Shenzhen has been called the Silicon Valley of China many times in the past, with start-ups moving in-and-out of co-working spaces and high-rise tech offices being built from the foundation to fully operational in just a matter of months. The city is a magical place for technology, with manufacturing hubs just a few subway stops away from giants like Lenovo and Tencent. The time it takes for a product to transition from idea to market is just a fraction of the time of that life cycle, anywhere else. Shenzhen has speed, tech, and the environment for innovation so it was only logical for TechCrunch, the largest news site on technology and start-ups, host a conference in an abandoned factory here.
TechCrunch brings in 37 million page views each month and continues to grow. Each conference that it hosts around the world in cities like San Francisco, New York, Beijing, and now Shenzhen, attract hundreds of international startups, media, and venture capitalists.
FirstShotz Co Ltd competed in the Shenzhen TechSauce-TechCrunch Pitch Competition at the conference just last July, taking the first-place prize. Techsauce flew out two members from our team to Bangkok, Thailand to continue their journey at the Techsauce Global Summit, which boasts the name of “the First Ever Global Tech Conference in Southeast Asia”, hosting over 6,000 international participants ranging from delegates, start-ups, investors, and media.
Currently our business model operates in China and has been able to bring in more than 30 brands to the massive marketplace here. We use the very unique eCommerce and influencer environment in China to distribute brands with no upfront cost.
We’ve just been around for over 1 year but we’re already bringing in millions (USD) in revenues, with positive profit margins, and a growing team of 20 bright individuals.
How does this WeChat business work?
With more than 12 million official accounts registered, 800 million daily active users, WeChat is absolutely dominating the social media industry in China and in turn, the content marketing business model that revolves around WeChat is quickly growing as well.
Official accounts who have an exceptional ability for content creation can establish large followings and strong influence.
The shopping experience on WeChat is completely different from tradition eCommerce platforms in China like TaoBao, or western counterparts like Amazon, because on WeChat, readers do not anticipate purchases. Instead, content drives demand so as individuals read, they develop an interest in the product, and if that level of interest is high enough by the time they reach the end of the article, they can purchase within WeChat.
There are many companies who have great products but lack experience or familiarity with marketing in China. And especially, because China is such a foreign market in terms of language, physical distance, and culture from our partners’ domestic markets, the risk of entering is just too high and besides, there’s no budget for it.
With years of hardware development and overseas marketing experience, MJ Chen and Jacob Li co-founded FirstShotz: a riskless marketing agency to help start-ups gain media exposure and access to distribution methods.
Jacob, co-founder and COO of FirstShotz said, “we went to Thailand to not only find new products but to also expand the business model to overseas markets.” With products that have proven success in China, Jacob thinks that there is room in neighbouring markets with similar cultural and buying behaviours, like Hong Kong and regions in South East Asia, for this model of influencer marketing and distribution.