Hi folks, we are back with our weekly edition of China’s Digital Digest, wherein we bring you weekly updates on China’s digital space. The report takes a quick glance at China’s complex and rapidly evolving social media landscape by providing updates on the latest happenings across the social media industry. Here are the major highlights of the report.
1. Tencent’s E-Commerce Drive Takes Off Via Wechat’s Short Video Function
Tencent Holdings, China’s video gaming and social media giant, saw its ubiquitous super app WeChat achieve significant growth in its live-streaming e-commerce business last year, thanks to the popularity of its TikTok-style short video function.
WeChat’s short video and live streaming function enabled the platform to record nearly triple gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2023, according to information released during the app’s annual Open Class Pro developer conference held in Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong province. While the platform’s exact GMV figures were not released, conference attendees were told that the number of orders made through WeChat’s video function – marketed as Channels – grew more than 244 percent in 2023 over the previous year.
2. Alibaba, TikTok Woo US With AI And Live-Streaming E-Commerce At CES
Chinese internet giants Alibaba Group Holding and TikTok each put their technological prowess on display at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, where their respective AI and live-streaming e-commerce products set the tone for how they plan to embed themselves further into daily life in overseas markets.
Alibaba.com launched its Smart Assistant feature at the world’s largest consumer electronics show, with computers set up around the centre of its booth to show how the embedded chatbot can help buyers navigate the sourcing website. On the other hand, ByteDance’s TikTok Shop booth inside the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, was set up with a live-streaming area where some influencers were invited to sell their wares directly from the trade show.
3. Alibaba’s Taobao And Tmall Group Pushes New AI Tools to Support Merchants
Alibaba Group Holding’s main e-commerce unit Taobao and Tmall Group (TTG) is beta testing artificial intelligence (AI) tools and functions for merchants on its Chinese online shopping sites, marking the first major move at the enterprise since a leadership reshuffle in December.
The TTG unveiled the new AI features, which are designed to improve services and attract new customers, at its “sellers’ conference” held in Hangzhou, capital of eastern Zhejiang province. TTG said AI models would be employed to transform Dianxiaomi, a customer service chatbot, to enhance seller-consumer interaction. That will include tasks such as pre- and post-sales service, data analysis and other online sales activities.
4. Honor of Kings Will Reopen Douyin Live Streaming
According to the official Weibo account of Honor of Kings, starting from January 21st, the Honor of Kings Douyin live streaming will be fully open. From January 14th to 17th is the technical testing period; from January 18th to 20th is the themed live streaming period, and Zhang Daxian, a top anchor for Honor of Kings, will have a continuous broadcast for three days.
Honor of Kings is a popular game under Tencent. According to Sensor Tower store intelligence data, in November 2023, Honor of Kings by Tencent earned a revenue of $193 million on global App Store and Google Play, ranking first on the global mobile gaming bestseller list.
According to a report by Chinese media outlet Caijing, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is in negotiations with Alibaba to acquire its food delivery platform, Ele.me. The acquisition is still in the discussion stage, and no final decision has been reached.
Ele.me is China’s second-largest food delivery platform. In April 2018, Alibaba Group announced its acquisition of Ele.me for $9.5 billion. At the time, Alibaba stated that this acquisition represented a significant breakthrough in its new retail strategy.
The vast and diverse nature of the Chinese Social Media space makes it incredibly challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments taking place. However, China’s Digital Digest brings you all the latest updates from there to keep you abreast of all the evolving trends.
To delve deeper into the findings of the January report, click here.