While mobile usage is growing rapidly all around the world, its use has taken epic proportions in China, where almost a third of the population has a smartphone. The Chinese have vaulted over the use of PC and moved directly onto adopting mobile as their preferred method for accessing the internet and conducting everyday business, running errands and managing their routines.
With nearly half of the country’s population using mobile phones to access the web as of the end of last year (90% of Chinese surfing the web do it through a mobile phone according to a recent report published by the China Internet Network Information Center), and 358 million people using mobile payment services, the use of mobile has become a major driver of growth of the economy.
The Chinese use their mobile devices to pay for products and services in stores, to order taxis, to consult doctors. Shanghai and Beijing have virtual supermarkets at subway stations in which mobile users can use their smartphones to scan barcodes on the various items displayed as pictures on an advertisement board and have the items shipped to their homes for when they come back from work.
Trust is a key factor in generating business in China
For the forex and binary options trading industry, it is only natural to offer users the ability to trade using a mobile platform in addition to a mobile site. There is over an 80% prevalence of mobile trading in China.
In order to succeed in this market, forex and binary options brokerages must ready themselves to offer killer apps for both Android and Apple as well as China-friendly mobile sites, but merely translating your app and mobile site into Chinese will not be enough.
China’s culture is immensely different from that of the West and things that the West may deem interesting will not appeal to the Chinese.
Provide information on the most relevant instruments, such as EUR/USD (the most prevalent pair), gold, BTC, A50, CSI and Chinese stocks. Use colors that are perceived by the Chinese as positive colors, such as red, which represents prosperity and strength.
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Trust is a key factor in generating business in China, so design your app and mobile site with the goal of winning your target audience’s trust.
From the technology standpoint, China blocks websites deemed by the government as politically sensitive through what has become known as the “Great Firewall of China”. Google is one such website, which affects a series of tools developed by the internet giant. Google Play for example cannot be used for distribution of Android apps.
embrace the culture and reap the benefits
As an alternative, brokers can place the .apk file on their website or other local stores like Baidu, so users can download the app directly. One other way in which apps are distributed in China is through smaller, independent stores which grab your app, add advertising, repackage it as their own and distribute it.
This is China after all and if you can find Gucci and Prada lookalikes in every corner in town, I suggest you embrace the culture and reap the benefits. Although you may not have authorized the distribution, you’ll find out once you start seeing a disproportionately large influx of registered clients coming in.
Google analytics, used vastly in the West to analyze online and mobile media strategies does not work in China. Neither does GCM, Google’s notification service designed to send information from developer-run servers to Android users. As an alternative to GCM, app owners can send push notifications and messages to Android users via local ISPs or intermediary messengers. When contracting a carrier, make sure the company has the ability to distribute messages both in the North and South as well as in 1st and 2nd tier regions.
Mobile presence, whether your business decides to have a mobile site, an app or both, is vastly different in China than it is in the West. Partnering up with a tech provider who knows the region and specializes in doing business in China can save you an invaluable amount of time, effort and money.