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building SaaS in China

China Paradigm 109: Building a SaaS in the Wechat, Weibo & Douyin ecosystems

Building a SaaS in China

Matthieu David interviews Alex Duncan, Co-founder and Product Lead, and Alex Li, VP at KAWO Head of Brand and Agency Partnerships. If you are a big brand trying to establish yourself on the Chinese market you’re going to need a strong social media presence. Thus, we decided to arrange this interview to get the answers directly from experts and explore social media management platform, since KAWO offers support for foreign brands across all the major Chinese social media platforms. How hard was it to build this business? What were the challenges the team face when deciding their pricing model and what did they learn about how to handle the ever-changing algorithms of the Chinese social media platforms? Find out the answers to these questions and many more by listening to this interview.

  • 0:15 Guest introduction and KAWO’s history
  • 6:11 KAWO is always implementing new features based on user feedback 8:50 Present company size and user base
  • 13:26 How did the coronavirus outbreak impacted KAWO’s functioning
  • 15:24 The early days – how did KAWO come to be?
  • 19:24 How hard is pricing the service in the SaaS industry?
  • 23:25 More about pricing – how adaptable does the pricing model need to be for KAWO?
  • 28:02 How does KAWO handle pricing for multiple account users?
  • 32:26 Planning and Reporting – very important features for KAWO users
  • 37:32 Does planning mean just pushing messages or is there more to it on KAWO?
  • 39:06 How difficult is it to build a software service based on APIs of existing Chinese social media platforms?
  • 43:15 How is KAWO’s API leveraged by their clients?
  • 45:15 Beside timing what makes a post great by KAWO’s standards?
  • 49:13 WeChat subscription accounts are the safe bet for tailored content
  • 52:04 How hard is it to be viral on Wechat?
  • 53:52 Post frequency on Weibo – avoiding diminishing returns
  • 55:13 Catering content to your niche is the key to success on Wechat
  • 55:58 What books have most inspired Alex in his entrepreneurial journey?
  • 58:54 What do you read to stay up to date on China?
  • 1:01:22 What unexpected failure and success have Alex witnessed in China?

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China paradigm is a China business podcast sponsored by Daxue Consulting where we interview successful entrepreneurs about their businesses in China. You can access all available episodes from the China paradigm Youtube page.