Business / Industries

China's online/offline synergy - a marriage of convenience

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-12 09:26

Moving in the opposite direction, property and entertainment group Dalian Wanda is scaling down its traditional department stores and karaoke bars as it begins to feel the strain of the tug-of-war against online competitors. Tencent and Baidu joined together to create Wanda's e-commerce site, launched in late July, and it is reported that there are plans to close more than 40 stores and 80 karaoke bars as the company actively moves online.

Offline is the new online

Xie Wen, former president of Yahoo China, believes online-offline cooperation will spawn a new mindset and bring unexpected opportunities to traditional retailers.

"Online-offline synergy is the main feature of China's current development phase and is in line with the general trend of the economy," he said.

Internet companies are meeting barriers as they attempt to transform themselves from information providers into full-blown retailers, forcing them to learn lessons from the traditional industry, he said.

"The hopes of Internet firms for the next 30 years depend on offline business, while those of traditional companies lie online, " Ma Yun said.

For Zhao Baiju, the most important aspect of the rapidly evolving industry is that he can have a decent meal in the comfort of his own home. Witness and beneficiary of the burgeoning growth of mobile apps, he is now a confirmed fan of the services.

"Now I use those apps about four times a week, mainly on weekends. They save me time to go and wait in a restaurant, the food is clean and the choice is great," he said.

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