Apps for Women Flood Digital Chinese Market

January 23, 2015
By Su HonghuaEditor: Kathy Cao

Female users have become a driving force on the Internet in China, bringing significant change and rebalancing to the previously male-dominated online landscape and establishing a vast market for mobile apps geared toward women. Now more than ever, women are playing an important role in China's Internet economy — a role that continues to increase with the passing weeks.

Popularity of Apps for Women

On January 7, 2015, 360 Mobile Assistant—China's leading Android-based mobile-app store — released the 2015 Green Book of Industrial Trends in China's Mobile Phone Applications. The statistics show that the proportion of female Internet users grew from 41% in late 2013 to 47% in the third quarter of 2014. With the increase in overall income and quality of life that the last decade has brought, women in China are now concerning themselves more with health, communication and general interests and, as a result, have brought about a greater demand for apps in those areas, such as shopping, healthy living and photo processing.

Women-focused mobile apps have rapidly gained popularity in recent years. Shopping-guide apps fulfill women's need to make their desired purchases efficiently and in a short time. Maternity apps provide platforms for young mothers to share and exchange their experiences and to receive reminders about important information related to motherhood. Helping women to better manage their body and physical condition, health apps like Meet You and Dayima have been downloaded nearly 100 million times. Photo-processing apps have also been a favorite among Chinese women, who have always been interested in beauty and personal image.

Era of She Economy

The era of the she economy is upon us, by all indications.

The first indication of such is the growth of female Internet users: According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), female users account for 44.4% of all 632 million Chinese netizens. The potential scale of women apps users has now reached 270 million.

Secondly, women's power when it comes to consumption is overwhelming: Roughly 80% of consumption decisions are made by women. Women as the primary decision-making consumers are now dominating the final outcome of what their family consumes, especially in clothing, cosmetics, household items, tourism and maternal products.

In addition, the capital markets fuel the apps markets. Take Meet You for instance: It has successfully gone through three rounds of fundraising of a total amount of more than U.S. $55 million.

Undoubtedly, the female-consumer market brings a vast world of opportunity; but just because the market has a wealth of potential does not mean that it is easy to crack. To win the approval of female users, an effective marketing strategy, a specialized and knowledgeable team and sufficient funding are all minimum requirements on top of product experience, service and innovation.

In light of the almost limitless opportunities that it presents, the market of female consumers attracts many Internet enterprises. To tap the potential of this market, such teams are learning that they require more precise localization to users' needs and must take advantage of the hardware smart phones' cutting-edge hardware for better customization and optimization. Moreover, wearable devices could help companies to collect more accurate data and further develop products that present women with an optimal user experience.

(Source: Communication Information News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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