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Baozun Inc., the leading brand ecommerce solutions provider in China, today announced that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with CJ O Shopping, reports Yahoo Finance.

CJ O Shopping is a division of the CJ Group, a Korean culture and lifestyle conglomerate, to establish an ecommerce joint venture. The joint venture will leverage each company’s respective market leading position and resources in ecommerce operations, marketing and logistics to bring popular Korea brands to Chinese consumers.

Baozun will take a controlling 51% stake in the joint venture and leverage its position as China’s leading brand ecommerce solutions provider.

Through its division CJ O Shopping, CJ Corporation will be responsible for brand selection and launch in China.

CJ Corporation History

Founded in 1953, CJ Corporation is the largest international comprehensive culture and life-style conglomerate in Korea with a diverse number of brands under management across a variety of industries including a number of brands that have been successfully launched in China such as food and food services, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

The joint venture will act as an important channel for the introduction of Korean products to Chinese consumers and potentially Chinese products to Korean consumers in the future.

Baozun helps brands execute effective ecommerce strategies. This partnership will leverage Baozun’s know-how in operations with CJ O Shopping’s vast brand network. Korean brands will be able to test the waters of selling online to Chinese consumers without having to invest in a full blown local strategy.

A version of this appeared in Yahoo Finance on July 28. Read the full version here. 

Glispa expands to Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is very mobile driven, easily seen on public transport. Source: Vulcanpost.com

After three years of executing mobile marketing campaigns in Southeast Asia, German based mobile marketing specialist Glispa Global Group is making a commitment to the region with a HQ in Singapore. It has also appointed former Google executive Christian Ngyuen as its Southeast Asia General Manager, Digital News Asia reports. The company has been executing mobile advertising campaigns in the region since 2013, but with Southeast Asia’s apparent mobile growth and potential, Glispa sees concrete opportunities here.

The company supports global advertisers, app developers and publishers to achieve user acquisition and monetization goals via marketing efforts with mobile. It also provides technology based solutions that tap into big data analytics, which will now be applied to Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and emerging mobile markets such as Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The countries make up a very interesting market for Glispa, as there are different levels of opportunities and challenges within the region, with Singapore’s mature mobile market, Indonesia’s hyper-growth market, and emerging markets with a mobile first mentality such as Thailand.

By 2019, more than 50% of digital ad spending will be attributed to mobile, which means there will be a vast extent of opportunities for Glispa to optimize in the region. Mobile advertising opportunities will grow steadily with smartphone penetration. According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, almost half of Thailand’s smartphone users access social networking and online videos on a daily basis. Smartphone subscription in Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam will more than double by 2021, making the region a mobile marketing goldmine.

Glispa has had extensive experience working with companies in the region, it has executed mobile marketing campaigns for Lazada, Shopee, Gumi and Matahri Mall. Glispa is getting a head start in Southeast Asia in terms of a mobile marketing initiative, which means it has potential to become a key regional player.

A version of this appeared in Digital News Asia on June 29. Read the full article here.

LINE And WeChat Boost Mobile Marketing

Source: wsj.com

Marketing on mobile messaging apps has yet to take root in the US and Europe in a big way, but it is already in full swing in Asia. The operators of Line and WeChat, Asia’s most popular chat apps, are enabling marketers to tap into platforms that provide hundreds of millions of users with a variety of customized services beyond messaging, including hailing taxis, streaming music, ordering food and making payments.

Unlike its Asian counterparts, Facebook Inc. doesn’t make money from its two mobile messaging services, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. But both apps are testing models that could potentially generate revenue, such as showing users messages sponsored by advertisers.

Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based mobile industry consultant, comments,

In terms of monetization, the messenger apps in Asia like WeChat and Line are light years ahead of Western messaging apps. 

Advertisements accounted for a third of LINE’s $1.1 billion in revenue last year. The company also earned revenue from mobile games and virtual stickers that people can buy and send to one another in conversations. The platform allows businesses to create official accounts for free, for instance, brands can set up a LINE account to stay in touch with its consumers, allowing them to be updated on promotions, launches and general news about the brand. Some accounts use LINE to directly communicate with consumers.

The company has also recently begun providing optimized advertisements based on user demographics and interests.

WeChat has more than 762 million monthly active users world-wide, mainly in China. Many businesses communicate with consumers and share discount coupons to draw people to their products, for example, luxury fashion brand Chanel used WeChat to interact with fashion show guests in May, sharing videos and snapshots of its new collection on the messaging platform.

Although the two messaging platform giants are pushing the boundaries of mobile marketing and creating new opportunities for brands to elevate consumer experience, both LINE and Wechat are struggling to expand beyond its core user base, serving as a bottleneck to their growth as game-changers. However, as they continue to influence how brands interact with consumers, they remain key mobile players in Asia.

A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on June 22. Read the full article here.

Sigve Brekke, Head of Asian Operations at Telenor Group with DTAC CEO Lars Norling Source: Telenor.com

Sigve Brekke, Head of Asian Operations at Telenor Group with Dtac CEO Lars Norling, Source: Telenor.com

Thailand’s most popular mobile carriers, Dtac and AIS are pushing new data driven initiatives as data has surpassed traditional voice services as their key revenue mainstay. As Southeast Asia becomes more inherently focused on using internet on mobile, demands for data bundle deals will surge.

“Today we are experiencing a big, important shift from voice to data and digital,” CEO of Dtac Lars Norling told the press conference

The shift from voice to data and digital means mobile carriers shifting marketing strategies as heavy data users will be loyal to companies that provide them with the best deals. This explains why Dtac partners with YouTube to offer unlimited streaming in one of its packages.

Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile carrier, also follows suit with a new prepaid sim card that offers 500MB a month of free internet access and 2GB of Youtube viewing.

AIS data revenue increased 21% in Q1 of ths year while voice revenue dropped 17%.

The big mobile carrier players have the capacity to expand, but with stocks down by more than 30 percent from 2015, it will be difficult to convince investors that their growth in a data driven market is viable.

Thai smartphone owners really care about data

The surging importance of data demand for mobile carriers signify the rising mobile consumer trend in Thailand, and the rest of the Southeast Asian region. As consumers look for more data heavy deals, it creates more opportunities for mobile commerce and mobile focused campaigns by agencies.

A version of this appeared in Nikkei Asia on June 21. Read the full article here.