With most Chinese users going mobile-first and mobile-only, more e-commerce startups have tapped into the Chinese mobile e-commerce market. The latest company to file for a Hongkong IPO is Weimob 微盟, which is based in Shanghai, and helps to build storefronts on the Tencent-owned WeChat platform.
Tencent listed in Hong Kong in 2004, and many of the companies it has invested in have also listed in Hong Kong. The leading Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, is listed both in Hong Kong and the US.
Tencent owns 3.43% of Weimob. Weimob‘s business services include cloud services, search marketing and discoverability for its clients’ products and services, transaction processing and inventory management. The company was founded in 2013; the WeChat platform was launched in 2011. Its 2017 revenue was 534 million yuan.
The two leading payment transaction platforms are WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay. Both systems use the camera built into mobile phones to scan QR codes, and have been instrumental in making Chinese consumers go largely cashless since their introduction in 2013/2014.
Alibaba has traditionally been strong in e-commerce, while Tencent has been strong in consumer social media with QQ, then later with WeChat. Currently there is a battle between Alibaba and Tencent in courting e-commerce partners to build their shops on their respective platforms. Some companies build on both platforms, out of fear that it is too early to take sides yet or lose customers.
A recent entrant into e-commerce has been Pinduoduo which was founded in 2015, and has targeted e-commerce through group-buying in Chinese rural areas and lower-tier cities. Pinduoduo entered what were underserved markets by co-marketing with OPPO and vivo, two mobile phone brands which also targeted rural markets and lower-income consumers which had not yet bought smartphones. Their strategy was to sell full-featured mobile phones at significantly lower price points than their name-brand mobile phone competitors. Pinduoduo saw explosive growth from this move, and recently filed to go public in the US.
For more details, please visit here.