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.
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
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
China-Made Mobile Phones vs. Apple and Samsung
Apple and Samsung seem to have an absolute advantage when it comes to the Chinese high-end market. In tier one and tier two cities Apple and Samsung seem to be far ahead of China-made mobiles. This is mainly due to the fact that there is still a noticeable software and hardware gap between China-made mobile phones and mobile phones made by the global giants. However, in tier three and tier four cities China-made mobiles seem to have found great opportunity as it is Chine-made mobile phones that lead sales here. Tier three and tier four markets have become of great importance in the mobile phone market as mobile phone users in tier three and tier four cities have reached 163 million. Yet, despite their advantage in the tier three and tier four cities, some China mobile phone makers are not too optimistic as they estimate that as soon as Apple and Samsung saturate tier one and tier two markets, they will focus on spreading to the low-end market, providing increasing competition to the China mobile phone makers. Yet, among Chinese phone makers some still see the top end market as reachable, despite the strong presence of Apple and Samsung. For instance, ZTE recently launched their Geek smartphone based on Intel chips in the hopes of achieving a differentiated and innovative image in the top end market.