The future of ecommerce is happening in China where giants like Alibaba and JD.com are bringing a Jetsons-like shopping and entertainment reality to consumers across China. The latest trend combines live streaming entertainment with ecommerce. Think of it like watching QVC on your Amazon shopping app but instead of a boring host offering a traditional late-night infomercial experience imagine a live streaming event hosted by Lilly Singh (Forbes 2017 top entertainment influencer) in an environment more akin to a gamified Snapchat or Musical.ly with digital prizes to boot. If you think this might be just some crazy fad from China, here are some compelling results that make a good case for the direction of ecommerce:
- Maimai Car sold 2,717 in 90 minutes - Maimaiche held a live online event on the Aliababa Tmall platform using their star host’s birthday as a theme to sell an astounding US$ 36 million.
Innovation in China is accelerating and being driven by multiple converging factors including:
- VC investment is pouring in and is getting close to US VC investment levels
- A huge domestic, mobile first market and user base – to build a launch pad for new business model innovation and global expansion
- A large hungry educated young generation seeking to be the next Jack Ma (Alibaba) or Pony Ma (Tencent)
- Government reforms and support for innovation, entrepreneurs, and “going global”
- Years of accumulating knowledge via cooperation and competition with the global players – including hardware leadership, which is becoming critical for connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT)
With the world’s largest population (~1.4B), second largest economy ($11.2T vs US’s $18.6T), and a mobile internet population of over 800 million users, the challenges and opportunities posed by China for Western technology companies have never been greater.Read More >
The China market for technology companies is huge and Chinese technology companies are getting stronger and going global at an accelerated pace. While China shouldn’t be ignored, most Western technology executives have heard the many stories of failed or loss making China efforts or have experienced it themselves. Even in China today, it is still easy to be fooled by the lure of huge numbers and opportunities. Attractive deals and partnerships do exist but they often come at a cost.
We typically don’t recommend entering China unless you are committed and have the resources or need to be in the market. However, for those that have made the decision to address China or cooperate with Chinese companies going global, there are ways to de-risk the program and significantly increases your chances of success.
Consider many of the strategies often used to engage with China. Many companies start with a China “fly-in-fly-out” strategy trying to develop China from afar by leveraging their investors or relationship network for introductions to start having conversations in the market. Many others start by setting up a China legal entity and hiring staff and beginning the process to see how and with who they can monetize China.Read More >