Retailer finds success by engaging with mobile consumers in non-metropolitan areas
Maimaibao, a Chinese online retail firm, has announced that it has received funding from several large organizations within China, including Tencent. The amount of funding the firm has received has not yet been revealed, but speculation suggests that it is somewhere around the $100 million mark. Maimmaibao has attracted attention for not being a typical online retailer. Instead of targeting consumers in large cities, it focuses on non-metropolitan areas where Internet access is not necessarily reliable. Notably, the firm has seen a great deal of mobile activity in these parts of China.
Feature phones can also participate in mobile shopping, even without access to a fast Internet network
The retailer manages to engage consumers where Internet access is lacking through its mobile website. This website is particularly accommodating to feature phones that only have access to 2G wireless networks. Many Chinese consumers that have these types of mobile devices live and work in places where they do not have access to a PC, making their phones a valuable shopping tool. Maimaibao has managed to find significant success in making itself open to these consumers, and this has attracted the attention of Tencent.
Tencent continues to fight for dominance in the mobile commerce space
Tencent is one of China’s largest Internet organizations and it has begun to focus quite heavily on mobile commerce. Tencent is working to establish a dominant presence in the mobile commerce space through its WeChat application and various other ventures. The company is currently clashing with Alibaba, which has also begun working to engage mobile consumers more aggressively in recent months. Tencent may be able to achieve its goals of mobile dominance by aligning itself with Maimaibao.
Maimaibao aims to develop new smartphone for its primary demographic in China
Maimaibao will use the funding it has received to develop a new smartphone under its Big Q brand name. This mobile device is meant to provide the company’s chief demographic — those living in non-metropolitan areas of China — with a mobile device that has more capabilities than typical feature phones.