Didi and Uber are two of the largest ride-hailing platforms in the world. However, they are facing increasing competition from other companies. In order to maintain their market share, these companies need to make it difficult for drivers to switch to other platforms. One way to do this is to create high driver switching costs.
I like audience builders as platform. They have interesting complexities and variations. They are more interesting than marketplaces and payment platforms. Plus, audience builder platforms are combining with e-commerce quite nicely. Spotify, TikTok, and China Literature are all audience builders I like. But they are really different, even though they all basically connect content creators […]
This past week, I’ve been talking about TikTok and Alibaba’s Tudou-Youku as examples of “audience builder” digital platforms. These are +2 sided platform that connect content creators (who want an audience and other things) with viewers (who want entertainment or other types of content.) And I’ve argued that audience builders are actually more fluid and […]
Jeffrey Towson, a China tech expert, believes that TikTok’s success is due to its addictiveness, ease of use, and highly shareable content. He also credits the app’s ability to tap into China’s growing digital consumer network.
Three big things are happening in digital China right now. The coronavirus is radically altering the behavior of hundreds of millions of consumers (and businesses), resulting in what is being called the quarantine economy. Everyone is trying to move from in-person to digital interactions. This shift to digital interactions is supercharging and rapidly evolving China’s […]
Three important things have happened in consumer China in the past decade. Chinese consumers finally started spending money after decades of working and saving. They are now the first or second largest market in the world for most consumer businesses. They became connected 24/7 via smartphones, both to businesses and to each other. Their behavior […]
I consider digital platforms the super predators of the business world. They are like that Indominus Rex dinosaur in the movie Jurassic World that is part T-Rex and part velociraptor (photo here). And when it breaks free (which always happens in those movies), it runs around eating everything on the island. Because it is the […]
In my online Asia Tech Class, I talk a lot about digital superpowers, which are digital tools that upend established business. And one of these superpowers a dramatically improved user experience, such that the traditional offering is now unacceptable to users. And this sort of dramatically improved user experience is what is happening in luxury […]
In this podcast episode, Jeffrey Towson discusses four options for how Huawei can respond to the US tech ban on its smartphone business. These options include fixing the supply chain, becoming a digital platform, ignoring Europe, and trying to build an anti-US alliance for smartphone operating systems. Towson argues that Huawei’s best option is to become a digital platform, as this would allow it to continue to innovate and grow its business even in the face of the US tech ban.
When the SARS virus swept through China / Asia in 2002-2003, it resulted in millions of workers isolating themselves in their homes. And this phenomenon turned out to be pivotal for several, now dominant digital companies. For then small company Alibaba, it created a surge of activity in e-commerce. And for then physical-only retailer JD, […]