Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Commerce China Part 2:– ‘Talk to me in Internet’

China is booming - and merchants are using social media, multi-media and web sites in innovative ways to reach the growing potential consumer base.  All signs point to a market moving towards differentiation.

Our commerce sessions during Oracle Open World in Shanghai were chock-full.  The experience was surreal with what looked like a DJ box at the at the back of the room containing two humans, translating simultaneously to audience-members wearing headsets.  My only tip if you ever find yourself presenting in this situation is to avoid jokes – the timing is all off.

But I digress.  My greatest curiosity while interacting with the audience was – what are their end customers seeking today?

I found that the Chinese consumer wants to be transfixed and beguiled, all while in transit.  They seem to be the ultimate mobile users.

I was personally frustrated in Shanghai by being unable to post my beautiful and ‘bizarre-to-me’ meals on Facebook, leading me to understand why every one of the social media channels familiar to me in North America and Europe have a Chinese-specific counterpart.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Vimeo, Blogger, Blogspot, Hulu and Skype are all blocked in China.  This is leading to a China-specific tech boom as the local Chinese versions grow and prosper. 

Youku – Chinese Youtube - I should have been spending some of that down time visiting Youku, the Chinese version of Youtube. Youku has started  innovative methods of product placement in original videos.  Because of the relatively low number of home-owned recording devices and subsequent low volume of user-created content, much of the content on Youku is produced by brands.  

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