Tag Archives: mobile

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

WeChat in French / WeChat en français


Since the last version, the French speaking community, lovers of Twitter, are now able to use WeChat in French. The potential is huge in France, the country of Minitel, bip bop, Concorde… Believe it or not French people love technology and innovation. The Chinese app has 500 million users of which half active. The chat app is ranked second after Line (this ranking does not includes Facebook).


Depuis la version mise en ligne le 24 octobre 2013, la communauté française, adepte de Twitter, est maintenant capable d’utiliser l’application mobile WeChat qui connait un succès phénoménal en Asie. L’application de messagerie instantanée a une base de 500 millions d’utilisateurs dont la moitié active, elle se place juste derrière Whatsapp et devant Line.



Laiwang, New Chat Application by Alibaba

Laiwang is a new mobile application now launched and will compete with wechat, whatsapp, wemeet, line, twitter, sinaweibo, and facebook. It is very similar to WeChat.



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?

Rising Use of QR Codes in China

KPCB published a new report of Internet trends for 2013 in May 2013 through Mary Meeker and Liang Wu. This report confirms predictions of VALUE2020 as mobile usage (code scanning) and WeChat.


Below the summary as stated by them on their website:

“There are now 2.4 billion Internet users around the world, and the total continues to grow apace. Mobile usage is expanding rapidly, while the mobile advertising opportunity remains largely untapped. The report reviews the shifting online landscape, which has become more social and content rich, with expanded use of photos, video and audio. Looking ahead, the report finds early signs of growth for wearable computing devices, like glasses, connected wrist bands and watches – and the emergence of connected cars, drones and other new platforms.”


In this report, they explain Chinese users now scans 9 million QR Codes every month, up from 2 million last year. This is, in part, explained by the expansion of WeChat that includes a QR code scanner. 9 million a month is a small number for China and we should expect this number multiplied in the dozen of months to come.

A QR Code makes it more convenient for Chinese users to operate their smartphones. In general, VALUE2020 believes a QR Code is one of the accesses to mobile commerce. Therefore, it will be an important tool for mobile Internet use in the near future.


Any user with a payment application like Alipay on their smartphone can pay with their phone in offline stores by scanning the QR code on the products and entering their  account name and password.

As well as being a new way for people to get access to goods and services, scanning QR Codes is becoming fashionable among mobile users.


The usage of QR Codes is endless: payments for products, redeem coupons, access to practical information like transport times or any information related to a product, social networking like WeChat and information discovery.



KPCB, Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, URL: http://www.kpcb.com/insights/2013-internet-trends

Messaging App: The War for Users on Mobile Goes On!

We explained the competitive environment of messaging applications: Line, Viber, Skype, Kakao Talk, Whatsapp, WeChat, Libon, Facebook Messenger

Below is the current trend, Whatsapp loosing dominance mainly due to WeChat. The Chinese application could take time away from Facebook as well.



We explained back in 2012 that Chinese expansion was a beginning. WeChat is first Chinese mobile application with international success.



More about the split China-the USA with e-commerce