What digital companies and publishers should learn from China

China, thanks to its closed ecosystem, is a market publishers would do well to study in more depth to see the future of media consumption. Fabian von Heimburg, a German entrepreneur based in Shanghai, shares some of his observations with us here.

Fabian is co-founder and managing director of Hotnest, a digital advertising and big data analytics platform focused on the Chinese market. Hotnest’s digital advertising platform, using big data and machine learning, connects millions of local and international brands with agencies and freelancers in China.

Fabian spoke to FIPP contributor Felix Mago off stage at the recent Digital Innovators’ Summit 2017 in Berlin. (Join FIPP for our next event: the iconic FIPP World Congress, taking place from 9-11 October 2017 in London. Discounted pre-agenda bookings are available until 30 April, with savings of £800 or more on eventual rates).


According to Fabian, mobile is a given in China and the major lesson rather lies in how platforms in China operate.

“We’re not even talking about mobile and digitalisation anymore, it’s a given. While there may still be what we can call a transitional generation in the West (using laptop/desktop and mobile), many Chinese users skipped laptops and desktops and went straight to the mobile phone. This in turn means that the eco-system in China is a good indicator for digital trends to come in West because of the different user behaviour and advanced mobile platform environment.”

It radically impacts how people consume. “People do not use desk- and laptops outside of work, and they stream absolutely everything to their mobile phones. We might still think a laptop, with its larger screen, is more convenient, but my friends here don’t even think like that anymore. For them the mobile phone is simply everywhere, like it’s an extension of their reality.”

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