Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The New Economic Dynamics in China with Mixed Trends

The articles I read this week, “Ten IT-enabled Business Trends for the Decade Ahead” and “The Four Global Forces Breaking all the Trends”, concisely summarize the most valuable and critical business trends for the next decade. To some extent, they make me realize the services and business models people use in China are leading and reshaping the world. Many countries, companies and investors are worried about China’s slowing down GDP growth, new capital liquidity control, devaluing currency or outflow investments; however, the new economic dynamics are still empowering China’s economy and attracting people to this largest emerging market.

Here I want to review a digital business model and new market events that can represent mixed new trends and forces discussed in those articles.    

The first one is mobile payment, advertising and O2O system with advanced big data analytics. As stated in the first article, “Big data and advanced analytics have swiftly moved from the frontier of our trends to a set of capabilities that need to be deeply embedded across functions and operations,” it is now well integrated into Chinese mobile payment, advertising and O2O system. Chinese mobile payments were nearly 50 times greater than those in the US last year.[1] While Applepay fails to capture a large market share in China, Alipay and WeChat Payment are frequently used by Chinese people on a daily basis. Young generations can almost fully replace credit cards and cash with mobile payment apps by directly paying in different offline scenarios or ordering through O2O apps. In WeChat moments, thus Tencent can provide targeting advertising services based on the huge consumer data they monitor in the real-time and further interact with O2O apps. For example, Starbucks can send out discounts information through WeChat Moments to those who are near the local stores or those who live not so near but like to use O2O apps to do the “last mile” businesses (let a special carrier to buy and deliver the coffee). Luxury brands like Channel and Gucci, will only display their ads in the Moments of rich groups targeted by previous payment data and all consumer behaviors within WeChat. This system truly engages China’s new digital citizens about 30 million and facilitates “buying and selling as digital commerce leaps ahead.”

In the financial area, China’s new stock links proves the idea in the second article that the trade center is gradually shifting from the West to Asia countries, reinforcing the global connections. Huge Chinese investments have poured into Hong Kong market after Shanghai-HK stock link and Shenzhen-HK stock link opens, and now London-Shanghai stock link is also on track with the help of technologies to overcome time difference and expected to open soon.[2] Those events also add new dynamics to Chinese economy, indicating that China will keep going global in the future.

Finally, those business models and market event are all on-going process. Companies like Tencent keeps adjust their long-term strategy by stress testing new ideas on WeChat. The current stock links make new records from time to time. Similar as the articles’ statement, those trends need to be constantly monitored and updated in this fast-changing environment, as one day they will become mainstreams.  

[1] Wildau, G. (2017, February 13). China mobile payments dwarf those in US as fintech booms. Retrieved April 04, 2017, from
[2] Team, E. (2016, November 11). London-Shanghai Stock Connect gets green light; fintech bridge to China agreed. Retrieved April 04, 2017, from

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