China, with a population of more than 1.4 billion people and an economy with a staggering growth rate has emerged as one of the most financially viable business hot beds for many European brands. This is the outcome of the increasing purchasing power of the Chinese middle income group. Consumers are now in a position to spend a sizeable portion of their annual income on luxury brands without any restrictions on budget and disposable income. This trend has led several French start-ups in China to make their way into the Chinese economy by introducing luxury brands to the masses.
Another sentiment that has added to the growth of French start-ups in China is that Chinese view French brands as the ideal luxury and fashion image irrespective of the product.
Our focus today is on E-commerce and Gaming, two sectors which shows great potential for French entrepreneurs in this Asian Market. Some of the French startups that have flourished in the Chinese economy are App Annie, a mobile app store analytics and market intelligence, Glamour Sales, the one stop shop for all luxury brands and CMune, developers of hard core social 3D games.
App Annie becomes the market leader
App Annie is a French startup which is now a leading name in app store analytics and market intelligence in the global scenario. Founded by Bertrand Schmitt in 2010, it has swept the internet industry with more than top 100 publishers using its premium services that are free. It also has more than 325,000 apps that depend on App Annie Analytics to track their downloads, revenues, rankings and feedbacks establishing itself as perhaps the most successful French tech company in China. With offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, London and San Francisco it caters to both B2B and B2C, making it one of the world’s most famous venture capital companies. Though the company started out on a pretty smaller note, it sure has struck gold in the Asian markets surging ahead of most startups.
Glamour Sales sets new records
Another French brand that deserves a mention while discussing the Chinese economy is Glamour Sales, a hugely successful e-commerce website. After the European market, online flash sales have indeed made it huge in China, especially after the advent of Glamour Sales in China’s super-competitive e-commerce space. The brand headed by CEO Thibault Villet, is an ideal example of a combination of fashion, luxury and technology. Focused more on the luxury brands that have caught the attention of the middle class Chinese consumers, the site has more than 780 brands, 95% of which are procured internationally. Sales catering to the Chinese market the merchandise can be broken up into 70% that is targeted towards fashion, 20% towards beauty products and the remaining 10% towards home and lifestyle products. The fashion bit of the sales can be further distributed well among apparel, bags, footwear, watches, jewelry, etc. Poised at a growth of 60,000 members each month, the online community enjoys special, offers, discounts and privileged access to exclusive products. The site has recorded substantial growth after its strategic tie up with Neiman Marcus Group giving the existing players stiff competition.
Cmune, emerges as a gaming major
The last example but in no terms the least Cmune founded by Shaun Lelacheur Sales and Ludovic Bodin, it has turned out as a gaming major in China. Established in 2007, Cmune has struck it big with the development of Uberstrike, a cross platform 3D social game. The free-to-use game has been well integrated with Facebook, making it hugely popular on the social networking site with 1.4 million fans. It is also available on the App Store for Mac and iOS users.
These are just a few of the examples that have made it big in the Asian markets. Though the boom in the Asian markets makes it very attractive and lucrative for investors, it is very important to be well aware of the hurdles that they may probably face. This makes an appropriate study and knowledge of the market dynamics essential before a startup takes its roots in these economies.