Daily Digital Pulse of China : China E-Commerce, China Mobile, China Video
Mobile: Reducing The Risk Of "Showrooming"
Mobile can play a valuable role in reducing the risk of "showrooming", according to a new study based on responses from 38,000 people in 43 countries and released by TNS. “The impact of digital development, mobile Internet and online shopping are coming together in a way that is posing a very real threat to traditional bricks and mortar retailers. However, there is also opportunity to mitigate that risk for brands that get their customer engagement right,” Matthew Froggatt, Chief Development Officer at TNS, said. Among those who showroom, two-thirds use their phone and experts see this as a great opportunity for brands to interact with consumers via mobile and turn browsers into buyers. More than one-fifth of smartphone owners are keen to receive mobile coupons while shopping. At the same time 13 percent% of the consumers are interested in a ‘virtual sales assistant,’ who will help answer their questions in-store about a particular product. The survey concluded that the key for brands and retailers is to find ways to make buying in-store the convenient option.
Baidu Acquires PPS For $370 Million
Baidu announced that it has acquired PPS.tv's streaming video service for $370 million, which means that the Chinese search company is now in a position to challange market leader Youku-Tudou for a bigger share of China's web video marketplace. According to Baidu's official press release the acquisition "creates China's largest online video platform" but doesn't mention any specific numbers. PPS.tv will continue to operate as a sub-brand of iQiyi, according to the release, but current iQiyi CEO Gong Yu will also be CEO of the new PPS sub-brand. Current PPS president Xu Weifeng and CEO Zhang Hongyu will remain onboard as co-presidents.
Suning's E-commerce Revenue Up 134%
Suning Commerce Group announced the results of the financial report for the first quarter of 2013: the group realized operating revenue of CNY27.201 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.14%; meanwhile, its e-commerce business realized revenue of CNY4.499 billion, a year-on-year increase of 134%. According Suning representatives the business development strategy is clear and the focus is to realize the full integration of online and offline sectors, including organizations, products, prices, and services. In the future the company will promote its open-platform strategy and improve the variety of its branded sales units.
Qihoo 360 To Appeal Tencent Ruling
The chairman of security software company Qihoo 360, Zhou Hongwei, announced that he will appeal to China's Supreme People's Court after his company lost a lawsuit against Tencent regarding
unfair competition, on the 25th of April. Qihoo 360 was accused of breaching good faith and equal competition practices while maliciously working against Tencent. Zhou denied the allegations and
said the court ruling was unfair and an example of the court's tendency towards regional protectionism. In the past 3 years, the two companies have been engaged in a protracted legal battle with
the latest verdict representing Tencent's third win against Qihoo.
What's Next For Alibaba?
Last week, Alibaba agreed to a $US 586 million investment in Sina Weibo, this being the largest equity purchase so far in China’s internet industry. Sources close to Alibaba tried to explain how the alliance is going to impact the market. The investment is widely seen as an attempt by Alibaba to expand its presence in the mobile Internet sector. Alibaba would hold stakes in four of the top 10 most popular mobile applications in China (Sina Wibo, Taobao, Alipay) and Internet browser UCWeb. Other sources state that in the future Sina may allow Alibaba to be more involved in technology development to help improve Weibo’s commercial model.