E-Commerce on WeChat 5.0?
WeChat 5.0 is to be launched soon and there are high expectations that the application will take a major jump towards e-commerce. According to analyst Cao Junbo, so far, WeChat has not been able to provide a positive online shopping experience. However, Junbo maintains that this could change if WeChat 5.0 provides users with a well-elaborated mobile payment method. Analyst Yang Weiqing, expands on additional problems WeChat will have to overcome in order to achieve a new e-commerce identity and mentions that as long as mobile phones cannot provide users with the ability to compare prices between different websites, then the future of e-commerce on mobile phones is uncertain.
Source: iResearch via Chinadaily.com
E-Commerce – is the Party Over?
“B2B, B2C, C2C”. Thanks to the rapid rise of e-commerce in China, these acronyms no longer seem like foreign words – they are synonymous with the information age. However, according to CCID Consulting, China’s largest consulting company, now suggest that the C2C e-commerce may not continue to grow at such a rapid rate. Data collected by CCID show that e-commerce transactions accounted for 740 billion rmb in 2005; an increase of more than 50% on the previous year. In 2013, Alibaba Group’s annual sales figures emphasized its dominance of the B2B market – net profit increased by 200%. The ever-increasing B2B market share of Alibaba.com and its subsidiaries, Taobao, Tmall and Aliyun, but to name a few, will lead to a decline in C2C e-commerce. Individuals will be unable to compete with Alibaba Group’s economies of scale, and will be forced to sell to consumers outside of Mainland China.
Foreign Products Lose their Supremacy in the Eyes of Chinese Consumers
It seems like Chinese consumers no longer see foreign brands as superior to local brands. In fact, according to a study by Epsilon marketing agency, while 65 percent of Chinese consumers still view competition from foreign companies as good, they are still experiencing a rising preference to buy products made in their own country. The study indicates that Chinese consumer’s preference to buy products made in China has risen from 31 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2012. This change in consumer preferences has been accompanied by betterment in the quality and sophistication of Chinese brands. Moreover, regardless of preference of domestic and overseas brands, the study also indicates that consumer brand loyalty in China has also increased from 41 percent in 2011 to 58 percent in 2012. According to the study, consumers are loyal to a specific brand for the following reasons: best values of money (50%), consistent good quality of services/products (46%), good after-sales service and support (42%) and services/products tailored for their lifestyle (38%).
Source: Retail in Asia
E-Commerce and Microblogging
Tencent, the Shenzen-based holding company, has launched a new online shopping platform via its microblogging service, Tencent Weibo. A similar platform, provided by Tencent’s main competitor, Sina Weibo, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, is already on stream. However, at the official launch of “Tencent Micro-Shopping” this week in Beijing, it was noted that Tencent’s new platform is simpler and more user friendly than Sina Weibo, but offers the consumer a narrower range of products. In response, Alibaba Group has anncouned that it is making a $380 million investment in its Sina Weibo microblogging platform, with the aim of transforming what is currently a website with limited B2C capability into a fully-fledged e-commerce platform.
Source: Chengdu Commercial Daily
Unconfirmed: It Appears that Tencent and Telecom Will be Partnering Up to Offer WeChat Subscription Plans
Though it has not been confirmed, the site iFanr has cited an unknown source, which indicates that one of China’s telecoms intends to offer WeChat mobile subscription plans. Again, despite a lack of confirmation, it would make perfect sense for this to actually take place since WeChat has cost telecoms major losses in SMS and calling fees.
Source: iFanr via techweb.com.cn
E-Commerce Forum Takes Place in Chengdu
Western China’s first E-Commerce Forum took place yesterday in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. More than 600 delegates from Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Yunnan and Hubei gathered to discuss the current status of e-commerce in China, and its future. There was one statistic in particular that provoked a lively discussion amongst the delegates – although the e-commerce industry was estimated to be worth 6 trillion rmb in 2012, 90% of transactions take place in eastern, coastal provinces. This disparity emphasizes the fact that in western provinces and second/third tier cities, e-commerce is still in its infancy. In Sichuan province, for example, the number of Taobao transactions in 2012 amounted to only 1.03 billion rmb.
Source: Science and Technology Daily
China Merchant Platform Aims to Improve Communication Between Enterprises
While enterprises see great opportunity in the potential customers that can be found in mobile end-users, mobile phones are also becoming an important tool of information dissemination thanks to the China Merchants Platform. This platform, made specifically for mobile phones, is a business cloud designed for Chinese enterprises to provide professional investment advice to other smaller companies in the same industry. The final goal of the platform is to help infant companies across the threshold of capital and technology.