Day 9: Donghua University Visit

Today we took a trip to Donghua University in Shanghai, a highly regarded fashion institution. Simon Koffi Kpotchie, one of the professors at the University, gave us a lecture on smartphones and e-commerce. He was born in West Africa, but has been teaching in China for nearly 2 decades. He provided insight on the growth projections of e commerce in China. Some major factors leading to the growth in the industry include China’s demographic. For instance, over 50% of China’s population is between 20 and 50, which provides a large market of users. In fact, China’s online population is over 700 million to date. In addition, the prevalence of mobile phones in China adds to opportunities for business. 92% of the online population uses mobile phones to accesses the internet. Data trends indicate that this statistic growing and approaching 100%.
The environment in China is a gold mine for major online retailers. The two biggest in China, holding over 75% of the market share by themselves, are Tmall and JD. Major online superstores have taken advantage of the popularity of online shopping. For example, Alibaba sold over $17 billion worth of products on singles’ day last year. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s CEO, gave a speech about e commerce in China. He claims that e commerce has much more room for growth in China than in the United States because we already have successful infrastructure installed in our market while China can adopt a whole new system. He believes that e commerce in China will become a lifestyle. As a business student, it is important to recognize that major opportunities exist overseas; understanding how industries operate internationally in countries like China is crucial.

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