Though living in the US, I could still feel the O2O tornado is sweeping over China.My tech news feed is piled up with O2O everyday - Just within last week, Baidu invested 0 million in O2O laundry service Edaixi, and JD.com, who makes hard to thrive in China, invested 0 Million In Chinese Supermarket Chain Yonghui.
This sharp contrast triggered my initial curiosity.Then I looked back on QR code’s emergence, evolvement, and its role in today’s China.From zero to full blossom, QR code has a rich story. If you ask a Chinese that question, I bet nine out of ten would say We Chat.With 5 hundred millions monthly active users, you would never overemphasize We Chat’s importance in the rise of the QR code.By that time, QR code had became a common idea for most We Chat users.
After giving QR code the initial rise, We Chat kept improving its performance and making a seamless experience, such as enabling long-press recognition.
Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Shopping Festival is a good manifestation of how the strategies were implemented.
During the festival of last year, consumers could scan product QR codes on their mobile phone from more than 300 brands, including Uniqlo, Toys “R” Us and Gap.
The scanner largely lowered the behavioral barrier of scanning for We Chat users, which by that time had reached a number of two hundred million.
In the same month, Huateng Ma, the CEO of Tencent, indicated that QR code and O2O would be the biggest opportunity of mobile internet on China’s Internet Conference 2012.
It became a lot more interesting when putting it in the context of China’s out-of-roof mobile internet usage numbers.