Do You Know How Much the Internet Has Changed China’s Industries?

Some things just won't be the same... (Image: @yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯 via Compfight cc)
Some things just won't be the same... (Image: @yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯 via Compfight cc)

The widespread adoption of the Internet in China has seen some incredible changes in many industries as people prefer alternative, more convenient means to access services, ranging from the news to travel bookings, through the Internet.

Traditional, long-standing services such as banking or journalism have experienced significant change in China as people become more inclined to use the Internet for as much as possible.

According to Chinese media, here’s a detailed look at just how exactly many of the industries have been changed by the advent of the Internet, and the accompanying convenience it has brought to the masses:

1. Banking

For a long time, banks have held a supreme place in the hearts of Chinese people, leading few to ever assume that it would be surpassed, or modified in any form. However, Jack Ma’s Alipay—think of it as the Chinese equivalent of PayPal—now experiences a higher daily cash flow than any bank. Expect for Alipay’s dominance to continue, too: its recent “balance of fund” launch now sees customers receive up to 17 (yes, that’s right, seventeen) times more interest compared to conventional Chinese banks. Talk about a better deal.

2. Journalism

Journalism, at least in its traditional sense, has long been an oligopoly, although the Internet has created multiple alternative means of people to acquire news, often at rates much faster than print, or even TV journalism.

Could the Internet be making conventional means of accessing news redundant?

3. Retail

Wal-Mart currently holds the title as the world’s largest retailer. It employs 100,000 people in China alone, and makes billions in annual transactions. Impressive, no? Think again.

On Bachelor’s day in 2012, TaoBao, in one single day, had transactions totaling 19.1 billion; that’s equivalent to what was achieved by Wal-Mart in that entire year. That day also saw 240 million consumers, twice the population of Japan to put it into context, spend money on TaoBao.com

4. Travel Industry

In the world’s most populated country, Ctrip.com is described as “clear leader in the online and mobile travel industry in China”. Ctrip’s reach and size is impressive to say the least; independently, it neither owns planes nor hotels, but incredibly, it manages to book more plane tickets and hotel rooms than any airline or hotel manages to do.

5. Communications

China Mobile and China Unicom has long enjoyed a monopoly on communications, although this looks like it is about to change as Tencent Micro We-Chat looks to threaten their dominance; in the space of a mere few years, Tencent has managed to acquire more than 400 million users. Through Tencent’s micro-channel, users are able to send text messages, call other users, and send and receive both photos and videos. Provided one can access the Internet, Tencent’s services are completely free of charge, hence the spectacular growth it has experienced in recent years.

6. Clothing

Homepage of VANCL, a popular clothing retailer in China

Homepage of VANCL, a popular clothing retailer in China (Screenshot)

VANCL was established three years ago, selling clothing online to the masses. At the height of its success, it has managed to sell over 30,000 men’s shirts in a single day, blowing its more conventional counterparts of the water.

The transformation of these industries in China is a true testament to the power of the Internet. Previously unassailable industries are now under threat from more forward-thinking competitors, who seek to provide the Chinese netizens with better services, at the tips of their fingertips, no less.

With research by Yi Ming

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