Monthly Archives: December 2012

4 Mobile Internet Trends to Watch in China in 2013 from VALUE2020 (China Focus)

In 2012, mobile phones became the main devices for accessing the Internet in China.

1/ Global Internet Market: China to play a dominant role

-Thanks to China, global mobile traffic will hit 25% of total internet traffic
-Thanks to among others, China and the USA, global mobile and tablet shopping will go over 25% of total internet shopping
-New players will emerge in China and in other parts of Asia like Singapore and Indonesia

2/ Search Engines: fierce competition for market share 

Bǎidù will face strong competition from local and global players in China. As a consequence the firm will accelerate growth in other countries directly or through partnerships (mobile browser, advertising services…)

market share graphiqueV2

3/ e-Commerce: growth & traffic from social media

-The country is likely to become the world’s largest online shopping market in 2013
-Lower-tier cities will replace first-tier cities (like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou) at the top of the ranking on growth of online shopping
Alibaba e-Commerce will boom (IPO to come in either 2013 or 2014)
American players in e-Commerce will be back  thanks to partnerships (for instance eBay)
-WeChat will become a new player of e-Commerce in China (and later in other countries of Asia, and maybe the world in 2014)
@value2020 American & Chinese eCommerce – October 2012 –

4/ SOLOMO: the real start in China

a) Social Commerce (SO)

WeChat/Weixin will become the first social chat mobile app in the world. More on WeChat in 2013.
-Google has to launch new products including a new social mobile app (GTalk should be improved and integrated to a Google+ app or more)
-Facebook will monetize but be challenged by new mobile social applications
-SinaWeibo will increase monetization through brands and marketing campaigns


b) Location based services (LO)

WeChat from Tencent could enter the game and become the first location based service on mobile in the world (criteria= volume of users). More on WeChat in 2013.

c) Mobile OS: no success yet, looking for opportunities (MO)

Even though Ālǐbābā and Bǎidù tested the market with respectively Linux-based Aliyun (阿里雲) and Android-based Bǎidù-Yì (百度•易平台), there is no significant players from China. Android is dominant in China, and in the World. Either Ālǐbābā, Xiaomi, Bǎidù, or Tencent (腾讯) is likely to choose partners and try a launch in 2013.

5/ Other Predictions

-UC Browser, the mobile browser, will expand to other countries but face competition from Baidu Brower and other players
-Telecom firms like China Mobile will sign partnerships with Internet companies, likely to create or buy Internet solutions
-Tencent might decide to compete with Telecom companies launching phone call services either in 2013 or 2014
-Xiaomi expansion to other countries

For Chinese Internet, year 2013 will be a year of innovation  and a year of continuous global expansion.

For the world, year 2013 will be the year of mobile commerce growth and mobile payment transaction boom.

Cloud services and Big Data, Internet Of Things, NFC and HTML5 technologies are other hot topics according to Gartner.

For firms with excess of cash reserve and no need to monetize now, expanding the mobile user base is the most important focus to have for all the global players of the Internet during year 2013.

Notice that the prediction we made about WeChat in June 2012 became reality: the user base exceeds now 200 million!

1/ VALUE2020 Market Intelligence
2/ Gartner, URL:



Mobile Messaging App Competitors Adapt Strategy to WeChat / Weixin and Tencent Global Expansion

As explained before, WeChat is a powerful application. We discovered its growth is faster than Facebook. The expansion is not limited to Asia (first world map!).

Competitors Adapt their Respective Product Strategy

Whatsapp has been free on the Apple store in December 2012.

We believe Skype is still a very used chat application.

In the USA as well, Kik is quite popular with several dozens of million users worldwide.

Viber released a new version with additional features. Before this update, only emoticons were fun. Now, like WeChat, the UI is pleaseant, fun stickers are available, the user can share her/his location.


Line and KakaoTalk, both Asian firms, will develop further monetization, try to innovate with the next versions, and find partners for user expansion.

Facebook has a chat function. The firm also launched a specific app in August 2011. Reacting to competition offering, the firm will offer now Voice Messaging and not only Text Messaging. “Facebook Poke”, very similar to Snapchat, will be a success and will help the firm to be a main player for chat services.

Google has been advanced with a chat function included in Gmail since over 5 years. We might expect a new product from Google, a new version of GTalk or maybe better a new social app taking the Google+ users to a disruptive usage.

The Tango app development should be carefully followed. The start up introduced new features like text messaging and voice messaging. If Google decides to buy the start up, the American giant would be back into the leading group of chat mobile app.

Telecom companies like Orange, AT&T, China Mobile are worried about growth of pure Internet players.

They have 2 types of strategies:

  • -internal strategy through the development of their own app like Orange with Libon.
  • -external strategy through partnerships and acquisitions.

Expanding the mobile user base is the most important focus to have for all the global players of the Internet during year 2013.

Smaller players with no cash reserve should focus on finding to right business models to monetize quickly their user base.

Financial Times, URL:

WeChat: Active Management on Social Media in Asia (among others:Twitter, Facebook, & SinaWeibo)

WeChat like other free Internet applications has users around the world without any specific marketing actions.

However, to expand the user base, Tencent decided to launch a local marketing plan one country after another starting from China and expanding gradually to other countries of Asia.

WeChat India Facebook Account: 334,000 Fans!

WeChat India Facebook Account: 334,000 Fans!

The strategy of expansion applied to India is quite successful. Facebook is currently growing fast its user base in India (similarly to Vietnam and Brazil).

Social Media Marketing of WeChat

Social Media Marketing of WeChat

Therefore, WeChat is competing against Facebook for user time. WeChat has a few advantages compared to the mobile application of Facebook. The war for the time of users is interesting.

Social Media Marketing of WeChat in Asia

Social Media Marketing of WeChat in Asia

The local teams of WeChat in Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong-Kong, Thailand, and Singapore are very active as well.

Following the path of Alibaba and Baidu, Tencent is growing going outside China.

worldmap weixin 2012

WeChat in 2013 / 2013年: Wēixìn 微信

WeChat is already a very convenient application, easy and fun.

What is interesting is the strategy used by Tencent to expand abroad through a global product with local marketing campaigns.

Chinese users like to have fun. They are mostly younger than American or European users, this is one of the reasons. That’s why the app includes fun features like key words in chat conversation generating a special animation!

We can expect in 2013:

-User Base: reach 300 million users worldwide during Q1 2013

-New features for users: sound recognition, integration of other app, multimedia timeline (more than pictures including video), free calls…

New features for brands already offering ads and opt-in marketing through official accounts ( providing  messages with information and/or promotion for users)

-Increasing use of the app for Marketing campaigns

Development of plugs-in, integration of other applications, bridges for data from other services

Expansion of local marketing to new countries like Japan, Brazil, Qatar, and Egypt. The United States is not likely to be targeted by local marketing but through Chinese students in the USA.

ePayments and eCommerce: 1D scan and image recognition could become accesses to  mobile commerce through partners or not

WeChat 2013 Applications Marketing Commerce Expansion

WeChat 2013 Applications Marketing Commerce Expansion

We don’t know yet if Tencent will launch free calls.  This strategy would be a revolution against China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, and other international operators like Orange and AT&T. It should be considered to compete against Libon and also gain a competitive advantage against chat applications like Line, Kakao.

Consulting company VALUE 2020 believes the application has a great potential to become popular internationally.

Notice that the prediction we made about WeChat in June 2012 became reality: the user base exceeds now 200 million!

More predictions on mobile Chinese Internet here.

WeChat Voice New Version 1.2

Tencent released during Q4 2012 an updated version of WeChat Voice, a fun application that enables the user to record a short message and choice a type of voice of her/his choice. “Rap”, “Toilet”, “Robot”, “Alien” were among the choices of the first version.

The user can send the recorded voice message to her/his friends through chat or   message. Another great option is to add the application directly into WeChat.

With this update, the Chinese company added new choices like “Scream”.

WeChat Voice Version 1.2

WeChat Voice Version 1.2

Nielsen 2012 Social Media Report: Asia-Pacific first in Smartphone Usage

According to Nielsen, 47% of Asia-Pacific users are  interacting with social media while watching TV.

TV & Social Media 2012

TV & Social Media 2012

Asia-Pacific users and mainly Chinese users are often using different devices to access social media. They are very well connected using smartphones and tablets: 59 for Asia-Pacific against 33 for Europe.

Access to Social Media per device - 2012

Access to Social Media per device – 2012


China Mobile Shopping Market in Q3 2012

Mobile Taobao, and Tencent are top three players in the mobile shopping market in Q3 2012 with market shares of 75%, 5% and 3.6% respectively . They accounted for a total of 84% of market share.

mobile shopping China Q3 2012