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


China Digital

Nearly 5 Million WeChat Users Played the Platform’s Lucky Money Game on Chinese New Year’s Eve

WeChat created a gamification winner with its Lucky Draw Chinese New Year game — a fun way for users to send money to friends and family while also getting more and more users to sign up for WeChat payment accounts. A staggering 4.82 million users participated in this game on Chinese New Year’s eve, with 25,000 packets being opened in one minute at one point. The average value of the packets was 10.7 RMB.

Source: Tech Node