Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alipay, Alibaba & Luxury E-Commerce
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
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
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
5 Things You Need to Know about the Habits of China’s Luxury E-Commerce Shoppers
The Chinese people have quickly shifted a bulk of their shopping time and money to the Internet, and luxury retailers are having a difficult time keeping up. Traditionally, luxury brands have relied on their in-store service. They have spent much of their time focusing on opening physical retail stores rather than on Internet strategies and have not anticipated such a swift switch by Chinese consumers to e-commerce. What are the most notable facts about China’s online luxury consumers. They’re most motivated by price. 74% of respondents say that lower prices were the main reason they buy their luxury goods online, while price is the most common product information sought online, with 79% of users searching for it. 55% of consumers also liked the fact that online shopping is less time-consuming. The main concern is still the possibility of buying fake goods, but consumers also mostly just want to be able to try items on. 78% worry about fakes. High-end luxury e-tailers, however, have high enough price points to offer special services that allow couriers to wait for the client to try the item on. They use multiple devices for online shopping. Villet of Glamour Sales has stated that about 50% of their business is done on non-PC platforms. More than 50% of respondents say they would use a smartphone for luxury e-shopping, while more than 30% would use a tablet. Endorsements by people they trust are of more importance than those by celebrities. When learning about luxury products, people tend to trust social media reviews the most, while friends’ recommendations and word-of-mouth came in a close second. The opinions of celebrities and key opinion leaders are still important, but rank far below the aforementioned sources. Payment methods are changing quickly. Cash on delivery used to be the most widely used form of payment, but online payment systems have quickly come to the forefront.
China Is Now The Worlds Largest Trade Nation
Chinas foreign trade volume reached $4.16 trillion in 2013, making it the largest trade nation in the world, according to the World Trade Organization Secretariat. In 1978 Chinas trade volume was just US$20.6billion, makings its growth per year since then at 16.4%. The diversification in trade partners is clear, as China trades less with traditional Europe and US, and more with ASEAN countries closer in proximity, and emerging markets. The structure of Chinas trade is now fully optimized with the export of electronics and labour intensive goods and the import of consumer goods. Chinas achievements in trade are a result of the joint effort between government and key market players, as well as the implementation of the country’s structural reforms and opening up. In 1978 Chinas per capita GDP was US$148 and in 2013 it stood at US$6,600, so dramatic changes have taken place in the country. There is now pressure on China to change its model from “high quantity, low price” to a model which places more emphasis on quality and service. This will enable the country to remain competitive into the future.
Source:Want China Times
China Unicom Gains 3G Users, While China Telecom Lose Users
China Unicom gained 3.869million new 3G users during January, reaching a total user group of 126.47 million people. During the month of January China Unicom gained 3.123 million mobile users. China telecom on the other hand lost 80,000 mobile users in the same period, and the number of its total mobile users decreased 184.78 million. China Telecoms 3G users increased by 30,000 to 103.14million. China Telecom put down its lost in customers to its competitor Unicom’s introduction of 3G LTE (Long term evolution) services and the promotions that went with it. China Telecom launched its LTE services mid-February; long after people had already switched to their competitor Unicom. While China Unicom does not have as many customers overall as China Telecom, Unicom’s gains are considerable for the size and development of their company.
Source:China Tech News