Summary of China’s Mobile Economy

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China’s surge in mobile means the world’s largest e-commerce economy is quickly becoming fully digitized. Author Winston Ma, a managing director of China’s sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation, describes the country’s turbocharged mobile e-commerce market and its ongoing technological revolution. getAbstract recommends his eye-opening report to anyone doing business with China, anyone who wants to and everyone working in e-commerce.

About the Author

Winston Ma is a managing director of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund.



The Giant Tencent

At the Spring Festival marking the Lunar New Year, the Chinese traditionally give their relatives and friends hongbao – red envelopes filled with money – for good luck. In 2014 (the Year of the Horse), the Chinese e-commerce firm Tencent used its WeChat social network platform to create a digital version of the red-envelope tradition. People could send digital red envelopes linked to online banks and other payment sources through WeChat Pay. The hongbao recipients could use the virtual cash for e-commerce purchases such as mobile taxi-hailing.

Tencent gave away animated red-envelope gifts to many potential new users of its mobile payment system. Recipients had to download Tencent’s payment app to their mobile devices to claim the gifts. The promotion required recipients to “grab” the online envelopes quickly, transforming a passive experience – receiving a physical red envelope – into a proactive one – downloading an app to get the gift. Participants found the program fun and easy to join.

WeChat users could share their gift money with their WeChat group friends. An app algorithm allocated the money randomly to each member of a group...

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