Apps China News platforms WeChat

Facebook wants but can’t be Wechat

A few days ago, The Verge released an article explaining Facebook wants to be WeChat. Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook shifts its focus from a series of social apps to one-stop shop messaging service. Tencent’s WeChat, the largest social network in China, already combines all these functionalities and keeps developing new features. The main purposes are a singular app, all-purpose networks to leverage a wide range of other services, from mobile payments (WePay) to gaming to business contacts.

As digital students in China, we would like to reply to it and explain why, in our opinion, Facebook can’t be WeChat.

A quick reminder of Facebook and WeChat

Facebook started out as the website and application to use for connecting to friends, acquaintances, follow brands and organizations’ pages for the latest updates.  They rapidly spread, improved their features and the UX design. And, that’s it.

While Facebook was spreading worldwide and conquering different markets, Tencent was struggling to make WeChat more known internationally. Rather than giving up and limiting their service to messaging, Tencent asked its consumers what they want for WeChat. By listening to their consumers, WeChat has never stopped developing since that moment and is always a step ahead of its competitors.

WeChat has a monthly active user base of over 1 billion (in and out China) growing, while Facebook has been losing users for the past few years due to numerous scandals and its outdated design.

Factors in WeChat’s Success that Facebook can’t have

The success of WeChat is also due to the Chinese government subsidies’ help and many of its rivals have been blocked from running: Messenger, Line, Kakao Talk, What’s App among others. The competitor landscape has been considerably wiped. QQ, another Chinese Social Network App, remained its main competitor for the past few years.

Facebook will face several issues with the European Commission and the United States Congress which question Facebook becoming a monopoly. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed breaking-up Facebook and other tech giants as part of her presidential campaign. Moreover, they still compete with several other messaging apps.

One-single app? Yes. Mini-programs? Not yet.

Facebook with Instagram and What’s app divided WeChat’s basic features in different apps. They also have Terragraph (a Wi-Fi project) and Express Wi-Fi which convert people into Facebook users.

WeChat is already ahead of Facebook with its Mini-Programs. Brands aren’t required to develop apps and spend millions on it. Mini-Programs simplify the Customer Journey and cost less in development.

Lastly, Facebook and Instagram had a major breakdown worldwide last night and the situation is not back to normal for everyone. WeChat has yet to face such issues.

What’s your opinion on the topic? Are you familiar with WeChat?


Image credits: Walk the Chat

Fast Ascent of “the slow”

Welcome to the new “trendy” e-commerce platform made in China!
I know! Another one! I can hear you from here…“I was already lost with the others! Why am I keeping hearing e-commerce everywhere and all the time? “


My dears expats, or, China curious, you already know it. E-commerce begins to be unavoidable in every country of the Globe. In China, Chinese customers are using all these platforms daily, and, e-commerce is “the” Chinese lifestyle. If you try to understand China, you need to stop a moment on several Chinese platforms: but, today, we are going to zoom on one of the youngest one:


NetEase and his “baby” Kaola.

You probably read this name for the first time, or, you heard about NetEase but never Kaola, or, anyway these are just names for you, and concretely you are not Chinese, so you never used it.
You presumably think; so then, definitely, what is the name? We can say both, to be honest.
NetEase Inc. is a Group which is on the Chinese market for a long time now. They began to be known by commercialized PC, and then created a platform specialized on video games and finished by proposing to Chines consumers some Internet services. They were touching several markets at the same time, and consequently, had a lot of consumers.
In 2015, the Group introduced on the Chinese market.

“Kaola” meaning “koala” in Chinese. A little hint of humor, this mark was made to simplify the life of the consumer; so it was quite reasonable to take an animal known for its appearance and taking the lead.

Kaola: an animal not so quiet!

Not wanting to scatter, Kaola’s bias was focusing itself on one market and one target. The company wanted to give the possibility to the Chinese middle-class to buy products from big brands. These brands being the international and luxury brands of preferences.
This bias performs directly; the principal target liked this idea. They are the typical “new rich” Chinese customers interested by spending more money on quality or trends. Fast began to be “The” e-commerce cross-border platform.

Today, we can count four huge warehouses:
1. Hangzhou ( 56 000m2)
2. Zhengzhou ( 40 000m2)
3. Chongqing ( 30 000m2)
4. Ningbo ( 26 000m2)

Visiting the biggest one at Hangzhou is possible.
( Bus to Kaola+Site Visit+ Presentation and Q&A+Bus to the Azure Qiantang or Hangzhou East Railway Station+Aussie Drinks+Bus to Hangzhou East Railway)

These warehouses were a strong move and gave the opportunity to have free-trade zones.

The Kaola way

At his head, Zhang Lei (CEO), and, Sean Wang (vice-CEO)( who was the vice CEO of Amazon China.)
This incredible team didn’t want to retail everything has they concurrents but focussing on the high-level product:

“This business model enables consumers to purchase products at better prices and to save time in making their selection,” said Zhang Lei in the Digital Commerce 360 interview.

  • We can explain the growth of this company by interesting ideas that the company set up:
    Firstly, they improved the BtoC( Business to Costumers) experience with the delivery time.
    I remind you that we are talking about foreign products and so the platform are dealing with overseas e-retailers. Usually, the delivery time is 15 days to 20 days, thanks to the warehouses can deliver the product in 3 days.
  • Then, they facilitated the BtoB ( Business to Business) exchanges by speeding up the payment process. Habitually, brands are, most of the time, pay 3 months after the products have been sold. give them the possibility to pay them 7 days after the product arrives in the warehouse.
    Pretty impressive, but that can explain the growth of 63% of the company in such a short time.

An endearing Kaola…

By their actions, is a guarantee. This platform is sure for Chinese consumers.
In some interviews done by ChinaDaily, some consumers explain why they are using this platform:

“I like to know that what I am buying is a safe product,” said Chen Zhiyu, a 29-year-old new mother in Beijing, who has purchased everything from baby diapers to breast pumps on Kaola.

“I read in the news that Kaola has set up offices in many countries and has big warehouses in free-trade zones-they just can’t be fake. It ensures authenticity, and makes overseas purchases cheaper by circumventing commission from middlemen,” Chen said.

It’s Kaola who said it!

Yes, girls, or boy! The cosmetic, and health care is specialty. I mean, Chinese customers are attracted by the deals that the platform propose. 40% of their sells are cosmetic products.


In 2017, we can count 6.7millions products sold daily. The way they are trading give them the opportunity to put some exciting promotions.

So cosmetic lovers you know where to go…


China: Little Story of Well-Being

Are you in China? Do you plan to go soon? It is maybe the moment to try something else, or, be curious. Let’s go into something that we do not know or rather than, we think we know.

How much time each day are you seeing some “solutions” to feel better, to be better? In the street, in the subway, on the TV, on the internet, today, society is telling you to get better.

Yeah, we know!! The new vague, the new trend of these last years is “the healthy.” You hear your friends, your mom, your friends of friends…in short; people want to be healthy. They want to feel right about themselves.

So yes, now that you don’t feel good about yourself, you have plenty of solutions! All these companies are talking about different type of diet or different way to work out, what you need to do ? or don’t do? Or you can do? SO COMPLICATED!
You put so many efforts in something that, in the end, you don’t even remember why you began!

Firstly, before beginning anything, it can be good to understand what you are doing.
In China, traditional medicine is about that. I am not going to talk about a miracle solution; but, can we stop two seconds and think about something reasonable?
Let’s “scratch the surface ” you will see, you will maybe understand it, and it will perhaps give you another way to think.

During my first month in Shanghai, I was sick. Therefore, I went to see a doctor, but, this time, I tried traditional medicine. I asked several questions, and she answered me that before anything, I have to consider traditional Chinese medicine as prevention.

” If you are doing Chinese preventive medicine you will never really need to use it as a solution. “

This way of thinking is pretty interesting and maybe help you to have a new vision.

> The Well-Being Philosophy

The philosophy of this medicine has been based on the relationship between human life and the natural laws of the environment. The goal of all it, is being in perfect harmony.

In the book, Huang-di Nei-jing (Yellow Emperor’s book), it is explained that human life is closely related to the “mother nature.” Thus, harmony is the way to preserve human life from diseases.

Chinese have identified four substances essential to this harmony:

  •  “The Essence” :

    It is considered as the primary energy. This one allows growth and development. We can count two kinds of essences in us:
    – the natural essence.
    – the essence acquired.

  •  “The Qi” :

    It is considered as life energy. This one expresses itself by the movement. “The Qi” gives the pulse in the heart of beating.

  •  “The Blood”:

    This one completes “The Qi.” To understand well; we say that “The Blood” is nourishing “The Qi” and “The Qi” is what sets”The Blood” in motion.

  • “The psyche”:

    Simply represents the conscience.

After this little technical part, let’s come back about what we want. I think, in the end, we want all the same thing; The longevity.

The consequence of well-being is longevity and old age. Chinese medicine is focused on this point. How to live long?

Chinese medicine’s report is, therefore, today, human longevity is determined by the diseases that we can have but also the adverse conditions of life.
Consequently, firstly, to preserve well-being is very important, but also to restore the health if need be the two essential things to reach good longevity.

Now that you get the philosophy of the Chinese well-being, you maybe will try to know more, and how that way of thinking can benefit you in your everyday life.