Category Archives: Internet Strategy

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.


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.



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.


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)


The coming months should be very interesting.

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 ;-))

EXCLUSIVE MAP – The Successful Wine Mobile App Vivino, a Hit in the World but not in China

Released on iOS in January 2011, Vivino is a Wine App offering an easy way to remember wines you tasted as well as to discover new favorites.

To find the wine in the database, you use the app to scan the label. It’s backed by a database of more than a million wines, so you can expect to get a match after scanning a wine label to add to your virtual cellar.

The Vivino app includes the following features:

  • Get personalized wine recommendations based on your taste (the more ratings the better suggestions)
  • Follow the featured users: chosen to provide you with inspiration, knowledge and better wines
  • Find more friends via address book, Gmail, Twitter or Facebook
  • Drinking window: know when to drink your wines
  • Add wines to your Wish List, for next occasion
  • Organize your wines: filter your wine list by date, price or ratings
  • Add your Bio and let others know who you are

The free app offers a $4.99 Pro in-app upgrade that unlocks several premium features. With Vivino Pro, you can keep track of your wine collection, find wines using text search, and get in the fast track for manual matching.

The mobile app experiments a growing traffic with an estimated 6 million scans for December 2013.  Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands love the application but not China. There is no version in Mandarin Chinese therefore it explains the very low number of downloads and usage in Mainland China. In addition, content cannot be shared with Weibo followers or WeChat contacts.

Below is an EXCLUSIVE MAP:

Vivino in the World

Yixin, New Entrant in Mobile Market

According to AppAnnie, the volume of downloads of Mobile app called Yixin is high in China:


China Telecom and NetEase established a joint venture to create the application called Yixin, with the former controlling 73% of the company. Email and cloud music services provided by NetEase are integrated in it.

Yixin has the same functions as current chat apps on the market (Line, WeChat).

China Telecom has used its position of Telecom provider to include some differentiating features into the app: Yixin supports sending voice messages to any mobile or fixed-line numbers for free: this is a strong competitive advantage against leading app called WeChat. This is useful for communicating with the older-generation who may not be as mobile-phone-savy.

Line and now WeChat offers stickers to buy inside the application. On Yixin, stickers are all free. This offering of free stickers is powerful in Asia where stickers are very popular. But how Yixin will monetize the application?

Google and Facebook Accelerate Road to Mobile Commerce 1/2

The strategy of US firms is slightly different from Chinese firms. Their scales are bigger and moving slower but stronger than Chinese stakeholders.

In China, Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, found SinaWeibo has a partner taking shares into the social network. Tencent develops WeChat as a social power for purchasing on QQbuy and other partners websites.

In the USA, Google and Facebook are deploying their respective strategy.

Google integrates all of its products one unique service: for instance, social elements collected through actions and interactions are now seen in the gmail box (Social tab).



Today, Google+, Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps between other services are free because the value is in the actions of the user who discloses what she/he is doing.

Google now is the service using those data and in the same time collecting new data.

Google Moto X is the device.

Google Android is the operating system.

And tomorrow you will drive your Google car with Google Maps listening Google Music and thinking what you will buy on Google store.

E-Commerce – B2C – Strategy of Jingdong Mall (360buy)

Suning, Dangdang, Tencent (QQbuy) and Amazon China face tough competition from Jingdong Mall (also called JD and 360buy previously).

In 2012, the company reached sales of USD 9.7 billion. The goal for year 2013 is  USD 16 billion.

The current strategy of JD is to enhance the company’s business through e-commerce, logistical & technological platforms, and online finance. A partnership with a social network will be difficult: SinaWeibo is already the partner of TMall and WeChat is logically the future partner of QQBuy.


More about

Jingdong is a leading integrated network of retail business. The seller is committed to providing high-quality suppliers and service platform for consumers providing rich quality products, convenient services and affordable prices.

JD creates trust by the majority of users using it. Trust is essential in mobile commerce.  Jingdong has millions of premium users, operating thousands of goods brands, more than 200 million daily visits. Jingdong website was more visited than TMall website in May 2013.

Jingdong self-built logistics system is strong consisting of seven large logistics centers, storage centers in 27 cities, nearly 1,000 distribution stations , 300 from mentioning dots, covering 1076 administrative districts. guarantees same day delivery with real-time item tracking on maps via mobile devices.