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In China, a country that leapfrogged the PC era to go mobile-first, the smartphone is the “remote control” of people’s lives… especially given the dominance of messaging/operating-system platforms like WeChat. But this is about more than just WeChat, Alipay, and others — it’s about online-to-offline commerce in general (and the viability of on-demand marketplaces there); the past, present, and future of QR codes; and new forms of social-mobile communication, from livestreaming to stickers to even VR cafes as a vector of early adoption.

So what does this mean for brands? What happens when emerging online influencers create their own offline brands, practically instantly? Things change fast, so Connie Chan shares observations on all this and more in this whirlwind tour of trends in China…

This article was originally written by Connie Chan on February 6, 2017 and shared via