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Fashion Forward in China’s Booming E-Commerce Market

Together also extends beyond the celebs: Retail + E-commerce, Gap + Taobao. A series of partnerships for brands to reach Chinese shoppers.

Today marks the splashy launch of the American fashion brand Gap in China. Gap’s first four stores (in Beijing and Shanghai) are accompanied by its e-commerce website,, as well as a storefront on the Taobao Mall. There’s also a star-studded social media campaign, with a famous Chinese actress (周迅), bloggers, and photography by the renowned Annie Leibovitz. Gap’s aggressive ‘day one’ e-commerce demonstrates the rising importance of reaching Chinese consumers online: B2C fashion e-commerce has grown by over 100% for the last 3 years. And beyond sales, it’s critical for brand image, customer discovery, and extending reach beyond retail outlets.

A number of pioneering Chinese players are focusing exclusively on e-commerce. VANCL is an online-only brand that offers decent quality apparel at low prices, capturing according to iResearch (excludes Taobao). VANCL is plastering the Chinese internet with its viral and performance-based advertising—it’s the largest advertiser on RenRen, one of China’s largest social networks. Another prime example is Mecox Lane (M18), which recently raised $129 million in its IPO on NASDAQ and surged up another 57% the next day. Another China B2C e-commerce player, DangDang, intends to launch this month. E-commerce should overtake gaming as the largest industry on the Chinese internet in the next few years.

Gap launches e-commerce on day one. 你好China.

The 800-pound gorilla in China e-commerce is Taobao, which started as C2C but is now also aggressively promoting its B2C Tmall. 33 apparel and accessories brands currently have official shops on the mall, including Nike, Adidas, Puma, UNIQLO, Jack & Jones, ESPRIT, and ONLY. Taobao is the online destination of choice for most Chinese shoppers, so it is essential for brands to a presence. Brands that fail to introduce themselves via e-commerce and Taobao are missing the China market.

BloggerInsight has just released a new report entitled Establishing E-Commerce in China: Apparel Edition, that features in-depth interviews with 62 experts at apparel brands, 3rd party retailers, logistics firms, and consulting firms.

Establishing E-Commerce in China: Apparel Edition Report

Purchase the Full Report – Price: USD 4,950

E-commerce in China has traditionally been dominated by consumer-to-consumer (C2C), but business-to-consumer (B2C) is now booming. Apparel B2C has grown pay for research paper at 100% per year for the last 3 years.

BloggerInsight conducted in-depth interviews with 62 experts at apparel brands, 3rd party retailers, logistics firms, and consulting firms.


Establishing E-Commerce in China: Apparel Edition Report


Insider statistics on China e-commerce of 6 top apparel brands
• UNIQLO, Jack & Jones / ONLY, VANCL, M18, Giordano, Li Ning
• Includes sales, orders (per day / year), SKUs, average basket, etc.
Top apparel retail platforms
• Taobao, Taobao Mall, Sasa City, Egospace, iHush, etc.
Establishing E-Commerce in China, from logistics to marketing
• Includes pricing for 3rd party logistics and software suppliers
Full report is in convenient, easy-to-use PPT format
• Bonus: 2 hours of consulting with a BloggerInsight analyst
• 230 additional slides above and beyond preview

Who should purchase the full report?
• Apparel brands looking to establish or expand their China e-commerce
• Investors considering China’s apparel e-commerce sector
• 3rd party retailers, e-commerce platforms, buying clubs & deal sites
• Logistics suppliers of apparel e-commerce
• Others who seek the inside scoop on China apparel e-commerce

PRICE: USD 4,950

5 Weibo "Must Follows" in the Tech Industry

In our last post we described Sina Weibo and listed the Top 5 Weibo’ers, with a famous Internet industry Weibo user as bonus.  Due to popular demand, we’re back with another Top 5 excellent Weibo’ers in the tech industry.

  1. 暴风冯鑫 is CEO of Baofeng, a Beijing based company that produces a popular media player. He writes about books he reads, how to manage one’s own business and how to be a excellent leader. He also shares his life with friends, taking Weibo chats with friends seriously.

  2. 邵亦波, a General Partner with Matrix Partners, writes about the ways to run a business but in the most cases he likes to share his own experiences.  He describes what happened to his wife when she moved from Taiwan to Shanghai. Popular topics are democracy and politics.
  3. 易观于扬 as Chairman of Analysys International uses Weibo to introduce conferences hosted by his company and their latest news.  He recommends books he reads and from time to time he discusses what happened in his life.
  4. 杨曦沦 is an expert on brand valuation. He uses his Weibo to share his views about e-commerce and brand management.
  5. 老郭007 works in the internet industry and likes to discuss popular industry events. Most of his updates are responses to others’ posts but he often makes very thought provoking comments.  He shares thoughts on life as well.

Bonus: 金山安全王欣 is CEO of Kingsoft Internet Security and perhaps the only female Weibo’er in the Internet industy with great influence. Her initial Weibo popularity was because of the war amongst security software providers. She used Weibo as a platform to clarify the events as quickly as possible. Following this issue she seldom talks about the security market in China. Instead, she  enjoys forwarding Weibo posts from other users in different industries.

As always, if you have other suggestions please share them in the comments!

Sina Weibo: 5 Must Follows

Sina Weibo is a Chinese micro-blog network like Twitter. It has the nickname “scarf” because “weibo” which means microblog also has the same Chinese pronounciation as “scarf”. According to the research from SIG, the number of  the registered accounts reached 15 million to 20 million in the first half of 2010.

Similar to Twitter there is a 140 character limit on Weibo but when using Chinese characters this allows for a bit more content. Users can also share photos, videos and music in posts. The background can be customized and users can add up to 10 phrases as their tags, through which they can find friends with same hobbies or interests.

Weibo updates can be displayed on several blog sites (Sina blog, NetEase blog, Qzone, WordPress, Blogbus). In addition, users can also tie Sina Microblog with instant messengers like MSN, Gtalk, UC and QQ.  Recently Sina Microblog has cooperated with Kaixin001 and, which means Weibo posts can be synchronized withKaixin001 and

Top 5 Weibo Must-follows:

  1. Yao Chen, a famous actress, became the first Weibo user to have more than 1 million followers on February 10, 2010. It is interesting that Yao Chen is not the top actress in China but she is very popular among Chinese young netizen. Her posts center around her daily life and fans perhaps like her so much because she interactions a lot with normal users.
  2. 小S, A top hostess in Taiwan, is famous for her bold talk. Now she and her older sister 大S are both the top Weibo’ers. People like to watch her interact with other actors and actresses.
  3. Zhao Wei, Another famous actress, became the second user with more than 1 million fans on March 10, 2010. She is a frank person which is why people follow her.
  4. Cai kangyong is a top host in Taiwan. His TV show with 小S is really very popular. People follow him not only because his interaction between 大S and 小S, but also because he always write something about love and society, which ease people’s heart.

  5. 黄健翔 is one of the best-known sports commentators. Huang Jian Xiang is the first media star on Sina Weibo and has posted a lot. At one point because he forwarded (retweeted) too many items, many people complained he was a photocopier and even stopped his Sina Microblogger for a while. Recently he’s become popular again.

BONUS:  Li kaifu is the first business user who has fans more than 1 million followers. He announced news that he would leave Google and set up his own business, which gave Sina Weibo a lot of press.

Barcamp Shanghai: Chinese Netizen Speak

BloggerInsight enjoyed attending barcamp earlier this month.  Huiyu and Xiepan gave a presentation about hip Chinese netizen speak.

In order to give the audience a grasp the Chinese Internet culture in a short time, we selected some of the typical online slang. Now let’s take a quick look at the Top 3 phrases.

杯具Bēi Jù – Cup: The literal meaning is a collective term of cups. Because it is homophone with the Chinese word for “tragedy” (they sound the same), people like to use this word to say that something bad has happened.  For example, “Today I’m such a tragedy!”.  Now the image of a cup can also indicate the same meaning.

打酱油dǎ jiàng yóu – Getting soy sauce:  Originally from a CCTV news interview. A man on the street was asked about his opinion towards Edison Chen photo scandal, he replied, “It’s none of my business. I’m just on my way to get some soy sauce.” Now people use it to express an attitude that they don’t care about some boring stuff, like “that gossip is boring, I’m just getting some soy sauce”.

Jiǒng – Brightness: It shows vividly a downcast face. Although the original meaning is brightness, people like the amusing image very much. When people get embarrassed or shocked, they use the word to “show” others their facial expression. Now the word can be seen almost everywhere, in ads, in books, in art & design, etc.  “I’m so embarrassed JIONG!”

If you have any question about this topic or you want to share your favorite netizen speak, please feel free to leave a comment.

Job Posting: Chinese Tech Researcher, a fast-growing internet startup in Shanghai, seeks a full-time research analyst. Responsibilities include researching web business models, playing social games (比如开心农场), translating Chinese language material, and writing articles for international tech blogs. Candidates should be keen on analysis of the Chinese web: e-commerce, social networks, games, and blogs.

BloggerInsight works with expert bloggers to provide market intelligence to the hottest web businesses in China. Our global clients (China, US, Germany, Vietnam, Russia, Australia, etc.) include fashion brands, social game developers, social networks, universities, and venture capital firms. » Read the rest of this entry

China's Top 4 Social Networks: RenRen, Kaixin001, Qzone and

Originally posted at VentureBeat

There is no single dominant network, no Facebook for all of China. The actual is blocked by government censors (Chinese sites all obediently and quickly remove “objectionable” content). No single social network will conquer the China market in the immediate future, least of all a foreign one.

Instead, there is fierce competition between the top four:

  • RenRen (formerly Xiaonei) copied the Facebook model: it started with students and has since opened to all.
  • Kaixin001 attracted white-collar office workers by focusing on fun, addictive social games.
  • Qzone gained young teens and rural users via cross-promotional traffic from QQ Messenger.
  • started strong in lower tier cities, but growth has since slowed.

This post will assess market share, profile the top four, and boldly predict the future. » Read the rest of this entry

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China’s Tencent: $1.8 billion in 2009 revenues—what Facebook could learn

Originally posted at VentureBeat

Tencent, a Chinese internet giant in instant messaging, social networks, and mobile, posted $1.8 billion in 2009 revenues, an increase of 74% from a year ago. For the record, that’s about three times Facebook’s estimated $600-700 million in 2009 revenues.

Tencent’s flagship product, QQ Messenger (with a cute penguin logo), is the first introduction to the internet for most Chinese teens. It claims a whopping 523 million active users. Tencent then cross-promotes its other online offerings: QQ Show, QQ Game, QQ Music, QQ Pets, and its social network, Qzone.

Tencent is the undisputed world leader in micropayments. Each QQ service is connected to a “diamond membership” of a different color, that offers free and exclusive virtual goods.

For instance, the “red diamond” membership helps you dress up your avatar for face-offs against other online fashionistas in QQ Show. About 10% of Tencent’s active users pay for such memberships, which cost around $1.50 per month. Over 75% of total revenues come from these “internet value-added services,” which grew 94% in 2009. » Read the rest of this entry

3 Reasons Why Tencent’s Qzone, the Largest Social Network in China, is a Failure

Qzone, “the largest social network in China,” and Tencent’s other SNS (QQ Campus and Xiaoyou), are failures for three reasons:

  1. Squandered Opportunity: Chinese internet giant Tencent was enviously positioned to dominate social networking, but blew its chance. QQ Campus failed. Xiaoyou is far behind the competition. Qzone does not reach any new demographics.
  2. The Site’s Design and Features are Lousy: The Qzone website is an unintuitive eyesore. Its applications are of poor quality and frequently inaccessible.
  3. Is Qzone Really No. 1? Tencent’s claim of 305 million active users is highly suspect; even its classification as an SNS is questionable. Its competitors are encroaching upon its core user base of young teens.

Does this mean Tencent will soon collapse? Absolutely not. » Read the rest of this entry

BloggerInsight 2.0 Launch Party

Well hello there, Tiger! BloggerInsight is starting this year off with a bang by launching a new version of our website.  We’ve graduated out of “beta” and want to say thanks to the people who make this possible: our bloggers.  So come join us in our recently improved co-working office 88 spaces for a casual meet up (you know.. tweetup, social gathering, “networking event”, par tay!). If the weather’s good we’ll expand to the roof garden.

We’re going to have a lot of beverages and snacks so please bring fellow bloggers, twitter’ers, entrepreneurs, creatives and “friends”.  It should be fun, we hope you can join us. » Read the rest of this entry