Category Archives: Chinese Internet

Alibaba & Big Data Services: Alimama

After doing financial services, insurance, now Alibaba decided to invest in big data services: Alimama is an Alibaba marketing platform. The firm held a meeting to discuss big data’s influence on marketing transformation.

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Alimama wants to build a technology-driven big data marketing ecosystem, making more people to use and share data therefore achieving media advertising value and brand marketing effect.

The marketing system centered on DMP (Data Management Platform) will improve enterprises’ data usability more effectively. Precision marketing brought by big data would optimize media advertising value continuously.

In 2014, Alimama will focus on developing video and wireless resources, wireless marketing will be integrated into game, weather, food and drink and photo apps without interfering consumers. Alimama becomes a crucial link in Alibaba’s O2O wireless marketing plan.

Sources:

http://www.alimama.com/

Facebook is Getting Users but also New Data

With the deal, Facebook enlarge its user base in countries in many countries and particularly in Brazil and India where Whatsapp is very strong. Owning the messaging service will give Facebook access to additional data.

Facebook Users & New Users from Emerging Markets

Facebook will get more information & data on users in emerging markets thanks to the acquisition: Whatsapp is more popular than Facebook in Brazil, India & Mexico.

With the acquisition, Facebook aims for better engagement with users, in particular in emerging markets. If Facebook succeeds in maintaining and building high user engagement with WhatsApp, it could drive those users to Facebook where they will see ads, potentially targeted with data enriched by WhatsApp use.

Whatsapp Privacy Protection & No Advertising Policy

In a June 2012 blog post, Jan Koum explained why the messaging service doesn’t sell ads. “Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it,” & “Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.”

The privacy policy says the app doesn’t gather names, addresses, emails or location data, and the only contact information obtained from users’ mobile contact lists are contact numbers. The service also purges message content. “The contents of messages that have been delivered by the WhatsApp Service are not copied, kept or archived by WhatsApp in the normal course of business,” states the policy.

For now, WhatsApp promises the service will remain free of advertising. In a February 2014 blog post, the firm reaffirmed its policy: “And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”.

However, WhatsApp’s terms of service in the Android ecosystem requires users to approve access to lots of other types of information including geographic location, contacts stored on the phone, personal profile data from contact information, and device ID. Apple iOS users are asked to approve collection of contacts and allow push notifications such as alerts.

Data in general was not really WhatsApp’s focus but this could change…

Sharing data with Facebook

Facebook’s revenue streams, in part, depends on the massive storehouse of data it harvests on its users around the globe. Therefore, Facebook could decide to alter Whatsapp privacy policy or establish data collection permissions to facilitate sharing of user data with Facebook.

The main piece of data WhatsApp needs to enable its service is a mobile phone number. Facebook can use this piece of data for its services like Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Facebook may be interested in determining degrees of closeness among people. Many people have submitted their mobile phone numbers to Facebook and the firm could connect that information to data from WhatsApp to learn more about which users interact more often with one another based on how frequently they are in contact on WhatsApp.

Conclusion

The price of acquisition of Whatsapp is justified by the will of Facebook to keep the lead in global social network. For sure, Whatsapp has to improve the service to make it more social because the competition is strong. WeChat & Line are successful in Asia. Telegram has been strongly downloaded even more since the purchase of Whatsapp by Facebook. Whatsapp could decide to do money transferring and electronic payment and the app would be competing succesfully with WeChat (微信 in Chinese)

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The coming months should be very interesting.

WeChat Value and Money-Maker

In 2011, WeChat (微信 in Chinese) started off as a messaging service, similar to WhatsApp but with more functions, and has grown rapidly into much more. We already explained that year 2014 will be the year of monetization for WeChat.

Free CRM Tool for Brands

At the moment, the application allows companies to send occasional, targeted messages to some users without charge. In the future, VALUE2020 predicts it might ask for a fee.

 

Payment & e-Commerce

The application integrates money-making services like online-payment functions into it. Customers can do their banking through it and a wealth-management service has just been launched. It is also promoting e-commerce: during a recent sale held exclusively on WeChat, Xiaomi, China’s hottest smartphone-maker, is said to have sold 150,000 of its latest model in under ten minutes.

WeChat payments are accepted in locations all over China. For example, you can find vending machine using WeChat. Instead of using cash to pay, the buyer opens WeChat and points its smartphone camera at a QR code. The app then reads the QR code, and charges the WeChat user for the price of the product. Then the product comes out.

 

 Conclusion

We can say this Chinese application is the most advanced messaging application in the world.

2014: the Year of Monetization for WeChat

The VALUE2020 predicts that year 2014 will be the Year of Monetization for Chinese mobile application WeChat.

In addition to exclusive sales on WeChat like the operation for Xiaomi smartphones, WeChat added in 2013 a store to buy stickers, and above a payment system which open the door to mobile commerce as expected by VALUE2020 back in 2011.

Last year, we predicted the introduction of mobile payment and continuous growth. Almost all the predictions are reality today and next year will be fascinating as well.

What to expect in 2014:

  • Development of micro-payments, Tencent great strength
  • Additional applications within the WeChat app
  • Partnerships with big names (We cannot talk today ;-))

etao, the other social discovery of Alibaba Group

Weibo is not the only social tool of e-commerce group Alibaba, they have also etao.

etao.com, Alibaba Group’s social shopping platform, is 58th website in China according to Alexa. It is a place dedicated to discovery through images.

Social shopping websites allow users to post photos of items on virtual pin boards, which others can comment on. Some sites allow users to purchase some of the items by clicking on the photos.

Unlike other U.S. social shopping websites like Pinterest, all the items on etao can be purchased through its two main e-commerce websites, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace.

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In China,  social shopping websites, such as Mogujie, LinkChic  have been launched but are not successful like etao. Meilishuo is doing better being ranked 220th website in China.

Over the long run, social commerce in China will be bigger than the United States.

We don’t know yet how successful the service will be on smartphones in the years to come. Chat app called Wemeet was launched by Sina to get more smartphone users in Alibaba world.

The Fight for Smartphone Users: Global App for Free Communication

6 months after a post called Messaging App: The War for Users on Mobile Goes On!  Chat applications are still fighting for users.

Whatsapp is the winning currently the race even though WeChat and Line are very powerful. We should see a fight mostly between Whatsapp and WeChat as of now.

The app called Facebook Messenger has lost some ground since May 2013 compared to Whatsapp.

WeChat launched a French version in October.

Click on the map to zoom / enlarge

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