.

Source: Shanghai Daily

China Digital

Yiwu B2B Online transactions estimated at 5 Billion Yuan for 2013

Yiwu, a central city in Zhejiang province China is well known as one of the most active free trade markets in China with added fame for its small commodity trade. Data provided by Alibaba has shown that in the first half of 2013, Yiwu’s B2B online transactions reached 2.51 billion yuan (USD 410 million) and is expected to hit 5 billion yuan (USD 816 million) by the end of the year. The Zhejiang city was also found to have 22,512 domestic B2B members, as well as 3,000 foreign trade B2B members; accounting for 3.75% of China’s total B2B members.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Mon

28

Oct

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat, Tencent and E-tailing

China Digital

Tencent is One of Snapchat’s Potential Investors

Evan Spiegel, the founder of popular photo messaging app Snapchat, has stated in the past that he sees China’s Tencent as a role model. In June, during the last funding round for his startup company, Snapchat raised $80 million at an $800 million valuation. Now the company wants to raise $200 million at a $3-4 billion valuation. If Tencent, with a valuation of $100 billion, were to invest in Snapchat, the partnership between the two companies would be a powerful one. Tencent could help Snapchat make a name for itself in Asia and also figure out potential business models. Spiegel wants the app to start bringing in revenue before the next round of funding, and has said that he admires WeChat’s (Tencent’s popular messaging app) ability to earn money from in-app purchases.

Source: Tech Crunch

China Digital

11.11 Helps Wine Maker Jiuxian Break Record Sales Of 220 Million Yuan

It seems the holiday not only helps sales in clothing, beauty products and consumer electronics sectors, but now liquor companies are also benefitting. Jiuxian, a winemaker in China, announced that after 24hrs the company broke a record of 220 million yuan in sales. The numbers are surprising for the winemaker because last year’s total sales for the day were 61.5 million yuan. After one hour since the sales frenzy started Jiuxian passed 40 million yuan. Double eleven only began almost 5 years ago but it seems to be proving that many industries including the wine industry can benefit from this online trend.

Source: Ebrun

China Digital

E-commerce grows in China

International retailers are expanding into China’s e-commerce sector, with both internet fashion retailer Asos and US supermarket Walmart announcing new plans for China. Walmart CEO Michael Duke has reported that their e-commerce business has grown around 30% in the first half of 2013 and stated that the company was looking to align themselves with China’s strategy of promoting the emerging middle class. The trend towards online shopping has been especially noticeable in the fashion and beauty market, where many consumers seem to display a preference for better value, simplicity of purchase and the increased ease of return found online. Italian fashion e-tailor The Yoox Group has even taken the online service a step further by offering a ‘butler’ option – a courier can now wait for up to half an hour to see whether the customer wishes to return any of the items.

Source: Warc


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Thu

24

Oct

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba, Baidu, & WeChat

China Digital

Alibaba Establishes San Francisco Office

Alibaba has opened a new office in San Francisco in order to invest in US companies. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth will be looking for companies in “internet commerce and emerging technologies.” The San Francisco team will be led by the newly-appointed Chairman of US Investments, Michael Zeisser. The US team has actually already gone through with a few investments in US companies, including ShopRunner and Quixey.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Baidu Looks to Acquire Dianping for $2 Billion

Baidu has reportedly been in talks to acquire Chinese restaurant review site Dianping. Such an acquisition for Baidu would mean adding Dianping’s listings to Baidu’s own review app and access to Dianping’s daily deals and group buying services. The addition to Baidu’s already dominating search and maps services would make Baidu even more of an Internet powerhouse.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

WeChat has Surpassed 600 Million Users

From 300 million registered users in January of this year, WeChat’s user base has essentially doubled to 600 million, with 100 million of those users located overseas. With an overwhelming share of the mobile messaging market, WeChat seems unbeatable – but that doesn’t mean the other major marketing apps will give up without a fight. Alibaba is heavily promoting its Laiwang app, with hopes of achieving 30% market share.

Source: Tech Node


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Wed

23

Oct

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Courier Firms and Information Leaks & Alibaba's Laiwang App

China Digital

Customer Data Theft

We’ve all heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” but apparently, here in China, knowledge can also equal big money for those who are daring enough to take the risk to sell the knowledge they’ve obtained using methods that aren’t exactly legal. The selling of personal customer information from employees of delivery companies to online traders has become its own industry in major Chinese cities. And what can one do with such information? Well, it can be used for a variety of activities ranging from fairly harmless, such as distributing junk e-mail and contacting potential customers, to downright unscrupulous, like scams, extortion, and theft. Many online store owners also seem to be using the information to forge transaction records. YTO Express, one of the biggest next-day delivery firms in China, and the company that most of the stolen data seem to be coming from, has been dealing with the aforementioned issue for quite some time now. Since last year, the courier company has been working with Taobao, China’s biggest C2C e-commerce company, to solve the problem. It seems, however, that their efforts have been of little to no avail. There are currently 3,000 personal data sellers on Taobao, and the going rate for a single piece of information is 1 yuan (approximately 0.16 USD), with discounts typically given for bulk purchases of one thousand. The information includes the customers names, addresses, phone numbers, and serial numbers. There have been two large recent cases involving data selling, which involved 18 people and 6 million pieces of information. The jail sentence for such a crime is a maximum of 3 years, but charges for the crime rarely occur due to the difficulty of tracking sales. Security measures are currently being taken by another Chinese courier firm, STO Express, which will give its customer dockets every six months to independent security firms to destroy.

Source: Shanghai Daily

China Digital

Alibaba’s Laiwang Gains 5 Million Users in a Single Day

Alibaba’s CEO Jonathan Lu has reportedly stated that during the next year, all of the company’s resources would be funneled into its mobile endeavors, including its messaging app Laiwang, Taobao’s mobile services, Aliyun, and an O2O service. Jack Ma, former CEO of Alibaba, has also allegedly sent out an internal memo letting the employees know that if each of them didn’t acquire 100 non-Alibaba affiliated contacts on their Laiwang apps, they would not be receiving work bonuses. The day after the memo was supposedly issued, more than five million new users signed up for Laiwang after Alibaba employees spread the word about the app via various social media platforms.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Tue

22

Oct

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba & Internet TV

China Digital

Alibaba’s Plan to Take Over Wireless

Alibaba is doing all it can to further develop its wireless sector. The company’s messaging tool, Laiwang, which is similar to WeChat, is expected to reach 30% market share. The way in which Laiwang differentiates itself from other similar competitors is that the app is targeted purely toward interaction amongst friends. It does so through features such as “burn after reading” and the right to form groups with up to 500 members. Alibaba has launched large-scale promotion activities for the mobile app, both internally and externally. The company is also working on Mobile Taobao, Ali OS, and an upcoming O2O service.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

The Struggles of Internet TV in China

Internet TV in China is currently facing three bottlenecks: High bandwidth costs, similar content, and lack of core competitiveness. HD broadcasting is the standard for internet TV, and thus, will mostly likely continue to boost bandwidth costs for the next few years. The range of content across different platforms is too similar. Online video streaming needs solid content to bring in customers. Furthermore, content becomes “dated” because streaming regulations do not allow movies to be streamed until after they have been released in theaters. Competition-wise, Internet TV pales in comparison to tradition TV. Companies will really need to use innovation and creative thinking to separate themselves from the pack.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Alibaba Will Acquire Social Shopping Service Mogujie for $200 million

Alibaba is on the cusp of acquiring Mogujie, which is a Pinterest-esque social shopping service, for $200 million. Alibaba had unsuccessfully released a social shopping platform in the past, so this is a smart move for the company to delve deeper into the social realm.

Source: Tech Node


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Mon

30

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Qihoo, Tencent & Alibaba

China Digital

Qihoo’s Apps Removed by Chinese Android App Stores

Xaomi is removing all Qihoo mobile apps from its proprietary Android app store in retaliation to a push notification sent by Qihoo to its users telling them to delete the Xiamo app stores from their phones. This sort of instance isn’t the first of its kind to happen Qihoo, either. Baidu has said that Qihoo has once done the same thing to its Baidu Maps app. How did Qihoo respond to such claims? The company stated that it was simply a reminder to remove pre-installed third party apps because many are rarely launched by users. According to Qihoo, it is up to the users to decide, especially when the aforementioned third-party apps usually contain spam and/or breach privacy. Pre-installation, however, has been a significant channel to reach users, and companies who have been affected by Qihoo’s notifications are angry with the Internet company due to Qihoo’s bad record in app distribution and its push content.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Kanbox: Alibaba’s New Acquired Private Cloud Computing Service

Alibaba’s recent move of acquiring Kanbox (a provate cloud computing service) will provide more convenient access to data for users of Alibaba. Kanbox was originally founded in June of 2010 and grew to a 100-employee company. Kanbox states that their user base is around 13 million and out of that 2 million also use Kanbox service on mobile devices. Kanbox has received two major investments from angle investor Charles Xue (founder of UTStarcom) and a group led by DCM. It seems that Alibaba’s acquisition of Kanbox will help to increase user loyalty and its service competitiveness. More importantly with Kanbox, Alibaba can no begin personalizing its cloud computing services. Cloud computing will be an important aspect to Alibaba’s vast and growing e-commerce Empire.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Tencent Released New App WeShow Allowing Users to Create & Share Short Video Clips

Tencent makes a good move with the new release of WeShow. WeShow allows for users under Tencent’s social networking services to create and post video clips or share these videos with their friends. These clips span anywhere from two to eight seconds. WeShow only supports the login of three kinds of Tencent accounts. These accounts include Tencent Weibo, QQ and QQ Mail. In order to raise awareness about this new app, Tencent has used celebrities in order to attract more attention. So far this service is only available on iOS platform. WeShow is different from its namesake that Tencent had released in 2011. WeShow accounts will follow users’ QQ friends automatically. Both of these two services are not available for WeChat accounts but WeShow users can share their videos to Tencent Weibo and WeChat friends. With Tecents new entry it will only be a matter of time before a new wave of short video clip apps start to develop.

Source: Tech Node


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Thu

26

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu, China Unicom & Sina

China Digital

China Unicom Releases Mobile Wallet App

China Unicom has unveiled its mobile payment service. The app can be obtained in several ways; customers can download the app directly to their smart phones, can get SIM cards pre-installed with the service, or can pop into China Unicom stores to get the app installed into their SIMs. Within the app, bank account information and transportation cards can be bundled, and in the future, the app will have fuel cards, membership cards, and e-coupons. China Unicom is currently testing the service in Beijing, Guangdong, Fujian, and Jiangsu.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Sina Weibo Making Moves For IPO

The recent rumor about Sina Weibo going IPO is apparently true, Jack Xu the CTO of Sina recently confirms this rumor according to local newspaper Nandu. It was around last week that journalists with Sohu IT started to spread the news about Sina getting ready for an IPO in 2014. Jack Xu informed reporters that he was happy that Twitter had filled an IPO before them, reason being that it would have been difficult to get investors on board if there was no existing business model for this particular type of service. Twitter’s IPO in a sense gives Weibo confidence to go public. Currently Sina Weibo is four years old along with 500 registerd accounts. They generate revenue from advertising, online gaming and other user-facing paid services. Alibaba’s recent collaboration with Weibo would guarantee Weibo a total of $380 million in the next three years. Jack Xu’s background at Cisco should continue to bring Sina stronger technological capabilities thus resulting in a more innovative company

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Baidu’s Mobile Wallet SDK

Baifubao, Baidu’s payment unit, has released the Baidu Wallet SDK app, which is a mobile payment service. Game developers can offer the package to different distribution channels, and Wallet will distribute revenue to developers and said distribution channels. As of now, the service has mainly been applied to in-game payments, and integrates functions of payment, data analysis, and accounting management. The app offers more than 10 methods of payment and has gained access to more than 300 games. It might also expand to e-commerce, as well as the entirety of mobile Internet.

Source: Tech Node


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Wed

25

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba, WeChat & Social Messaging

China Digital

WeChat Users Now Able to Order and Pay for Dishes

Tencent’s lifestyle e-commerce service, Micro-Life, has updated its WeChat account to a new version called X1. This version further facilitates mobile CRM by supporting customized offerings, payments, and services. It also makes ordering and paying at restaurants fully within WeChat possible. McDonald’s was actually one of the first restaurants able to issue e-coupons and accept payments for food purchases. Micro-Life also plans to support KTV reservations and is endeavoring towards getting department stores onto WeChat.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Alibaba’s Late Entry Into the Social Messaging Ring

Alibaba has recently implemented their 14 month project of Laiwang( social messaging app). It seems as though when it comes to social messaging WeChat claims all the marbles, Alibaba’s attempt to battle Tencent’s monetizing precious will be difficult. Alibaba CEO Johnathan Lu stated that “This product will help connect different aspects of people’s social life, lifestyle and consumer habits [and will] create new wireless application scenarios.” Laiwang is virtually the same as WeChat in terms of functionality, However, Laiwang has a browser-based option, and lets users share things with all buddies in a Path-like social network that complements the messaging experience. If you are a prospective China Telecom user, you will be seeing the preinstalled Laiwang on your new smartphone. This might help boost the amount of users; however the key lies in Alibaba’s capability of incorporating Alibaba’s popular e-shopping sites, Tmall and Taobao, either for e-store merchants or for regular users to engage in mobile commerce. Of course this would have been better if the app was released earlier. Indeed WeChat has gained another challenger, but fortunately this one arrived late to the fight.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Alibaba Acquires Cloud Storage Provider, Kanbox

Alibaba has acquired Kanbox, a Chinese cloud storage provider. This acquisition seems to be an attempt by Alibaba to move into the mobile and cloud storage sectors. Not only that, but Alibaba also seems to be wanting to provide more consumer-oriented web services. Kanbox has 15 million users, 3 million of whom are on mobile, and the company offers special accounts for Taobao sellers. As a promotion, Alibaba and Kanbox are offering 10 TB of free storage to users who sign up for Alibaba’s messaging app, Laiwang.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Tue

24

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse In China: Sina, Alibaba & WeChat Vending Machines

China Digital

Sina Jumps On The Top Box Bandwagon

Sina recently announced two partnerships, one with home electronics manufacturer Hisense and the other with government-backed Coship. These collaborations contribute to enhance their users experience online experience. In the past weeks, we have seen other players such as Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and Alibaba announcing their intentions on also creating a set-top box, Sina’s move in this direction is thus not surprising. Sina’s top box like others will have its own smart TV OS built on Android. The name of this box will be called Feikan and is manufactured by their other partner Coship. There have been rumors spreading about Sina working with manufacturer Hisense to make “Weibo account controlled home appliances.”Sina announced that they will collaborate with Ayla Networks to create a wifi-weather station. It will be interesting to see how many Smart products will be integrated in home appliances. The trend is set now let’s see who comes out on top.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Vending Machines for WeChat Users

WeChat and Ubox have been experimenting with their own vending machines, allowing customer to pay completely within the chat app in order to quench their thirsts. Approximately 300 of the vending machines have popped up in subway stations all over Beijing. Consumers who pay using WeChat get discounts on their drinks – getting them for RMB 1, when they usually cost around RMB 3-5. Even with WeChat’s high volume of users, however, it will probably prove difficult to get people to make mobile payments.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Alibaba’s Late Entry Into the Social Messaging Ring

Alibaba has recently implemented their 14 month project of Laiwang( social messaging app). It seems as though when it comes to social messaging WeChat claims all the marbles, Alibaba’s attempt to battle Tencent’s monetizing precious will be difficult. Alibaba CEO Johnathan Lu stated that “This product will help connect different aspects of people’s social life, lifestyle and consumer habits [and will] create new wireless application scenarios.” Laiwang is virtually the same as WeChat in terms of functionality, However, Laiwang has a browser-based option, and lets users share things with all buddies in a Path-like social network that complements the messaging experience. If you are a prospective China Telecom user, you will be seeing the preinstalled Laiwang on your new smartphone. This might help boost the amount of users; however the key lies in Alibaba’s capability of incorporating Alibaba’s popular e-shopping sites, Tmall and Taobao, either for e-store merchants or for regular users to engage in mobile commerce. Of course this would have been better if the app was released earlier. Indeed WeChat has gained another challenger, but fortunately this one arrived late to the fight.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Fri

20

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Chinese Cabinet on WeChat, Jet Li and Alipay's Foundation, & Alibaba's New Employee

China Digital

The Chinese Government Now has a WeChat Account

China’s cabinet, also known as the State Council, has begun releasing official government information on its public WeChat account. The account, which is named Gazette office of the State Council, is aimed at publicizing administrative laws, orders of the state council, personnel appointments and removal, and important government rules and documents. The account released its first notice on Tuesday, announcing changes of personnel in the state forestry fire prevention office. On Wednesday, a circular was released on urban planning approval of an eastern city. WeChat has become a major way for officials and government to release information and display transparency. Followers of the account can view, download, and share information and documents, but cannot comment like they can on Weibo.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Jet Li and Alipay Team Up to Form One Foundation

Jet Li and Alipay have founded One Foundation, a foundation to which donors can make charitable contributions via smart phones and tablets.  Members join a monthly program that is embedded into the Alipay Wallet app, which is a mobile app designed to transfer funds electronically through the Internet.  The default amount for donations is 30 yuan per month.  Contributors will be able to find out how their donations are being used through their mobile phones.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

One of Facebook's Executives Leave the Company for a Position at Alibaba

Two of Facebook’s major employees are leaving the company – and one of them is heading for Alibaba.  Ashley Zandy was with Facebook for over two years and is supposedly leaving the company to become the associate director of international corporate affairs for Alibaba.  Zandy will stay in Silicon Valley and oversee all corporate and financial communications that happen outside of China.

Source: Want China Times


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Wed

18

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Tencent, Baidu & Sina

China Digital

Here Comes 12 Digits: Good Move Tencent

It has been revealed that Tencent has hit a new landmark, the total value of the company has entered into the realm of 12 digits, a whopping $101.05 billion, and this means that they are now playing in the mega leagues with Facebook which is currently valued at $103.53 billion. So how did this happen? Well on Monday Tencent revealed their purchase of a 36.5% share of search engine Sogou. This deal should benefit both parties by increasing their search engine traffic. Although The Hong Kong Stock Exchange valued the company at $101.05 billion dollars on Monday, it has been reported that on Tuesday that Tencent went back below the $100 billion mark. Tencents Collaboration with Sogou could mean bad news for other search engines and their company value. It has been reported that Qihoo shares have fell 5.61 percent overnight on the NASDAQ.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Baidu’s Slipping In Market Control, While Qihoo, Soso and Sogou Make Their Climb Up

Reports confirm that Baidu, who ranks number one in China’s search engine space, is dropping its market share while other search engines are catching up sporadically. By looking at how much control Baidu has of the market share we can see the trend its been heading towards. Just June of this year they held 69% of China’s market share but currently it has dropped to 66%. Other search engine company’s market value have been on the rise. Qihoo a faitly new search engine started out with 1% of the total market share this time last year, now it controls about 17% in just one year. Competition in China’s search engine market is tough and the recent collaboration between Tencent and Sogou could only mean that minor players like Soso and Sogou will make it tougher for Baidu. Let’s say for instance Tencent is able to integrate Sogou’s services into both their QQ and WeChat platforms. One can bet on seeing massive boosts in traffic causing trouble for the company Baidu and Qihoo together. Tencent’s recent move deserves applause, this one move allowed Sogo to enter into double figures for the first time ever and spells massive increase of traffic and monetizing potential. Tencent please take a bow.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Sina Portal to Become Self-Publishing Media Platform

Sina portal is striving to become a self-publishing media platform. While covering content from more traditional media, the new writing platform, We-Media, plans to cover more original content created by individual writers, which can be divided into three classes: First-tier columnists, reports of traditional media who write in their spare time, and grassroots writers. Sina will be developing a backend system for them, as well as providing different types of publishing channels, such as a content generator, column, blog, and Weibo. Sina also plans on offering analytical tools to help improve content quality – content that will come in a variety of forms, like text, video, and pictures. High-content quality is key, as life-related content will become the highlights of the platform. An ad revenue sharing platform will also be established, and the company will be diversifying revenue structure by adding value-added service and e-commerce into this new platform.

Source: Tech Node


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Tue

17

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: E-Commerce, Alibaba, Mobile Users

China Digital

Ways That Chinese E-Commerce Companies Can Win Over Their Consumers

The consumers who are emerging from China are becoming increasingly connected, independent, and confident. They are also adjusting to the amount of choice being presented to them, especially within the realm of e-commerce. China now has nearly 600 million netizens, and the challenge for e-commerce businesses at the moment is finding out exactly what influences customers to spend money online. Research has found that men shop differently than women do. They tend to be more goal-oriented and buy items specifically for themselves. Both sexes, however, look for lower prices and greater convenience while shopping online. More men are actually more active than women when it comes to purchasing items online. Also, 66% of online consumers have microblogs and use social networks, which is information that e-commerce businesses need to capitalize on. The rise of mobile, or m-commerce, shows us that the businesses’ engagement with consumers in a mobile manner is absolutely crucial. Increased sales can be a driver of new sales, as customers regularly share their shopping experiences on social media. Things that companies can do to win over their consumers is to earn their trust, get connected and provide as smooth and convenient an experience as possible, and work on communicating effectively.

Source: CNN

China Digital

Alibaba And China Telecom To Create Cloud Data Center

China Telecom has partnered with Alibaba. The companies plan on creating a cloud data center and putting forward a new marketing model. They will also cooperate in-depth on information services, such as basic communications service, mobile internet, cloud computing, and a data center. Alipay will also be providing credit guarantee to its users to obtain China Telecom custom smartphones for zero yuan. By teaming up, Alibaba and China Telecom will be able to share their promo resources and gain larger user base. In addition to all that has been listed above, the two companies will be offering more innovative hardware and software to provide communications and e-commerce solutions to small and medium enterprises, governments, and incorporations.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Chinese Mobile Netizens Account For 78.5% Of Total Netizens

In June of this year, China’s netizen population surpassed 591 million, or 44% penetration. This growth was promoted by government support, 3g network popularity, and a surge of mobile netizens. The penetration of mobile netizens has risen from 74.5% in December of 2012 to 78.5%. Instant messaging and mobile search have ranked as the most popular apps, with the growth rate of traditional messaging lagging from 6.16% to 2.5%. Other industries that have been affected by mobile apps are taxi and medical care.

Source: Tech Node


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Mon

16

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: E-commerce, Alibaba & Mobile Users

China Digital

Ways that Chinese E-Commerce Companies can Win Over their Consumers

The consumers who are emerging from China are becoming increasingly connected, independent, and confident. They are also adjusting to the amount of choice being presented to them, especially within the realm of e-commerce. China now has nearly 600 million netizens, and the challenge for e-commerce businesses at the moment is finding out exactly what influences customers to spend money online. Research has found that men shop differently than women do. They tend to be more goal-oriented and buy items specifically for themselves. Both sexes, however, look for lower prices and greater convenience while shopping online. More men are actually more active than women when it comes to purchasing items online. Also, 66% of online consumers have microblogs and use social networks, which is information that e-commerce businesses need to capitalize on. The rise of mobile, or m-commerce, shows us that the businesses’ engagement with consumers in a mobile manner is absolutely crucial. Increased sales can be a driver of new sales, as customers regularly share their shopping experiences on social media. Things that companies can do to win over their consumers is to earn their trust, get connected and provide as smooth and convenient an experience as possible, and work on communicating effectively.

Source: CNN

China Digital

Alibaba and China Telecom to Create Cloud Data Center

China Telecom has partnered with Alibaba. The companies plan on creating a cloud data center and putting forward a new marketing model. They will also cooperate in-depth on information services, such as basic communications service, mobile internet, cloud computing, and a data center. Alipay will also be providing credit guarantee to its users to obtain China Telecom custom smartphones for zero yuan. By teaming up, Alibaba and China Telecom will be able to share their promo resources and gain larger user base. In addition to all that has been listed above, the two companies will be offering more innovative hardware and software to provide communications and e-commerce solutions to small and medium enterprises, governments, and incorporations.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Chinese Mobile Netizens Account for 78.5% of Total Netizens

In June of this year, China’s netizen population surpassed 591 million, or 44% penetration. This growth was promoted by government support, 3g network popularity, and a surge of mobile netizens. The penetration of mobile netizens has risen from 74.5% in December of 2012 to 78.5%. Instant messaging and mobile search have ranked as the most popular apps, with the growth rate of traditional messaging lagging from 6.16% to 2.5%. Other industries that have been affected by mobile apps are taxi and medical care.

Source: Tech Node


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Fri

13

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat, Taobao & Sina

China Digital

New Update: WeShow Will Be Integrating Into WeChat

About a year ago Tencent was in development of WeShow/ Weishi in Chinese, this video platform allows for up to about 8 second long video clips, it appears that these videos are hosted by Tencent Video. There are few who know about the company and there hasn’t been much buzz or promotions regarding this company within the past year. However, WeChat has now decided to adopt WeShow and integrate it into WeChat’s platform, this means that we will now be able to share video clips and pictures regarding our most memorable moments on WeChat. This feature is still under testing but has potential to become a popular platform in WeChats App.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Taobao Updates its Mobile App

Taobao has released a new version of its app that’s more social in nature than its last version. Two plugins were created and integrated into the app to allow for interactive promotions to take place. The first is called “Deals for Fans,” which helps push promotions to followers, and the second is called “Lotto Shaker,” which prompts users to shake their smart phones to try their luck. This new version has also implemented Wangxin, which is a voice messaging app to facilitate communication between consumers and retailers, allowing users to talk to sellers directly. The new app also supports voice messages, images, and emoticons. Users can also “like” items.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

$25 million Invested in Chinese Vplayer Startup

Sina, Redpoint Ventures, Morningside Ventures and other undisclosed investors have recently have put a $25million in series B funding into the Chinese video app startup Xuantixia. Jane Sun who is the product manager of Xuantixia stated that the company has received the money last week. Xuantixia the Beijing based team now employs over 30 people and have previously collaborated with Sina in production of the Sina Paike video app for the huge web company. The Vplayer, Xuantixia’s most valuable product is essentially a popular and flexible video playing app for both the Android and IPhone. Another app called Miaopai would be better suited toward the Chinese netizens community because it provides a Vine-like app that’s similar to the version of the Yixia video app. Xuanyixia’s framework service includes a video decoder and renderer for both the iOS and Android. Vitamio is used to power videos on number of sites including Ku6, Sina and Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Source: TechInAsia


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Thu

12

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Tencent, Ecommerce & Mobile Shopping

China Digital

The Price Of Entry Into E-commerce Discussed

For those of you who ponder how much capital it would take for entry into the e-commerce platform here in China. Research reports have performed a case study that highlights some useful numbers. For clothing and apparel for example it would cost about 100,000 yuan ( USD 16,218) in security deposits and 60,000 yuan in service fees (USD 9,730) Commission charge is around 5% of sales revenue. China online shops need these security deposits in order to prevent e-shops from cheating out their consumers. This security deposit acts as a stockpile in case of fraud that occurs; they then use this money to compensate their consumers. Monthly service fees for B2C’s are also a must to be paid monthly. Commission from trading in the B2C platforms is also charged. To summarize add the sum of security deposits, service fees and commission. For a further example : “Jingdong’s security deposit is 10,000 yuan (USD 1,622), and service fee is 6000 yuan (USD 973), with a 8% commission rate. Dangdang is the same as Jingdong. Yihaodian costs even less, 5000 yuan(USD 810) security deposit and 3600 yuan(USD 584) service fee with a 6% commission rate. QQbuy costs 20,000 yuan (USD 3,244)for security deposit, 6000 yuan (USD 973) service fee. Commission is 5%. Amazon doesn’t charge security deposit and service fee, but charge a 10% commission.”

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

The Rise of Mobile E-Commerce in China

With the number of smart phone owners in China on the rise, e-commerce companies have unprecedented access to their customers. Consumers can visit websites at any time – and they really do. Customers visit websites while waiting for their preferred mode of public transport, make purchases while on their morning commute, and share their purchases on various forms of social media, acting as indirect marketers for the products. In addition to this, many shoppers visit mobile sites while at physical malls in order to conduct price comparisons. Liu Qiangdong, the founder of Jingdong Mall, a Chinese e-commerce site, has emphasized again and again that mobile e-commerce will be everything in the future. Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba group, has even said that “Taobao Mobile will outperform Taobao. According to data from iResearch, mobile e-commerce accounts for 42% of all of China’s mobile internet usage, coming out on top when compared to mobile value-added services and mobile games. Unlike the unprofitable mobile apps industry, PC makers and entrepreneurs are vying for a spot in the mobile e-commerce industry. Mobile e-commerce is a quickly developing subsector of e-commerce in China, with mobile e-commerce transaction volume making up 7.6% of total e-commerce in Q1 2013. When compared to just 0.7% the previous year, we can see that the mobile e-commerce market has grown quite a bit.

Source: CKGSB KNOWLEDGE

China Digital

Smart TV’s Appear To Be The Next Trend In China

The trend now from the big players in China tech these days seem to be leading in the direction of Smart TV’s. This month we have seen Baidu and Xiaomi getting in on the action, even though there isn’t that big a market present yet. This fact however does not stop LeTV and Tencent from pursuit of this market. Rumors have been spread to the Chinese press that the two companies are working together to market their new Smart TV. One source stated that LeTV would be having a major press event towards the end of September, which leads us to ponder. Another rumor worth mentioning is the collaboration between Tencent investing in Xiaomi for the same reason of developing another smart TV for the market. However it is only likely that one of these collaborations will take place so which one are they partnering with? What one can expect is for Tencent to integrate a WeChat platform into one of these products, we however don’t know which choice of company Tencent will be working with. Further speculation is needed.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Wed

11

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba's Smart TV, Mobile Ads &

China Digital

Alibab's Incorporates E-Commerce Services into its Smart TVs

The first Alibaba smart television made its sales debut yesterday. The Internet giant, together with manufacturer Skyworth, has created a lineup of three smart TVs that use Alibaba’s smart TV operating system and Skyworth’s Tianci system. Alibaba, while providing a platform to watch various television channels, is also trying to prove that online shopping isn’t just limited to computers and mobile devices. Alibaba’s e-commerce services have been integrated into its smart TV operating systems, allowing users to purchase goods and make secure payments linked to Alibaba’s Alipay. The OS also includes games and other forms of entertainment. According to Yu Ce, the vice president of Alibaba, the new smart TV solves the problem of e-payment and brings online shopping to not just the younger generation, but people all different kinds of demographics.

Source: The Next Web

China Digital

The Influence of Mobile Ads on Chinese Mobile Users

In the west, Internet ads are typically considered successful if they average one click for every 100 views. In China, however, 53% of mobile users say that “their consuming behavior was influenced to some extent by mobile ads,” a statistic reported in a new study by Renren Games. A few more significant points from the study are as follows. 71% of mobile users will not go outside without their mobile device in hand. 76% have made purchases via mobile. 46% choose their mobile devices over television and desktop computers. 74% are looking at more purchases from mobile. Finally, 27% say they are more receptive to graphic ads, 20% to text ads, and just 9% to video ads.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Latest E-commerce Data Shows 713 Billion USD in Transactions in H1 2013

New statistics are in! Reports show that the China e-commerce transactions reached 4.4 trillion yuan (USD 713.27 billion) by June 30 2013. That means a 24.3% increase from last year. Further examination shows a 15.3% year on year increase totaling 3.4 trillion yuan (551.17 billion).

Revenue from B2B in the first alf of 2013 hit 9.38 billion yuan (USD 1.52 billion) that’s a 25.9 year on year increase. Alibaba is still the leader when it comes to B2B with a 43% share. When it comes to the B2C market, Tmall is ranked 1st with a 50.4% market share followed by Jingdong with 20.7%. Taobao is till king of the C2C market with a dominating 95.1%.

The numbers speak for themselves. E-commerce is expanding fast and wide in china. Currently there are around 2.2 million people working in e-commerce enterprises and about 277 million users and it will continue to expand into integrated parts of the Chinese consumer’s life.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Tue

10

Sep

2013

Digital Daily Pulse of China: B2C, Sina Weibo and Smart Devices

China Digital

Latest Stats for B2C Shopping Markets

The new stats are in regarding the B2C shopping markets in China. According to China e-Business Research Center, China’s Internet retailing market increased by 47.3% year or year to CNY754.2 billion, which accounts for about 6.8% of total retail sales in consumer goods throughout China. The trading scale for online shopping is predicted to reach CNY 1.741 trillion. T-mall.com has a market share of 50.4% making it number one in Chinese B2C Internet retailing market. Next in line is JD.com with a market share of 20.7% In addition the report also shows a well maintained C2C structure during the 1st half of 2013. Taobao came in 1st place with a 95.1% market share, 2nd place was Tencent’s Paipai.com with about 4.7%.When it comes to China’s express delivery services we see from January to June 2013 delivery companies delivered around 3.84 billion packages with a year on year increase of 60.6% not to mention the related revenue was a whopping CNY 62.98 billion, that equates to a year on year increase of 34.5%.

Source: China Tech News

China Digital

Sina Weibo Acquires Social Search Site Yun Yun

Sina Weibo has acquired Yun Yun, a social search site that was founded by a former Google China executive in early 2012. Yun Yun’s functions include general search, real-time search, image search, and a social network, which was suspended a month ago. A search function is one of six monetization approaches for Sina Weibo, the only approach that hasn’t yet been initiated.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

500 Million Active Smart Devices in China & Counting

The Market for smart devices has recently reached its all time high of 5000 Million active smart devices during its 2nd Quarter in 2013, that’s double in comparison to 2012 Q4. To go deeper into the 500 million devices, about roughly 340 million are Android powered devices, 150 million are iOS and 7.40 million are Windows. Data on this was reported by Umeng. When we look further into the report, we see that Android has made substantial growth where as Apple’s total share resulted in a 5.4% drop due to no device being released in the past half year. Domestic brand Lenovo replaced HTC; it is now the second largest Android phone manufacturer. An interesting reported statistic shows that only 30% of Android users try out new apps this April. Top 10% of users downloaded 66% of the new apps. Users in 1st Tier cities rather enjoy the apps regarding photo management, whereas people who prefer games reside in the 2nd tier.

Source: Tech Node

 


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Mon

09

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Sina, Huawei and Alibaba

China Digital

Sina Launches New Crossplatform Ad System Longyuan

Introducing Longyuan a recently launched cross platform ad system launched by Sina, Longyuan is integrated into Sina Weibo’s online video service and mobile counterparts. The new ad system covers the spans of both Sina Weibo and Sina news portal. With this new system, User’s as experience will be targeted automatically based on the user account cookie id and preferences. Longyuan is convenient to advertisers in the sense that advertisers can pick and choose how many users they would like to reach out to. They can also control the timing and how often the ads would be shown. Back in March Sina had established Sina Ad Exchang (SAX). SAX is currently connected to more than twenty local demand-side platforms, an important note that differentiates SAX from other as exchange’s would be that the online media ad inventory of SAX comes from Sina’s online properties only.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Former Chief of Yahoo States That “Yahoo China Been Hollowed Out by Alibaba’s Ma”

This past weekend Yahoo China has officially shut down their news and community services and is making their exit out of the Chinese market. Yahoo’s history in China began when Yahoo China had transferred its ownership over to Alibaba’s back in 2005. Back in September 2012, Alibaba had spent about $7.1 billion usd in order to recover the 20% share that Yahoo had control over. There are those who believe that while Alibaba was in control they had shut down Yahoo’s service in China prematurely due to the costs. There are also industry leaders today who attribute Yahoo’s failure to Alibaba’s Jack Ma, some blame him as being the instigator who surgically moved a lot of Yahoo China’s core business value into Alibaba. In 2005 when Ma had taken over Yahoo China the first feature that was taken down was their internet searches, Then in January 2007 Ma changed Yahoo China’s information portal model into the search function of business yellow pages, about a year after that Ma had abandoned Yahoo China’s original three business units that entailed new media, searching and communications, transferring the chief of Yahoo’s search division to Taobao’s e-commerce platform. Yahoo China has went from 600 employees back in August 2005 down to 200. All of which are only responsible for information content, email and finance and sale. Back in August 2005 Yahoo bought a 40% stake in Alibaba for $1 billion usd. Xie (Yahoo China’s president at the time) believed Ma had accepted Yahoo’s investment in order to market Yahoo’s search engine enter into the Chinese market. Reports state that “Alibaba didn’t see success over the past years in various moves to transfer yahoo china technology team into Alibabas search business.” These incidences all contributed to Yahoo China’s exit out of the Chinese marketplace.

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

Cooperation Between Huawei and CCTV On New Chinese Media Storage

China Central Televison and Huawei are linking up with Huawei to develop an energy high-density media resource storage system. This strategic cooperation will create a larger and higher performance storage platform. Reports show that Huawei had 330 data centers around the world which included about 70 cloud data centers. In addition Huawei cooperates with over 260 cloud computing customers worldwide. This new project will not only improve media resource access and management efficiency but it will also help to conserve energy by 60 to 80 percent. With cloud computing on the rise, Huawei will add more value to its impressive performance in 2013. Huawei claims that their storage shipment ranked number one in the Greater China region but it also ranked number eighth when compared with the world. They are also top three in china when it comes to server shipments.

Source: China Tech News


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Fri

06

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Huawei, B2B Platforms & Latest Mobile User Statistics

China Digital

Huawei Provides Platform for Chinese Tech Companies to Expand

Huawei is a company that provides telecom equipment to telecommunication companies. Recently, however, its role in the industry has expanded beyond that and it is now working with content providers who produce mobile apps. Telco companies don’t just want equipment anymore, they want content, and they need that to survive in today’s digital world. Huawei saw the opportunity in this situation and started introducing Chinese app companies to various telco companies. A particularly perfect place for Chinese company expansion is Indonesia, a country with a culture that’s similar to the Chinese market. Having Huawei as a strong connection alone isn’t not sufficient, though. Companies need to be localized and dedicated to win over any market.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

The Top Chinese B2B Platforms in Q2 2013

According to 52b2b.cn research, the top 10 B2B platforms were Alibaba B2B, HC, Global Sources, DHGate, Focus Technology, 315.com, Shengyibaoku, Shanghai steel Union, the global market, B2B.com and IBI. Alibaba was the clear front-runner with a 52.83% in brand influence, driven by site traffic and revenue. The influence indices of HC, Global Sources, DHGate, and Focus Technology have increased slightly since the first quarter. The rest of the companies have been relatively small market players.

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

The Latest Statistics Shows Potential for Endless Growth in Shanghai’s New-Ecommerce Market

SinaWeibo has rolled out a partial English-language interface which has been a long time coming. Sina fully localised a version of the Weiboiphone app in English back in 2011 so a question is why has it taken so long to catch up on the web. Some issues with translation are also evident at this moment in time; however Sina hasn’t actually announced the English interface yet so it was probably discovered before the company was ready for it to go primetime.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Thu

05

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Chat Apps, WeChat Verification & Qihoo vs. Baidu

China Digital

Qihoo Gets Sued Yet Again for “Borrowing” Branding

The relationship between competitors Baidu and Qihoo can be defined as one of the most quarrelsome and bitter relationships ever observed on China’s internet. The relationship between these two competitors recently became worse when Baidu filed a lawsuit against Qihoo for unfair competition. The issues that these two companies have with each other are not likely to be amended and saying that Baidu and Qihoo are not friends might be an understatement. The lawsuit has to do with Qihoo’s 360 Extreme Explorer Browser, Baidu claims that on Qihoo’s bookmark page, the process is that when a users use the Baidu search engine and click on one of the pop-up popular search terms that appears below the search bar, instead of being redirected to Baidu’s search page like it should it redirects the relevant results onto Qihoo’s search page. This feature on the browser no longer seems to be existent when tested earlier by other user’s .Which in no way means Baidu is making a false claim, you can bet on Baidu having evidence before filing a lawsuit against Qihoo for 650,000 RMB (about $104,000). This isn’t the first time Qihoo has had to pay the bill, they have lost multiple cases to Tencent in the past and have lost a case with Baidu, costing them a whopping $72,000 in damages plus a public apology. With Qihoo’s past history it’s not hard to see how this case will turn out. A lot of users ponder about why Google hasn’t taken the same action against Qihoo’s Extreme Explorer browser. The URL is chrome.360.cn and the layout looks extremely alike. Qihoo sure has a large record when it comes to “borrowing” branding from their competitors.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

The Effect of Mobile Chat Apps on the Telco Industry

With the overwhelming advent of mobile chat apps, telco industries have been forced to endure painful transformations. Simply put, the widespread use of chat apps means less revenue for telephone companies. Such apps provide a great variety of capabilities to users, such as sending voice clips, making voice calls, exchanging text messages, sharing photos, and allowing access to social media. In order to keep afloat, telephone companies need to not see chat apps as rivals, but as partners in order to provide joint services to customers. This step is critical, as Asians access the Internet through their mobile phone more than those in the U.S. and in Europe, a trend that is brought on by the younger generations.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

"Verification" on WeChat is Quickly Losing its Meaning

Verified accounts on Tencent’s WeChat chat app are meant to be trustworthy, but lately, it’s been found that they really have been anything but. With the help of hundreds of sellers on Taobao, third parties can establish “verified” WeChat accounts with amazing ease. One of the top sellers of these accounts has quite a lax set of requirements for a third party to become WeChat verified: The buyer must also buy 500 followers, have a verified Sina Weibo account, and their Weibo nickname must be the same as their desired WeChat account name. Apparently, tens of thousands of people have bought zombie WeChat followers and WeChat verified accounts. Just as with Sina Weibo, “verification” in the world of WeChat seems to be quickly losing its meaning and significance.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Wed

04

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China Unicom, Weibo & Weixin

China Digital

China Unicom’s New Subscription Plan

China Unicom has recently released their new subscription plan for those who use WeChat. The new SIM card enables WeChat users to be able to access the app even if they are not on a full 3G subscription plan. It seems as this strategy is working out seeing that the amount of customers have already passed the one million mark, according to China Unicom. This particular plan’s idea came from Unicom’s Guandong subsidiary, which means that this plan will not be available to every store nationwide. However, if their customer base continues to grow at the current rate, it will only be a matter that this plan will be heavily marketed nationwide and thus be available to the masses. It is unclear whether Unicom’s new plan will be able to ease the challenges with regards to OTT apps. The current rates for the new plans range from $5/ month to over $20/month. This makes it difficult to calculate the revenue from their new million subscribers, or how much of that money goes to Tencent. The competition is now loading up with Feixin for China Mobile and Yixin for China Telecom (similar version of WeChat). If China Unicom’s new plan continues to grow in members it will be interesting to watch China Mobile and Telecom’s next move, one might bet that they will consider becoming a partner with Tencent.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Smoothness of Weibo and Swiftness of Weixin

Sina’s Weibo have been in competition with Tencent’s Weixin in terms of market share. However both companies have grew to fill very different user niches. During last week’s court proceedings regarding politician Bo Xilai, we were able to see the difference between China’s top two social media services. The proceedings of the trial were broadcasted in bits and pieces over Weibo an equivalent of Twitter. Observers debated on issues in regards to court proceedings passionately. The service itself has accumulated a massive 500 million registered users since their launch date back in 2009 and has been a popular place for people to express their stances on issues and by is known to be the place to tune in to public figures remarks on issues. Weixin on the other hand takes a different approach in user operations, following a style much more similar to facebook it allows the user to get more intimate with being able to share texts, images and also little voice messages . One awesome thing about Weibo is how fast the service works. “At a wedding this July in Zhangjiakou, a midsize city in northern Hebei province, guests waved smartphones to take photos of the bride and groom — and several photos appeared on Weixin before the ceremony was even over.” Wow Both Weibo and Weixin have their advantages in the current market. If you want to tune in to the Chinese public opinion on news in China go with Weibo. Weixin is coming up in ranks with about 100 million registered users outside in China using WeChat, it is very possible to see Weixin taping into the market of Viral marketing and Professional networking.

Source: Mashable

China Digital

Sina Weibo’s Monetization Finally Propels Forward

To the relief of many an investor, Sina Weibo has finally begun to monetize. There are various sources of revenue, including display ads, sponsored posts, premium membership, and third party games. In 2012, Sina Weibo’s total revenue was $66 million, with 77% of that coming from display ads. Advertising consists of sponsored Weibo posts being interspersed throughout users’ news feeds. Another contributor to revenues is the e-commerce activity that has taken place on Weibo. In 2012, Xiaomi phones were sold directly on the Weibo site, as well as other goods via a flash sale site. In 2013, Alibaba acquired partial stake in Sina Weibo, after pledging to bring in $380 million in the next three years. Weibo soon began displaying ads from Alimama and was later integrated into Taobao. Mobile devices also play a major part in Weibo’s revenues A third of ad revenues come from mobile ads and three-quarters of the total amount of visitors access the site with their mobile phones. Weibo also developed Page, which is a self-service system that advertisers can use to post ads to Weibo, bringing in more ad inventory to the site.

Source: Technode


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Tue

03

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse Of China: E-Commerce, Digital Marketing & Baidu

China Digital

Chinese E-commerce Site Turns it's Customers into Models

The belief that many women like to check out other women’s appearances has recently been confirmed in a recent study. Vancl, a Chinese e-commerce site has been aware about this long before the study took place. They understand that woman have this instinctive desire to get ahead and as a result encourage their customers to post pictures of themselves modeling their attire. Everything from hair products to dresses, Vancl encourages their customer’s innate desire to see other women and be seen by other women. Vancl is like Uniqo in the sense that they sell their own brand of clothing, adding all these elements together what you end up with is an interesting e commerce social experiment. Where the customer of the bought item of clothing ends up being the model, potential customers can now see previous customers dressed in the item that they are thinking about purchasing. Although there are a few male users, so far Vincl market base users and consumers mainly consist of females. When a user clicks on a photo within Vancl Star, the user will be able to see their own photo and also a e-commerce listing for the product their wearing. This listing will also include both the ‘add to cart’ button and the price of the item. Vancl is a bit similar to Social media sites such as Twitter and Sina Weibo in the sense that the user will be able to have both fans and followers and other users clicking either the ‘likes’ or ‘favorites’ icon. The user also has access to her gallery of images as well as access to others. Vincl has made it easy for the user to share their photos by being connected to a range of Chinese Social Networks, such as Sina Weibo , Renren, and Tencents Qzone.! Awesome. This helps both the good looking user and product to get a bit of internet fame. Vancl Star has recently launched a mobile app for the Android system but are still in the process of working out the kinks in their app for the iOS based system. This in addition to their better known web app will hopefully equate to more growth for the future of Vancl. However in Shanghai’s cut throat e-shopping industry, recent data has shown that Vancl is actually struggling, despite their approach of using female customers to help advertise their products. If we look at Vincl latest market share figures this year in Q2, we can see that they have lost market share which resulted in a drop among the ranks of China’s e-commerce sites, pushing them back to 10th place! Ouch! Vancl may be the biggest Clothing internet retailer in the country, but they have many challenges to face within such a cut throat industry Vancl is hoping for a 50 percent growth this year but when one takes a look at the IPO one should understand that it’ll be a tough road ahead for Vancl.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Search Engine Usage Trends in China

In a recent study about the Chinese Internet user population, it shows that the Chinese internet population has emerged to a whopping 591 million members, that means that in every 1.6 seconds a new internet user joins the baffling large Chinese internet population. Go-Globe.com has recently released in infographic that provides a much more in depth view about the search engine usage in China. It covers everything from revenue structure to the market share of major Chinese search engines, etc. When see that almost 500 million users spend the majority of their time engaging in activities relating to search services, online video watching, news and information and e-commerce. As a result of these activities search engine revenues are being foreseen to skyrocket in the next 4 years form a recorded 28.06 billion dollars in 2012 to a 75.35 billion dollars in 2016. Wow! Currently the leader of the Chinese Search Engine is Baidu taking about 65.74% of the population and market share. The runner up is 360.cn racking up 16.58% Go-Globe took a close look at the revenue structure of major search engines and found that 76.5% of their revenue came from keyword advertising and 14.6% came from display ads from ad networks and 5.3 form navigation advertising. This information tells us that keyword advertising is still king. When it comes to mobile search traffic the momentum is definitely picking up, in 2012 we see that mobile search traffic maintained 94% with a decline of 20% in PC search volume. In 2012, the date shows that 96.9 of Chinese internet users uses Baidu’s mobile search. When it comes to mobile search engines Baidu is Number one. Another interesting thing Go-Globe found was that when it comes to search volume between mobile phones and desktop the desktop showed 85.2% frequency as opposed to the 56.2% frequency in mobile phones, which means that the population of mobile phone users is growing in China. The average search frequency of Chinese Internet user’s ranges show that about 17.5% of the Chinese internet population search more than 5 times a day, 22.9% bout 1 to 4 times a day and 8.8% search several times a week. The other 50.7% only occasionally search. That’s a lot of searches! Online shopping ranks high in the most information searched for by Chinese Search Engine users with a 44.6% of the population using their laptop device and 22.9% using their mobile device. With these statistics and data one can assume that the demand for online shopping is in expansion and will continue to grow with staggering numbers in the foreseeable future.

Source: iresearchchina

China Digital

66% of Asian Businesses Plan to Increase Digital Marketing Spend

According to research done by Econsultancy and Asia Campaign-Pacific, 66% of Asian businesses plan on increasing their budgets for digital marketing expenses in the next twelve months. Comparing that percentage to the 19% of Asian businesses who plan on increasing their offline marketing budgets, we can see how the focus of marketing is shifting. At present, Asian businesses spend approximately 29% of their total marketing budgets on digital marketing. As far as the ROI goes, 66% of the companies surveyed have said that up to 50% of their total revenues come from digital marketing, and about 16% say that they derive more than 70% of their revenues from investing in digital channels. So, based on this data, businesses are earning approximately 31% of their revenue from such investments.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Mon

02

Sep

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alipay, Digital Video & Tax

China Digital

The battle in Online Payment Channels Continues

The battle to control China’s online payment channels just got bigger. In latest reports JD.com has just made the move of ending its cooperation with Sina Weibo and Alipay, this is an even larger hit then recent moves involving blocking two Tencent products; Tenpay and WeChat. JD.com said in its announcement that the company's cooperation with Alibaba's payment subsidiary Alipay will soon expire and users will not be able to login or pay for orders on JD.com with Alipay accounts in the future. The company said they regret the inconvenience and advise the registration of new accounts on JD.com. As an alternative JD.com is offering a channel for users who previously used Alipay accounts for payment on the website. This option will involve users being able to sign up for a new JD account which mirror the Alipay accounts and information will be transferred.

Source: China Tech News

China Digital

China aims to expand luxury goods, property tax

China’s leaders are looking to reshape the economy to one driven more consumers than by exports, big industries and credit. The world’s second-largest economy is expected to expand a pilot property tax beyond Shanghai and Chongqing. According to the official Xinhua news agency, the Finance Minister Lou Jiwei announced that the nation would levy consumption tax on goods that results in exploitation of resources and environmental damage.

Source: CNBC

China Digital

Chinese Digital Video Viewers go Mobile

When it comes to watching digital videos, Chinese viewers prefer to spend their time in front of the PC. At the same time, mobile seems to quickly supplant some of that activity, according to a research from iResearch Consulting Group. In September 2012, mobile accounted for only 4.5% of total time spent with digital video in China and nine months later that share had almost doubled to 8.8% . A report released in March 2013 revealed that the time spent viewing videos on the PC reached 5.3 billion hours that month. However, that was down from the 5.4 billion hours spent viewing online video in October 2012. Experts suggest that mobile could account for this declaim since more and more users prefer watching short and long-form video content on their mobile.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Fri

30

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: E-commerce Boom & Mobile in China

China Digital

China To Overtake The US In E-Commerce Expenditure

The latest industry report named the ‘China E-commerce Report’ conducted by Bain & Co suggests that China is gearing up to give the United States a run for its money, more specifically, its e-commerce money. China’s e-commerce expenditure will potentially pass that of the US by the end of 2013 and is expected to reach CNY 3.3 trillion (US$532 billion) in 2015. The e-commerce market in China will show year on year growth of 32 percent in the coming three years which will be 50 percent higher than the US by 2015 said the annual industry report. This growth can be expected as more and more lower tier consumers come online as infrastructure improves, demand for international brands grows, and to be frank, not using e-commerce becomes a thing of the past. But e-commerce in China is not as simple as setting up an online store because the environment well and truly demands a multi-channel approach as Serge Hoffmann co-author of the report states “Retailers need to reach Chinese consumers across all channels including brick-and-mortar stores, online stores and mobile presence, otherwise they’ll lose growth opportunities,”

Source: Want China Times

China Digital

E-commerce Sales in Q2 Boom to $71 Billion

China’s e-shoppers now reach a number of over 240 million! The outcome from all these shoppers is an average spending amount $40,000 per second, but wait this number will soon seem small. New iResearch statistics suggest that China’s e-commerce market spending will reach a new record high as Q2 2013 shows growth of 45.2 percent up from Q2 in 2012. In monetary value this equates to an estimated total of CNY 437.13 billion ($71 billion) spent in Q2 2013. So who are the triumphant top e-commerce platforms in this massive market? In the B2C sector, Alibaba continues to be the mega force holding 50.6 percent of market share in sales an increase of 9.1% compared to Q2 2012 while Jingdong (previously 360Buy) follows with 17.1 percent. However the the YoY growth rate of Suning, Tencent, Gome, Yihaodian and Vipshop were higher than the overall growth of B2C industry. While B2C sales are growing well the real power rests in the hand of China’s smaller sellers. Total online sales in China amount to a whopping $71 billion and while B2C sales accounts for $25.6 billion of this the rest is attributed to the C2C sector.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Mobile Gets Even Bigger

Xiaomi, which designs, develops and sells Android smartphones and apps, as well as other consumer electronics announced today that its App store had reached a record of 1 billion app downloads. This number becomes more relevant when you learn that the app store was launched only 13 months ago. This app store comes installed within Xiaomi phones, of which reportedly 7.5 million were sold in the first half of this year but does not cover the total of 17 million active users. The store also receives more than 1.3 million searches every day. This company may very well play a large role in increasing mobile commerce in China to a new level with its recently released budget smartphone expected to sell over 20 million by the end of 2013. And in most recent movements Google/Android VP Hugo Barra has joined the team suggesting that we are soon to see an innovative mobile strategy take over China. Everyone get m-commerce prepared!

Source: Tech In Asia


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Thu

29

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

Price Is King In Asia

The poor service standards determined Asian consumers in Asia to pay more for a good customer experience. According to a survey cited by Shanghai Daily, decades of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region have reshaped people’s taste for quality services, but a high number of companies seem to ignore this fact. Most of the times the result is unacceptable for the customers: rude staff, inflexible procedures or they are just unresponsive to service requests. In this case, there is only one thing that can bring satisfaction to the customers: high prices.

Source: RetailInAsia

China Digital

Tencent builds e-commerce center in Guangzhou

Next year or early 2015, Tencent Ecommerce Holding Co, the online shopping unit of China's largest Internet company Tencent will start building a billion-yuan e-commerce operation center in the southern city of Guangzhou. Tencent’s move is expected to help the company catch up with business rivals such as Alibaba and 360Buy. 51Buy, another e-commerce unit under Tencent, currently has 16 logistics centers around the country to ensure swift delivery. The Guangzhou operation center will cover all the cities in south China and will deal with orders that worth more than 20 billion yuan.

Source: RetailInAsia

China Digital

Alipay to Discontinue Offline-payment Service

After investing 500 million yuan last year, Alipay announced that it will discontinue its offline-payment service, without elaborating on its reasons. Experts agree that Alipay’s encroachment into the business of offline payments was eating away market share once firmly held by the country's largest card processor. UnionPay has recently insisted that its services are still required to conclude all bank transactions, according to iresearchchina.com. China's largest third-party e-payment provider plans to handle the issue properly with its merchant partners and promised to "continue exploring payment innovation".

Source: IResearch


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Wed

28

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China Internet, Alipay & E-Commerce In China

China Digital

China’s Way To Clean Internet?

After recent events and multiple ‘rumor spreading’ scandals within China’s online environment, officials at the China Internet Conference held in Beijing in August agreed upon an apparent ‘resolution’ for such issues in the form of ‘7 baselines’. These are aimed at creating a favorable online environment; however the way these guidelines are presented speaks a world of words. It is fairly obvious to everyone that China’s government is taking its crackdown on online activities seriously; even talk on WeChat is not immune. But where do you draw the line? If the government follows through then will internet users be faced with legal penalties for simply sharing an opinion with a friend over WeChat? Or if you unknowingly share an article with incorrect details, you’re spreading rumors! Although we cannot yet know the consequences of this law yet, it does leave one feeling slightly vulnerable about what they write.

 

  1. The Base Line of Laws and Regulations
  2. The Base Line of the Socialist System
  3. The Base Line of National Interests
  4. The Base Line of Citizens' Legal Rights and Interests
  5. The Base Line of Public Order
  6. The Moral Base Line
  7.  The Base Line of Information Accuracy

 

Source: China Digital Times

China Digital

Alibaba Group Faults To Union Pay

Alipay the online payment venture owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced yesterday that it will be putting an end to its cash-on-delivery system. The group will official stop all offline POS payment activities. This news was not released giving the impression that this is a strategic move for the group, hinting that the decision was made amongst pressure from Union Pay, China’s only domestic bank card organization. Alipay has released statements to news services and on their official Weibo accounts "Alipay will stop all offline POS (point-of-sale) businesses because of some reasons as everybody knows," they also stated their apologies to their users, partners and reassured that they will not stop exploring payment innovations. This is a very different tune than the group was singing last month when they announced plans to invest CNY 500 million over three years in to their cash-on-delivery service focused towards offering e-commerce merchants and courier firms lower costs, the overall goal being 60,000 POS terminals added. Sadly yesterday’s statement signaled the end of the groups POS strategy as well as eliminated a key consumer payment service

Source: Caijing

China Digital

China’s Amateur Seller’s Continue To Own The E-commerce Market…But Not For Long

While the B2C e-commerce market in China continues to grow steadily it is still over run in terms of market share by the C2C market. The C2C market’s key point of sales can be traced to Alibaba’s Taobao and Tencent’s Paipai. Currently the B2C sector is worth $25.6 billion in terms of sales compared to a massive $71 billion figure attributed to the C2C sector. Although the C2C sector remains mighty the B2C sector is showing growth now representing 36.9 percent of the total e-commerce market. The reasoning behind this is the booming number of online retailers facing aggressive competition and implementing heavy sales promotions, indicating just how cut-throat this industry has become.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Tue

27

Aug

2013

Digital Daily Pulse of China: Renren, Mobile Innovation & Tencent

China Digital

There’s No Stopping the Flow of Money

Moblie payments are about to get even easier! A new product called Veme E-pay has the combined capabilities of a mobile charger and a bank card reader, virtually wiping out all obstacles of making a mobile payment. The genius product’s appearance is similar to a standard wireless mobile phone charger with the head doubling as a card reader. While we say ‘similar’ to a wireless phone charger, this one is smaller and slimmer than an Iphone 5. This great innovation is the product of one of China’s leading digital payment services Lakala, therefore the only catch is that users must have the Lakala app on their phone to process the payments. Other than that this company has created the ultimate link between offline and mobile payments likely to induce even higher volumes of mobile e-commerce sales in the near future. This gadget is not yet on the market, but we can expect it to appear on the scene very soon, the company has said the price will be between CNY 1000-2000.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Tencent Making Moves

Last week online giant Tencent announced that’s its own e-commerce shopping site yixun.com will integrate full support of a Wechat payment system for PC, android and iOS devices. On top of this Yixun sources suggest that Yixun will soon apply a product offering service to WeChat 5.0 meaning that users can simply click on any product link within a chat window and complete order and payment directly; basically the dream package. Speculation increased when last week Yixun quietly launched a Wechat online payment function, meaning that Wechat payment is now an option for payment through the site, perhaps the first step to all over integration of operations. So basically, Wechat users will soon be able to directly pull product links from the Yixun Wechat page and then share with other users who can click directly on link for e-commerce with no need to leave the Wechat app, seems like a pretty ideal outcome for Wechatters! Most likely this move will thrust Yixun in to the online shopping platform ‘to be’ list very quickly…watch this space.

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

Renren Active Users Up to 194 Million

Renren reported a net loss of USD 9.3 million and its total net revenue was USD 49.6 million. According to the Renren Q2 finance report, by the end of June 2013, its net loss was lower than that of last year, which was USD 24.9 million and the total net revenue grew 10.7% more than last year. Online advertising revenue was USD 15.4 million. Last year, Renren increased its number of activated accounts from 164 million to 194 million. Monthly independent login in accounts grew to 54 million from 45 million in last June. According to the same source, Research and development expenses were USD 22.2 million, 24.6% more than last year. Most money went to the online games and mobile platform development.

Source: China Internet Watcha


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Mon

26

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba, Baidu & E-Commerce in China

China Digital

The Online Shopping Landscape in China Drives New Challenges For Companies

It is not a secret to anyone that Chinese consumers are searching to buy quality goods at higher prices and use social media to gather product information. According to a new report by The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai), in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, an increasing number of consumers are relying on consistency and integrity in their purchasing choices, a large change from a previously price driven market. This change signals greatly required alterations by both Chinese and International consumer brands with regard to the marketing channels they use and most importantly the content they drive in China. As a result of this the report details that with the increased usage of e-commerce and social media, the second most significant trend detailed in the report stated that both multinational and Chinese companies recognize the importance of developing digital marketing and sales channels. However, most companies declared that they are yet to be adequately prepared to convert growing online interactions to a sales advantage. The report, however, noted that leaders in this area demonstrate the benefits of strategic use of data derived from online viewing and purchasing habits and from this have displayed desirable results through alignment of digital activities with their corporate strategies and across organizational functions. For many large companies in their current situation this gives them the opportunity to build products and brands that can deliver great value. Experts are confident that this trend will increase brand loyalty among consumers focused on value which means that they will pay higher prices for quality products and services. Still to get to the sales conversion point consumer companies face large challenges in online retailing in this dynamic market.

Source: Retail In Asia

China Digital

So What Gives? In One Word, E-commerce

The rumors are true! After much speculation Baidu has announced its investment in Renren’s group buy subsidiary Nuomi worth CNY 160 Million. What speculators did not anticipate was the level of control Baidu desired, now made clear as the CNY 160 Million gains them a dominant 59 percent of the Nuomi company. So the key question now is why Nuomi? In lesser words, E-commerce. It seems that Baidu is scared of getting left behind as key competitors Alibaba and Tencent are well established (prior) and begin to make tracks in the area of e-commerce (latter). Although Baidu has its own group buy platform it does not hold a strong position, again leading us to another reason the giant acquired Nuomi. The platform holds a much greater share than Baidu’s group buy subsidiary, ranked number 5 by market share in China. Looking at the top five group-buy companies we can see a picture unfold and Baidu’s plans become clear. Although Baidu was hoping to invest in Diangping, reports suggest the offer was rebuffed making this impossible, leaving Baidu to consider alternative ways to get their foot in to e-commerce. Number one and two ranked group buy sites are now owned or invested in by Alibaba leaving only three viable options that would put Baidu in the competitive position they want, and it seems Nuomi, ranked fifth, won out against numbers 3 and 4 due to a lower price and only a small difference in performance. Finally you may ask why group buy and not a traditional e-commerce company? For now one can assume location data to be a large pull-factor for Baidu as Noumi has local operations across China offering a lot of information that may be integrated in to say, Baidu Maps. However it is unlikely that this is the full extent, Baidu has big plans in the pipelines so we will have to wait and see.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Alibaba’s Virtual Credit Card

E-commerce giant Alibaba is aggressively conducting testing for the ‘virtual credit card’ system they plan to launch that will bring them in to the consumer finance market, as well as make purchasing even easier for consumers on Alibaba platforms. The virtual credit card system will be made available on Alipay, Alibaba’s third party payment system. Through this new offering consumers will be able access a CNY 5000 overdraft with 38 days interest free attached to their Alipay account, thus making this service very much like a credit card. Although Alibaba states that the service is still being internally tested and the offering may change prior to launch, the group also said that this is different from other credit consumption systems as it is for online purchasing activities only and relies upon advanced funds from co-operative banks, this has sparked action from many banks already. Hu Xiaoming, president of the Alibaba Banking Group, said Alibaba will take a 1% service fee from consumers using the payment system on the Taobao platform and that Alibaba will run its own risk evaluation operations. Misuse by users will result in the closure of their Alibaba and Alipay accounts, it is very impressive that this punishment alone is likely to prevent individuals from defaulting payments. It is likely that other large E-commerce groups such as Jingdong and Suning will soon follow in Alibaba’s footsteps and enter the consumer finance industry before long, once again innovating China’s consumption habits.

Source: Want China Times


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Fri

23

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu, QR Coding & Sina Weibo

China Digital

Sina Weibo’s The Place To Be

Sina’s advertising revenue has reached 30 Million USD according to its Q2 finance report. This shows a 209% year-on-year increase and contributes to 80% of Sina Weibo’s total revenue of 37.7 Million USD. Although Sina Weibo banked in with net loss as a result of a 27.1 Million USD one-off charge, Weibo’s advertising revenue has helped to cushion the impact by outperforming projections made by the company. Final revenue for Q2 was 120.6 Million USD a year-on-year increase of 17%. As we know in April 2013 Alibaba acquired 18% of Weibo’s share capital through a 586 Million USD investment. Weibo’s benefits from this venture are already bearing their heads. By the end of Q2 the number of active users on Weibo had increased by 8.3% since March, the overall number standing at 54 Million users. Also increasing is the time users are spending on Weibo on their mobile phones, Sina reports the amount grew by 14.5%, no wonder advertising revenue is growing. Looking further in to 2013 we can only watch to see the influence and impact Alibaba will bring on Sina’s mobile revenue in Q3 and 4.

ina Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

Baidu To Save Renren

It seems Baidu is going to save the day for social network Renren’s failing group buy subsidiary Nuomi. According to reports the search engine giant is expected to announced today confirming what has until now been speculation, Baidu is to invest somewhere between $300-500 Million in to the group buy platform. Assuming reports are accurate this investment will offer a saving hand to Renren offering the cash that Nuomi desperately needs to move forward from its current state of continuous losses. As for past interest by Baidu regarding the purchase of Dianping platform, this new investment will most likely mean the end of such attempts. The question on everyone’s minds is what Baidu plans to do with Nuomi, but the chances are letting thw platform lose anymore money is not on the cards, thus signaling the possible emergence of a reformed B2C e-commerce platform in the near future.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

QR Codes Revolutionize The Consumer Journey

QR codes have long played a large role in the Chinese market with usage levels much higher than overseas, and this continues to grow as the functions applied by web applications constantly extend the service QR codes can offer to consumers. The perfect example of this can be seen through Wochacha and WeChat. Popular QR code price comparison app Wochacha’s CEO stated at the 2013 China Internet Conference this week, that the app has hit 140 Million users in China. The app is highly popular in second tier and below. This app’s features now not only include the flagship price comparison function but also allow consumers to purchase directly through the QR codes on products where partnerships between Wochacha and a company exist, opening up yet another channel for sellers to use to engage consumers. Wochacha attributes its key competency to be a result of focused pricing data collection and thus superior a data set, hence the company says they are not threatened by other QR code giants. Another display of how QR code usage is being transformed is seen through the newest version of WeChat QR code scanner which now offers, English to Chinese translation from hard copy goods and street view among already exsisting function. Tencent CEO Pony Ma has said that he believes QR codes were the most effective tool at connecting the online and offline world in 2012. QR codes are transforming the consumer journey creating the path to purchase point, sharing and O2O links possible from any different angle, an exciting prospect for digi-gurus, more and more channels to extend the reach of operations within.

Source: Tech Node


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Wed

21

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse: WeChat, Mobile Video, Taobao

China Digital

Wealth, WeChat and Other Things…

The GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report, 2013, released last week by the Hurun Research Institute offers an interesting insight in to the lives of China’s rich and famous, helping marketers to understand this group of wealthy consumers and how to engage them. The report details where they are living geographically, their investment consumption choices and most importantly their media usage. The overall number of millionaires in China (individuals whose personal wealth exceeded CNY 10 Mill) increased by 3% to 1.05 Million in 2012. While those classified as the super-rich (individuals with personal wealth exceeding CNY 100 Mill) increased by 2% in 2012 to 64,500. 2012 statistics show a decrease in personal wealth in China for the second consecutive year. However the current level of wealth is promising for companies involved in the luxury goods industry; for every 1,300 people in China 1 is a millionaire and for every 20,000 people 1 is a member of China’s super-rich class. So where do the rich chose to live? Right now Beijing remains the most popular place to live followed by Guangdong and Shanghai. This stated the report shows that Tianjin had the fasted growing wealth rate overall. However geography needn’t be a factor of restriction for online marketing as the report shows that 80% of all China’s wealthy people use the Chinese web app WeChat, in fact they prefer it over Sina Weibo; hint for targeting this group online. Interestingly, 73% believe that they are happier then Millionaires from the previous generation, and what do the rich want most? Apparently good health. Hello health products.

 

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

Taobao Offers Education

Taobao has now launched the new addition to their offering, ‘Taobao Classmates’ an online market for educational course offerings, whether it be make-up or language learning, all can be now be open for business on Taobao. Basically education organizations, teachers, agencies and third party sites(Tmall) are allowed to set-up an online store selling educational content on including course videos and live broadcasts, course documents, even offline events. Although many established educational institutes had already set-up on Taobao this new offering allows the new ability for consumers to watch the course videos without leaving the platform and the official launch of this focused online market is expected to attract many more. Already Taobao Classmates has been well received with a number of well-known companies setting up stores and the platform predicts that unique visitors will reach 500,000 by the end of September, with further estimates of possible earnings equating to CNY 1 Billion per year.

Source: Tech Node

China Digital

Mobile Video Takes Over

The latest China App Index report has just been released by Wandoujia, China’s leading android app store and it has confirmed what many had predicted, mobile video is taking over. Tudou and Xunlei Kankan apps report usage growth of 163 percent and 126 percent respectively. Amazingly the average length of time individuals spent using mobile apps grew a massive 259 percent from a previous 9 minutes to 31 minutes. This is not a huge surprise, major video sharing platform Youku has been telling tales of their user numbers sky-rocketing for awhile now, but this report puts statistics to these claims indicating to companies yet another fast evolving change from the Chinese consumers.

Source: Tech In Asia


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Fri

16

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

Taobao/Tmall in the Mobile Internet Age

In the era of big data and mobile devices, Taobao/Tmall’s strategy is changing. How so? With mobile e-commerce transactions expected to reach ¥202 billion this year, with 648 million users in Mainland China, the sites are redefining themselves to capitalise on the increasing number of online vendors in China’s mobile realm – the majority of whom are located in three-tier cities and below. In addition to attracting as many potential customers/merchants as possible via online campaigns, this means increasing the company’s distribution capacity in China’s lower-tier cities and inland regions. Without a distribution foothold in these areas, shipping costs are likely to spiral out of control, since goods will have to be dispatched to consumers from a great distance. Not only does this detract from the customer experience, because consumers will have to wait longer for their purchases to be delivered, given that global energy costs are likely to continue to rise in the medium term, distribution costs may begin to eat into net profit.

Source: ChinaByte

China Digital

China Mobile Eyes Big Data

China Mobile has a problem. Although its Q2 revenue grew 10% year-on-year, net profit is stagnating – it grew by only 1.5%. What could be the reasons for this? China Mobile faces a two-pronged attack from its competitors – firstly, from China Unicom and China Telecom, secondly, from the rise of microblogging sites. Thus, China Mobile is struggling to keep its 740 million customers – they are being lured away by other mobile companies, as well as alternative, more cutting edge forms of communication. The result is that the company’s operating expenses, that is to say the amount China Mobile spends on marketing, amongst other things, have been steadily increasing – they now account for 75% of its total costs, negating any increase in revenue.

Source: Beijing Times

China Digital

Has Home Internet Use Peaked?

The number of Internet connections in Chinese homes now stands at 470 million – an increase of only 3% on the previous quarter. The average daily home Internet browsing time also grew by the same, meagre amount. However, the time users spent checking their emails or on social media sites saw a much larger increase – 10% for both correspondence and SNS. How are we to explain this disparity? Although many digi-gurus are forecasting the death of home Internet use, that is to say using a PC or laptop to go online at home, it seems that China’s digital landscape is evolving. In the medium term, it’s likely that PCs won’t be the only device consumers have available to them, as was the case before the advent of smartphones and tablets, that doesn’t mean they are in danger of extinction. Surely, given that consumers prefer to browse different sites in different ways, larger versus smaller screens, mouses versus trackpads, the more devices the better? However, it is also likely that as PCs are replaced by smaller devices as the primary means of fulfilling a user’s online needs, they will reduced to a data storage device without Internet browsers. In other words, users will store their apps, photos and videos on PCs, but will access online content, app stores, photo/video sharing sites using mobile devices.

Source: Xinhuanet


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Thu

15

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

Mobile Payment up 300% in China

Mobile payments in China have tripled since Q2 2012 – that’s the verdict of China’s central bank. More than 371 million transactions took place over the past year, generating over ¥2 trillion in revenue. What could be the reasons for this? For one thing, mobile payment is convenient – a user can make a payment anytime, anyplace with an Internet connection. Traditional online payment methods are not convenient – they require the user to be in close proximity to a PC/laptop at home or at work. In addition, so-called “old-school” mobile payment, that is to say using top up credits to pay online, is now seen as a relic of the previous decade. For both these reasons, mobile payments in China are expected to grow at an unprecedented rate until 2014.

Source: SinaTech

China E-Commerce

Taobao in Rural China

Taobao isn’t just an urban phenomenon – it’s changing China’s rural communities too. Most of the online sales revenue generated by Taobao merchants in rural China has to do with agriculture. Nevertheless, China’s farmers turned venture capitalists pack a punch – they have generated ¥1.5bn to date. Although only 1.5 million Taobao merchants live in rural areas, the site offers them the opportunity to improve their standard of living. A farmer who is a registered Taobao merchant has access to far more potential customers nationwide than one of his or her offline counterparts. In the medium term, Taobao’s increasing popularity in the agriculture industry is expected to have a “trickle down” effect. What does this mean? As China’s farmers look for new ways to compete with their global competitors over time, e-commerce will become one of many solutions – minimal startup costs, with instant access to new markets.

Source: Beijing Times

China Digital

Tencent's Q2 Blues

Tencent isn’t living up to its shareholders’ expectations – its Q2 profit fell short of the ¥4bn forecast mark, reaching only ¥3.7bn. But wait – doesn’t that mean Tencent is still in the black? What’s all the fuss about? The answer – overexpansion. Investors see Tencent’s plans to expand WeChat’s presence across Asia as a drain on the company’s scarce resources. They do not dispute WeChat’s recent successes in Mainland China – the rising number of daily users, the take-up of its online payment service, but to name a few. However, what has shareholders worried is the cost of Tencent’s international marketing campaign for WeChat, the cost of which appears to be spiralling out of control. In the past two years, it has risen from 3, to 6, to 9% of the company’s total costs. It seems that Tencent will now have to find a middle way – continuing to promote its brand overseas, whilst keeping investors on board.

Source: iResearch


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Wed

14

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

Sina Corp’s Q2 Blues

Sina Corp suffered a net loss of ¥70 million in Q2 2013 – compared to a net profit of 200 million in the same quarter last year. What could be the reasons for this? The company was expected to remain in the black, leaving many digi-gurus scratching their heads. The answer? – Restructuring. Sina is trying to increase its mobile Internet presence by launching many new platforms on new smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices. In the short term, the shift of emphasis from static to mobile Internet has not generated as much revenue as Sina had expected. Its restructuring plan also leaves the company vulnerable to its competitors’ advances – above all, Tencent. Sina’s deal with Alibaba in April of this year, to grant the e-commerce giant an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, was expected to compensate for the revenue lost through restructuring. Alibaba got microblogging advertising space, Sina didn’t fall into the red – that was the plan. It seems Sina’s gamble hasn’t quite yet paid off.

Source: YNET

China Digital

Online Advertising – Size Matters

China’s online advertising market continues to grow – 17% on Q1 2013. Online advertising in China now stands is now worth ¥23 billion. Search engine and online video advertising saw the largest percentage increases in user signups, uploads and downloads. For brands, online advertising is the gift that keeps on giving. Why is this? It might have something to do with the way the market is structured. Baidu and Taobao together account for more than 60% of online advertising revenue, whereas the remaining 40% is made up of smaller players such as Qihoo, Souhu and Youku. On one level, the variety of online advertising providers offers brands greater choice – each company, whether it’s big or small, specialises in search engine, vertical search, video, rich media or brand graphical adds, which allows brands to choose the advertising strategy best suited to their needs. On another level, brands looking to do business with a bigger company in order to benefit from economies of scale, experience and a track record can choose Baidu or Taobao, brands who want a smaller, more focused set of expertise can go to a smaller online advertising specialist.

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

Baidu Prospers in Q2

Baidu’s revenue was 7.5 billion in Q2 2013 – a 39% year-on-year increase. What is the secret of its success? In addition to serving individual users’ search engine needs, the site offers a performance marketing service. How does this work? Baidu has a network of affiliated websites in all sectors, which allows it to amass and collate data relating to Internet traffic. In other words, Baidu helps brands to find out what potential customers are searching for, and how they are doing it. Baidu’s access to “Big Data” ensures that its business model remains unique – if a brand wants an answer to an Internet traffic-related question, it’s likely that Baidu will have the answer.

Source: China Internet Watch


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Tue

13

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China E-Commerce

How do China’s Low-Frequency Shoppers Behave?

China’s low-frequency shoppers are the main contributors to sales revenue for small brands – that’s the verdict of Bain & Company’s “China Shoppers Report 2013”. What might be the reasons for this? Firstly, the bulk of online shopping in China takes place away from the media spotlight – not on Single’s Day, not in exclusive districts of first-tier cities, but by middle-income consumers in China’s first, second and third-tier cities, as well as those living in towns in close proximity to metropolitan areas. The explosion of e-commerce in recent years has been built not on one-off luxury purchases, but by high-frequency shoppers buying daily essentials, such as groceries. However, for brands whose market share is relatively small, low-frequency shoppers, that is to say consumers who make a purchase less than five times per year, are the mother lode. A consumer who purchases a particular brand less frequently tends to spend more per purchase, providing the brand with greater sales revenue. This paints a promising picture for newcomers – despite the fact that a newcomer to say, luxury watches, would have many competitors, the sales revenue generated by low-frequency, high-income shoppers would compensate for the lack of market share.

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

Tmall Aims for ¥18bn on Singles' Day

Singles' Day is just under 3 months away (11.11), and Tmall is already preparing for battle. From now until next Friday (22.8), the company is recruiting online vendors to enter the B2C fray in November. Building on last year’s success, Tmall has announced that it will organise offline events to widen participation in the run up to Singles' Day. Becoming a Tmall vendor for the biggest day of the year in online retail is a hot ticket - the company plans to woo potential vendors with an exclusive rewards package, details of which have yet to be revealed. E-commerce gurus expect Tmall to exceed its target of ¥18bn in sales revenue this year – a prediction based on site’s performance in 2012, as well as that of its sister company in Alibaba Group, Taobao.

Source: TechWeb

China E-Commerce

Online Food Sales in China

The Chinese have acquired a taste for online grocery shopping. Why is this? Coupled with rising consumer expectations, the largest contributing factor is the recent flurry of food contamination scares. The promise of safe, uncontaminated groceries from online retailers is an ever-more attractive option for China’s growing middle class. But what does the online food market actually look like? Up until now, Yihaodan and Jingdong Mall have faced little or no competition when it comes to online groceries. However, a series of prominent food safety scandals, most recently Fonterra baby milk, has spurred new players, both large and small, into action. Taobao’s 10 million users per minute are increasingly adding food and drink to their shopping baskets, with fruit and vegetable sales of ¥1.3bn in 2012. Taobao’s entry into the market has been accompanied by a wave of SMEs offering similar services. For instance, Benlai Shenghuo, set-up in 2012 and whose name translates as “orginal life”, is a food specialist, a purveryor of chicken meat. The offline-online shift in food shopping is part of the wider e-commerce boom in China, combined with rising expectations – middle-income consumers consider it no longer acceptable to have to ask “Is this meat safe to eat?” “Is this milk contaminated?” “Are these vegetables fresh?”

Source: Ebrun


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Mon

12

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China Digital

The Mobile Internet in 2014

The mobile Internet has brought about many changes – some predicted, some unexpected. However, in the era of big data, it is now easier than ever to forecast the future of the global digital landscape. So, how will China’s mobile Internet market look in 2014? Firstly, with the number of regular domestic mobile Internet users now at 500 million, and smartphone prices scheduled to decrease due to an increase in domestic suppliers, coupled with the spread of high-speed networks across China’s lower-tier cities, we should see the number of mobile netziens climb to 800 million by the end of 2014. Secondly, when it comes to high-speed networks, we can expect the number of 3G and 4G users in China to reach 500 million and 10 million respectively next year – a result of the ever-increasing domestic demand for faster network speeds. With the take-up of faster broadband speeds in the workplace, Chinese consumers are no longer satisfied with having to wait 30 minutes to download a mobile app. Thirdly, 2014 will see the emergence of “human intelligent mobile terminals”- in other words, more mobile Internet-based devices to enhance users’ day to day lives. Smart watches, smartphones with ever-larger screens that can be synched with a car’s GPS system – but to name a few.

Source: Bit Forum Anonymous

China Digital

Online Advertising - The Sky's The Limit

Online brand advertising in China is now worth ¥6.82 billion – an increase of 6% on Q1 2013. The demand for online advertising is rising across a variety of industries. Food and drink, apparel, cosmetics – all three have increased their online advertising presence by 20% since Q2 2012. Because the demand for Internet marketing services is derived from the demand for Internet advertising, companies offering these services are continuing to prosper. The amount they spend on brand optimisation in Q2 2013 grew by 25% compared with the same quarter last year. What could be the reasons for this? Why are brands so enthusiastic about online advertising? The answer? – Impact. Although the Samsung, Volkswagen and Coca-Cola logos become a part of the Pudong skyline after sunset, this is more of a status symbol than an advertising strategy. Each brand knows that it can reach every Chinese consumer with an Internet connection by uploading video content to search engines, SNS and e-commerce sites, than it can with the same content projected onto a skyscraper in Shanghai. The more consumers the brand reaches, the greater its impact.

Source: iResearch

China Digital

Has PC Internet Use Peaked?

The number of Internet connections in Chinese homes now stands at 470 million – an increase of only 3% on the previous quarter. The average daily home Internet browsing time also grew by the same, meagre amount. However, the time users spent checking their emails or on social media sites saw a much larger increase – 10% for both correspondence and SNS. How are we to explain this disparity? Although many digi-gurus are forecasting the death of home Internet use, that is to say using a PC or laptop to go online at home, it seems that China’s digital landscape is evolving. In the medium term, it’s likely that PCs won’t be the only device consumers have available to them, as was the case before the advent of smartphones and tablets, that doesn’t mean they are in danger of extinction. Surely, given that consumers prefer to browse different sites in different ways, larger versus smaller screens, mouses versus trackpads, the more devices the better? However, it is also likely that as PCs are replaced by smaller devices as the primary means of fulfilling a user’s online needs, they will reduced to a data storage device without Internet browsers. In other words, users will store their apps, photos and videos on PCs, but will access online content, app stores, photo/video sharing sites using mobile devices.

Source: iResearch


read more

Fri

09

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China

China E-Commerce

Taobao Video Shopping - Will It Last?

Given that most Taobao sellers tend to use microblogging sites to promote their goods, is Taobao’s Youku-powered video promotion site a waste of time and money? The site is designed for experienced Taobao sellers who want to create a video archive of their products that looks professional. However, since the site’s launch earlier this year, it hasn’t exactly made a splash. What could be the reasons for this? Firstly, although Taobao sellers have the freedom to upload whatever kinds of videos they like to promote their products, which opens the door to many creative possibilities, many of them do not have advanced graphic design skills. The result of this is video content that looks unprofessional, which deters potential customers. Secondly, it is true that foreign and Chinese brands alike are increasingly using video as a promotion tool, but they are using larger, more established and respected video platforms to promote their products, such as Baidu Video Search, as well as their Tmall flagship stores and official websites. When a brand’s video content appears online, it embodies the brand. Therefore, video content has to be produced by people with the right skills and expertise, or the brand risks tarnishing its online profile. Faced with expertly designed video content, it seems unlikely that Taobao’s video site will be able to compete in the medium term, as more and more brands enter video SEO.

Source: Tech2IPO

China E-Commerce

SEM and SEO in China

Search engines are big business in China – the market was worth ¥ 74billion in the second quarter of this year. The rise of search engines is part of a wider narrative – multichannel retail and big data. Search engine marketing (SEM) allows brands to tap in to consumers’ online activity. Search “jeep” in Baidu, you’ll see Cherokee, Land Rover and Mercedes Benz. It is estimated that 4 in every 10 online purchases in China begins like this – the user looks up a non-specific product name, encounters brand sites and/or advertising and browses until making a purchase. In today’s digital landscape however, SEM isn’t the only marketing tool brands have available to them. In the earlier days of network marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and SEM were seen as competing marketing philosophies – you were either an “SEM guy” or an “SEO guy”. Some people even used them interchangeably, without knowing what they really meant. Now, the explosion of online retail means that brands don’t want to miss out on any potential customers - they don’t just want to use keywords and back end tools, they also want algorithms, link building, “white hat" and “black hat” techniques. Each brand, each site, is different. The reason for the variety of online marketing strategies is to give clients the choice, to suit their individual needs.

Source: ChinaByte

China E-Commerce

What does Sina Weibo – Taobao mean for small sellers?

When it comes to e-commerce in China, it’s easy to get distracted by negative headlines about the big players. “Aliababa and Tencent in WeChat 5.0 brawl”. “Sina Weibo is Alibaba’s microblogging pawn disguised as a business partner”. But think again – what about “the little guy?” Where are Taobao’s small sellers in the headlines? Take the recent Sina Weibo-Taobao partnership as an example. Behind the press releases, there are real benefits for people who use Taobao to make a little bit of extra money. For them, a synchronised Weibo-Taobao account really is a “one-stop shop”. Under the new system, Taobao merchants are given a special “blue” identity that enables them to access both Weibo and Taobao as the same user. This reduces the time sellers would otherwise have spent in switching from one website to the other using two separate accounts. It also moves their new markets, Weibo users, closer to them. The proximity of Weibo users and Taobao-Weibo sellers reduces barriers to entry – it is now easier for sellers to promote their products, receive feedback from microbloggers and build an online reputation in the Weibosphere than ever before..

Source: ITFeed


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Thu

08

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Mobile

China E-Commerce

China SME B2B Market Worth ¥5bn

IResearch reports that the SME B2B market in China was worth ¥4.96bn in the first six months of 2013 – an increase of 19.2% on 2012. However, the market grew at a slower rate in Q2 than Q1 – what could be the reasons for the slowdown? Although domestic demand has remained strong so far this year, the international picture tells a different story. As China’s exports have slowed, so has the demand for cross-border e-commerce. Has the slowdown changed the market landscape at all? It seems not – the 8 largest companies in 2012 still dominate SME B2c, with 63.9% market share. Alibaba maintained its lead with 42.9% in Q2, 1.2% higher than Q1. Alibaba’s latest addition to its e-commerce arsenal, the “pay for performance” (P4P) service on its international website, is the main reason for the increase in market share.

Source: China Internet Watch

China E-Commerce

E-Commerce – New Alliances, Old Rivalries

You might think that not much is happening in online retail. You’d be wrong. On the surface – it’s true that the market is growing year-on-year. However, behind the scenes – e-commerce is evolving. Soon, it will be a different animal altogether. E-commerce isn’t just about selling goods and services from business to consumer anymore. It’s about microblogging, mobile apps, devices and circles. It has to do with the entire user experience. As shopping has become an increasingly digitalised activity for Chinese consumers, so too have the working day, correspondence and leisure. Therefore, online shopping is no longer a novelty – it has become familiar, banal. In order to exceed user expectations, companies have to offer something new, something different. In China, they are doing exactly that. Take Sina Weibo – Taobao’s account synchronisation option, for example – more choice and utility for the user, more advertising space for an online retailer via a microblogging site. Tencent’s WeChat 5.0, which allows users to make online purchases, and which Alibaba recently blocked its users’ access. Although spun as a “security measure”, the move was widely interpreted as a deliberate attempt to safeguard Alipay, Alibaba’s own online payment platform. It is now rumoured that Tencent is planning to team up with online shopping mall JD.com in order to exclude Alipay from JDs list of supported online payment platforms. This would enhance the user experience for some consumers, but not for others. We can expect more cooperation, and confrontation, as Chinese e-commerce continues to evolve in the coming years.

Source: Titanium Media

China E-Commerce

The Future of Exports? E-Commerce!

With traditional exports in June having posted the biggest decline since the 2009 global downturn, China aims to promote further growth in cross-border e-commerce. In June, exports contracted 3.1 percent year-on-year, the first monthly decrease since January 2012 and the biggest decline since the 2009 world recession. Over the past few weeks, the government has acted to stabilise trade. Citing the complex and challenging trade environment, Beijing has pledged to provide convenient and efficient e-commerce platforms for exporters and help them enlarge their overseas network, reducing costs.

Source: China.Org

China E-Commerce

Chinese E-Commerce: Much More Social than American E-Commerce

When comparing e-commerce in the U.S. with e-commerce in China, one evident difference is that in China, e-commerce plays a much more significant role in the market than it does in the U.S. While in China e-commerce accounts for 20 to 30 percent of purchases, in the U.S. it only accounts for 7 percent of purchases. Furthermore, another significant difference between e-commerce in the two nations is found in the behavior of e-commerce users. In China, online shoppers are more socially active than in the U.S. While American online buyers in many occasions neglect online ratings and reviews, in China these two play a major impact in consumer’s decisions. In China, subscriptions to e-commerce platforms many times come with membership cards for the subscriber, yet in the U.S. this is not the case. Some even compare subscribing to an e-commerce platform in China to joining a club.

Source: sjfzxm.com


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Wed

07

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Multichannel

China E-Commerce

JD.com Gets an IT Makeover

E-commerce in China is skyrocketing. The average number of users accessing online retail platforms via the mobile Internet was 122 million per month in the first half of 2013. JD.com, which accounts for 50% of the B2C market, saw its revenue increase in line with the rise of the mobile Internet – a 22% rise on its 2012 figure. However, such unprecedented levels of growth present online retailers with new challenges – how do IT systems adapt to the rising tide of Internet traffic? Will they be overwhelmed the sheer volume of hits, searches and payment requests? Faced with an ever-increasing number of online shoppers, JD.com has taken the initiative. The company has announced that it plans to upgrade its entire IT system in partnership with Fusion-io – a Salt Lake City-based hardware/software developer. Fusion io’s input will enable JD.com to gather big data in new ways, as well increasing the speed at which its online platform responds to user searches, queries and credit card purchases.

Source: ChinaByte

China E-Commerce

E-Commerce is On the Move

For Internet newbies, mobile devices are now their first point of contact with online shopping. 2013 is expected to be a landmark year for Chinese mobile e-commerce – “This is the year in which online retailers have shifted their strategic focus to the mobile realm”, say market gurus. Broadly speaking, R&D investment no longer goes into developing new technology to enhance the PC user’s customer experience. Companies are churning out mobile apps for smartphones and tablets instead. The shift of emphasis from static to mobile technology is not just confined to China’s online retailers. Baidu’s recent acquisition of 91 Wireless was widely interpreted as a long-term, strategic move. Although PCs and laptops aren’t likely to become obsolete in the near future, it seems they are less and less popular when it comes to e-commerce-related activities – browsing, price comparison, and online payment.

Source: ChinaByte

China E-Commerce

Tencent and Alibaba – the Battle of B2c

WeChat users can now make online payments. The payment function can integrate bank accounts, be they debit or credit, with a customer's WeChat account, which will enable more than 300 million users to make purchases on several e-commerce platforms. Items can be scanned using a product's barcode, allowing the user to jump directly onto the e-commerce website selling the product and order it immediately. Tencent's move is seen as the latest counteroffensive against Alibaba Group, which said last Wednesday that it would block online sellers' access to WeChat, citing security reasons. Shoppers have instead been offered the option to log on to Alibaba's Taobao marketplace using their accounts on Sina Weibo, on the same day that Tencent released WeChat 5.0. The move is seen as an attempt to help advertise the products of some online vendors on Sina Weibo, and try to redirect potential shoppers from Sina Weibo to Taobao..

Source: People's Daily

China Multichannel

Smartphones are on the Rise, Yet Mobile Advertisement . . . Not so Much

Mobile phones keep gaining terrain in people’s daily life. Around 45 percent of people now spend more than 3 hours on their cellphones on a daily basis. This is significantly higher than the average time that people spend on TV, which is only 1.36 hours. It is also important to acknowledge that while the influence of smartphones continues to expand, the role of other media sources is diminishing. Last year, more than 60 percent of the Chinese population reduced their use of television, magazines, newspapers and radio. The rise of smartphones has brought along the attempts of many to invest in mobile advertisement. Yet, many enterprises investing in this type of publicity have failed to gain a positive response from mobile users. Why is this? It’s mainly because on smartphones consumer’s time and space is severely compressed. Examples of advertisements aimed to capture consumer’s time can be mostly seen on TV, where publicity in the form of commercials is mostly mandatory. Publicity oriented to attain consumer’s space is more evident through pop-up ads or in newspapers ads, which are not really mandatory, yet attempt to get a consumer’s attention by occupying space. Yet, in smartphones there is very limited space to implement either of these types of ads. For instance, the overwhelming majority of users use smartphones to chat. In fact, chatting counts for 40 percent of all activity done in smartphones. This sort of activity requires very brief and fragmented interaction between of a user with his smartphones, thus not leaving enough time for advertising aiming to conquer consumer’s time. Similarly, it is hard to take advantage of a users space due to the relatively small size of a smartphone’s screen. Regardless of the complications brought by the size of the screen, according to a survey advertising aiming to seize the space on ones smartphones is weak, this is because the activities done on these devices require users to dedicate them significant attention, which is not the case in TVs or in newspapers.

Source: Alibuy


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Tue

06

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Multichannel, China Digital

China E-Commerce

In E-Commerce, Friendship Circles Just Don’t Cut It

For companies looking to set up an online retail platform in China, the words “social media” are all too often misinterpreted as “friendship circles”. Circles of friends and acquaintances are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to SNS. So why is it that an overreliance on these circles is a rookie mistake? Firstly, promoting a brand in a limited number of social circles is like trying to build a house on shifting sands – users’ friendship groups are constantly evolving in new and unpredictable ways, which makes it difficult to quantify a brand’s online presence. Secondly, the bonds of friendship between key SNS platform, Weibo’s users are not based on the frequency of online transactions, as the bonds between businesspeople are. Weibo users might look at what their friends have to say about particular brands once in a while – but not on a daily basis. The result is a low frequency of online purchases within the same friendship circles, which in turn leads to low online sales revenue.

Source: iResearch

China Multichannel

Chinese Consumer Loyalty

When comparing Chinese consumers to others in the developed markets, one will notice that the first ones lack brand loyalty. In fact, many classify Chinese consumers as “promotion driven” which means that they have the tendency of purchasing goods based on promotion and less on brands. Today promotion programs are implemented across all industries in China but the most successful sectors are phone companies, banks and Internet providers. However, lately many Chinese buyers are indicating that customer loyalty is not solely based driven by financial incentives, but also earned when the provider offers them open communications. More specific, a 2012 study on Chinese customer behavior indicated the open communications were important to 68 percent of them. But what does open communications mean? It means allowing the customer to choose a preferred way of interaction between him and the provider and achieve it through the flexibility of a multichannel customer service.

Source: Wenku

China E-Commerce

Big Data is Big News

In today’s increasingly multichannel online retail environment, 75% of companies worldwide consider the way consumers behave when exposed to different online channels as the most important data to stockpile. That’s the verdict of eMarketer’s latest report, which also emphasized the growing importance of SNS in e-commerce. In 2012, only 56% of respondents considered data collected from social media to have value. In 2013, by contrast, that figure had risen to 63%. In China, online retail platforms and social networking sites are moving towards ever data sharing and account synchronization – most recently Sina Weibo and Taobao. By working together, they can amass mountains of data to improve their competitive advantage – data related to consumer behaviour, individual user preferences and brand loyalty, but to name a few.

Source: ChinaByte


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Mon

05

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Digital

China E-Commerce

E-Commerce in the Mobile Internet Age

3G, SNS and the ever-increasing number of new mobile devices are transforming the online shopping experience. Chinese e-commerce platforms accounted for 84% of mobile Internet traffic in Q1 2013 – an increase of 250% from the same quarter in 2012. With the number of mobile Internet users in China now at 420 million, both old and new players in mobile e-commerce face unprecedented challenges – unprecedented because of the number of users, as well as the exponential increase in online shopping with mobile devices. How can companies continue to enhance the user experience without compromising the quality of their services? China’s online shoppers expect companies to be innovative and cutting edge, yet, at the same time, to have a proven track record. However, more fundamentally, the greatest challenge facing Alibaba Group and Jingdong Mall is – how do we keep the Internet speed from slowing with an ever-increasing number of online customers? A slowdown for one day might lose the company millions in sales revenue. For that matter, not only does the Internet speed need to be constant, it needs to be constant for all 420 million mobile online shoppers across China – the majority of whom now live in lower-tier cities.

Source: ChinaByte

China Digital

The Next Facebook Will Be Born in China

In the beginning, the Internet was something confined to offices and PCs. Now, it is on the move. The mobile Internet, that is to say the Internet accessed from tablets, smart phones and other mobile devices, is turning China into the world’s largest mobile Internet hub. The increasingly multichannel online retail environment has been made possible by the spread of online access throughout both rural and urban areas. Users can shop from the comfort of their couch while watching TV, on their way to work, or even in the bath! This enables online shopping providers to hoard mountains of data – data related to consumer behaviour, individual user preferences and brand loyalty, but to name a few. This is what e-commerce gurus mean when they say “We are now in the era of big data!” But what are the implications of this for social networks? Although Facebook is the dominant global player in SNS at present, it is no longer a sensation. The next SNS sensation will combine the mobile Internet, multichannel online retail and big data – three interconnected elements of the Chinese digital landscape that are set to boom in the coming years.

Source: Tencent Technology

China E-Commerce

Sina Weibo –Taobao is now online!

Sina Weibo and Taobao have officially tied the knot. As of today, users will be able to synchronize their Weibo and Taobao accounts – if they wish to. All users have to do is select the “Bind Accounts” option on either sites’ “Account Settings” page. So what are the new features? A joint Weibo-Taobao account means users can combine Sina’s microblogging services with their Taobao activity. For example, if a user wants to share content about a recent Taobao purchase with their Weibo circle, they can now do so with ease! But couldn’t a Weibo user do this already? Why is the partnership with Taobao necessary? The answer? – Utility. Both platforms want to make it easier for users to combine microblogging and online shopping. They recognise that social media and e-commerce are interconnected – both Sina Weibo and Taobao will benefit from increased cooperation for at least two reasons. Firstly, when it comes to online shopping, Chinese consumers are greatly influenced by the opinions of people in their social circles – they are more likely to visit a brand’s flagship store if they have seen positive reviews of it on a microblogging site. The second reason is online advertising. Taobao will use Sina Weibo’s online footprint to promote itself using online advertising space.

Source: Sohu IT


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Fri

02

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China Digital, China E-Commerce

China Digital

The Future of Mobile Apps in China

How can companies stand out in an increasingly competitive mobile apps market? Tencent’s best and brightest got together in Shenzen this week, and came up with some ideas. Firstly, developers should recognise that apps are not universally popular all of the time – just as the consumer’s mood goes through many changes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, so does their behaviour in relation to mobile apps. The best apps should anticipate consumers’ change in mood – they should turn the market variations to their advantage. Secondly, the apps that have the highest retention rates, such as Tencent QQ, allow the individual user to share content with their social circle in many different ways. The more opportunities a user has to share content, the more that content will disperse throughout their social circle. Not only does this give the user an incentive to experiment with different kinds of content sharing, it means that, when QQ users at the fringe of the circle receive content, they might share it with users in other circles. Thus, retention rates, as well as the total number of users, increase. Thoughts to keep in mind as we shift towards an increasingly app driven life. 

Source: SoftChinaByte

China E-Commerce

Baidu Targets SMEs

Baidu is targeting 20,000 SMEs in over 200 Chinese cities. The reason? – The company aims to encourage the next generation of small business to use Baidu as its online marketing partner of choice, rather than its competitors. Baidu is targeting SMEs in as wide a variety of industries as possible – from retail, to fashion, to construction. If a small business becomes an official partner, says Baidu, it will be granted access to Baidu’s colossal data bank, which means that the two companies will be able to produce detailed reports about consumer behaviour and market trends in many different industries encouraging small businesses to achieve greater growth.

Source: ChinaByte

China E-Commerce

E-Commerce Puts its Best Foot Forward

E-Commerce is changing the way Chinese consumers buy footwear. In 2010, the total online sales of footwear in China accounted for ¥20 billion. However, in the increasingly multichannel online retail environment, companies such as Belle and Addidas face new challenges. The supply chain, for example – the traditionally static-supply chain model involving a warehouse used by both the manufacturing and distribution arm of footwear retailers, is old news. Now, distribution channels are virtual – large physical spaces are out, online retail, wholesale and auctions are in. The footwear industry illustrates changes that spread far in to many industries, changes that will continue to develop further.

Source: SoftChinaByte


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Thu

01

Aug

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Digital

China E-Commerce

Maritime Shipping . . . Not A Problem!

Alibaba wants no limits on shipping! Today, the e-commerce giant launched the newest feature of AliExpress: maritime shipping for its online purchases! The maritime shipping lines extended to Europe, America, Southeast Asia, Australia and 25 other routes. These new routes all come accompanied with support for full online tracking of goods. The step towards trade integration taken by Alibaba’s AliExpress is expected to provide online consumers with a unified and transparent price, a simpler shipping process, and more security due to online tracking. Evidently, this new feature has not been welcome by everyone. Small local sellers claim that maritime shipping will hurt them as many of them assure not to be capable of overcoming custom clearance obstacles.

Source: Ebrun

China E-Commerce

How Smartphones are Transforming E-Commerce

The number of smartphone users in China has risen from 33% of the urban population in 2012 to 47% in 2013. 69% of people in urban areas use a smartphone to access the Internet every day, and the average number of apps now stands at 26. Smartphones are transforming the way people shop online. Take mobile apps, for example. Because the average user installs two new apps per day, online shopping platforms, such as Taobao, Tmall and JD.com, are integrating their promotions and campaigns across the new media. A user might download an app to send them a weekly reminder of the latest offers on B2c sites. They might then share the information with their family, friends and colleagues via SNS. Chinese consumers are savvy – 98% of users use their smartphones to compare prices between different online retailers. It is for this reason that B2c/C2c sites are trying to come up with new “mobile friendly” platforms – apps that give the consumer as much price comparison information as possible, presented in a user-friendly way. This is having a knock-on effect by the way in which the latest smartphones are designed. Smartphone screens are getting bigger and bigger, so that users can view more and more products at the same time. However, the smartphone is just one planet in the multichannel galaxy that is e-commerce. 79% of smartphone users will use their PC to complete an online purchase – these consumers use their smartphones as a browsing tool.

Source: ChinaByte

China E-Commerce

Alibaba and Sina Weibo may be Scheming

Today, Alibaba and Sina Weibo announced they will bind their user accounts as a result of the new cooperation between the two online giants. In the first steps Alibaba bought $566 Million of Sina Wiebo shares in April, and since then there are indications through Sina’s features that they are getting ready for larger changes leaving many people paying close attention to both companies’ movements. Sina Weibo has voiced their desire to move their platform towards an e-commerce focus and are thought to be exploring the correct model to do so. Watch this space.

Source: It Feed

China Digital

Baidu Accounts for 73% of Online Mobile Searches

Baidu accounted for 73% of online mobile searches in June, which means that it remains the dominant mobile search engine in the Chinese digital landscape. The number of people actively using Baidu’s mobile platform now stands at more than 100 million. So what is the secret of Baidu’s mobile success? Why does the company enjoy such a large market share? The answer – R&D. Baidu made a R&D investment of over $200 million in the first six months of 2013 alone – a record in the Chinese mobile market. By offering the user cutting-edge technology, such as Baidu voice search, the company stands out from its competitors – it makes a lasting impression on the consumer, creating a culture of brand loyalty. In addition, with the increasing number of active mobile users across all demographics, in China’s lower-tier cities, for example, the demand for a mobile search engine that is a cut above the rest will only continue to increase. Baidu’s mobile competitors, such as 360, have a much smaller market share. The reasons for this include an overreliance on dated technology, and low brand awareness outside China’s first-tier cities.

Source: ChinaByte


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Wed

31

Jul

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Mobile, China Digital

China E-Commerce

China’s Online Advertisement Market is Expanding . . . Fast!

During the second quarter of 2013, China’s online advertising market reached ¥23.26 Billion! This equates to a year-on-year increase of 27% when compared to the second quarter of 2012. Among the top 10 online giants in China, it was Baidu that topped the online advertisement income, with ¥7.56 Billion in revenue, followed by Taobao, making ¥5.61 billion. However, it’s not the total revenue of these companies that is the most shocking, but the growth at which their revenues grew from the second quarter of 2012. Since then Baidu and Taobao’s online advertisement revenue grew 46.1% and 38.6% respectively and it this growth is not expected to slow anytime soon. The several small and medium size businesses that are on Taobao’s platform are basically a warranty that Taobao’s online advertisement revenue will continue to expand, as these sizes of businesses tend to be highly dependent on advertisement.

Source: Tech qq

China E-Commerce

China’s third and fourth-tier cities’ explosive online spending

Online shopping is no longer just for city dwellers, and a report released this week by Taobao demonstrates the extent to which lower-tier consumers are dominating online sales. People living in counties and townships spent an average of ¥5628 online in 2012, almost ¥1000 more than consumers in urban areas. The report showed that township residents placed an average of 54 orders each on Taobao in 2012, far more than the 39 orders placed by e-shoppers living in China's first- and second-tier cities. Although residents' incomes tend to be lower in small towns and counties they will spend a larger amount online making their online spending habits similar to those of their urban counterparts. For every ¥100 spent online, ¥57 is spent by people in third- and fourth-tier cities, greater than the national average of ¥39. Residents in Qingliu county, in southeast China's Fujian province spent a staggering ¥20,151, or 72.55% of their combined income, on online shopping. In first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the ratio has yet to exceed 27%. Also increasing is m-commerce with 22% of Taobao customers in small towns used its mobile application to shop online. But the percentage declined to 17% in first- and second-tier cities.

Source: TechSina

China E-Commerce

Socializing While Shopping

With 800 million daily visitors and a daily income of $100,000, it seems like new player in e-commerce, Fancy’s combination of shopping and socializing is very attractive to consumers. This platform has become very profitable due to its business model and as a result we see many other e-commerce companies leave behind their flash sales model and beginning to implement a more social atmosphere. So how exactly did Fancy managed to merge these two different concepts together? Well Fancy allows users to nail pictures of various items in an electronic photo board for others to click and buy. Fancy has been described as the “shopping edition of Pinterest.” As for being compared to Pinterest, the company CEO stated that the difference is in the revenue while Pinterest was valued at $2.5 Billion, this is not a product of revenue.

Source: Ebrun

China Mobile

Mobile payments to exceed ¥9 Trillion in 2015

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese mobile payment providers will exceed ¥9 Trillion ($1.45 Trillion) in 2015. In 2012, the country's mobile banking sector handled ¥800 billion in online payment transactions, an increase of 265% on the previous year! Last year, the country's online payments rose 66% to nearly ¥ 3.7 Trillion, with the fastest growth in premium payments.Online premium payments grew 123.8% year on year to ¥ 3.66 Billion in 2012. Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totalled ¥ 830 Trillion in 2012. Lesson; adapt your selling to be m-commerce friendly or your losing out!

Source: Securities Times


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Tue

30

Jul

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China Ecommerce, China PPC

China E-Commerce

Taobao Does Not Seem to be the Seller’s Paradise it once was

It seems like competition in Taobao is becoming unbearable for some sellers. According to a study carried by an economic observer 57% of sellers using Taobao admit that competition in the e-commerce platform has become “more intense.” While 29% of Taobao sellers have described competition in Taobao as simply “too intense.” This increase in competition is significantly due to the increasing number of sellers found on the platform. As revealed by the study, 60% of sellers in Taobao have been present in the platform for 2 years or less. With this increasing number of sellers in Taobao, fierce price competition has formed. In order to distinguish themselves to buyers, sellers have been obligated to promote endless promotions and discounts, which evidently makes their profitability very low. Thus, 44% of sellers on Taobao consider that it is hard to say whether Taobao is still a paradise for entrepreneurs.

Source: IT Feed

China E-Commerce

JD Boosts its Online Presence

JD.com is expanding the number of services it offers in order to attract more companies to its open platform. JD, despite being one of the leading B2C retailers in China, with an annual turnover of $9 billion, it is not complacent - JD sees constant renewal as its top priority. The company plans to make it easier for third parties to set up flagship online stores by upgrading its existing IT systems. However, JD is not the only one to set up an open platform. Alibaba’s Tmall launched a similar platform in 2008, as did Amazon in 2009. Analysts see JD’s renewal strategy as part of a wider trend – online marketplace sites are increasingly moving towards open platforms, with the aim of becoming “e-commerce total solution providers”. Nevertheless, JD remains the underdog – the company accounted for only 17% of e-commerce transactions in Q1 2013. Tmall, by contrast, accounted for 48% of market transactions.

Source: China Daily

China E-Commerce

Baidu to Increase the Cost of PPC advertising for some account holders

Starting August 1st, Baidu will increase the price of both unverified PPC accounts and accounts that have only one star credibility. While for unverified business or personal accounts promotion cost will increase from an additional 10% to 20%, for verified accounts that have only one star credibility promotion cost will increase 5%. Thus, in case one’s account is unverified or only has one star credibility, one can contact his Baidu account manager in order to fulfill a certification and credibility level increase. While the verification process requires advertisers to submit several business documents, pre-qualified authenticated accounts can apply for verification. All verified accounts will have a “V” next to their name been displayed to search users. In affect we will likely see an altering of the way PPC accounts and ads are being used on the Baidu platform.

Source: China Internet Watch

China Digital

Sogou Q2 Revenue Up 64%

Sogou’s revenue increased by 64% in the second quarter of this year, to $50 million. Sogou gives two reasons for the large increase in revenue. Firstly, it has only recently implemented the first step in its medium-term business strategy. Secondly, the number of users buying Sogou products has been unexpectedly higher than expected. Although this search engine platform is the company’s main focus, Sogou also has series of desktop products. Sogou Input makes use of advanced search engine techniques - the analysis and categorization of the most popular words or phrases on the Internet. Sogou Explorer offers menu bar searching, text selection searching and other seamless ways to embed the search engine of Sogou. The company, which was rumoured to be in merger negotiations with Qihoo earlier this month, now has over 150 million active users and is seen as a small, yet innovative competitor to search engine giant Baidu – which accounts for 90% of Internet searches in Mainland China.

Source: Sohu


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Mon

29

Jul

2013

Daily Digital Pulse of China: China E-Commerce, China Mobile

China E-Commerce

270 Million Chinese Now Shop Online

China’s online shopping population has reached 270 million people, overtaking Japan to become the second largest e-commerce market in the world. The Chinese market is not comparable to the US market, for two reasons. First, it enjoys a rapid, continuous rate of growth. The number of online shoppers in China increased by 65% 2012-13. In contrast, the US market grew by a mere 16%. Second, Chinese consumers overwhelmingly use their smart phones to access the Internet and browse B2c/C2c sites. Their preference for hand-held devices, rather than sitting in front of a PC with a mouse and keyboard, is transforming the way people think about e-commerce in China. Online shopping is no longer something that people do in front of a computer screen – they do it on the metro, on their lunch break, on impulse. The spread of smart phones, tablets and other hand-held devices throughout China’s regional, lower-tier cities will ensure that the rapid growth of e-commerce continues.

Source: Ifeng

China E-Commerce

Introducing “Taobao Life”

When it comes to online shopping, Alibaba Group has recognised that consumers are hungry for more. Enter – Taobao Life, a new online platform that will enhance three aspects of everyday life. Taobao Diandian, meaning “shop shop”, will allow consumers to order food, both from supermarkets and restaurants. Taobao Movie will enable users in more than 100 cities across Mainland China to buy cinema tickets in 800 nationwide cinemas of their choice. Taobao Offer will help users with apartment hunting in major Chinese cities. However, it is not simply a price comparison website – Taobao Offer will also allow people to calculate their disposable income by subtracting living expenses from their salary. If everyday activities are combined with the mobile Internet, says Jack Ma, Alibaba chairman, “amazing” things will happen.

Source: China Daily

China Mobile

The future of mobile advertising in China? – Localization

It was John Doerr, director of Zynga, who first used the slogan “SoLoMo” – social, local, mobile. Mobile advertising should be tailored to each device’s geographic coordinates – a Sina Weibo user in Shanghai should not encounter the same advertising on their smart phone as a user in another location. Whereas Facebook, Sina’s main global SNS competitor, generates 41% of total revenue from SoLoMo advertising, Chinese social media sites have been slow to adapt. However, Sina Weibo’s international English-language platform, although still in development, is expected to try to copy the success of Facebook’s SoLoMo advertising model.

Source: TechWeb Blogs


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