Social media giant plans European expansion 社交媒体巨头欲扩张欧洲市场

By Fu Jing (China Daily)

A few years ago, when European consumers were making payments with credit or debit cards, Chinese people were still carrying around wallets stuffed with cash.

几年前,当信用卡或借记卡已经成为欧洲消费者最普遍的支付工具时,中国人还是习惯于随身带着塞满现金的钱包。

Today, following the rise of the smartphone, most Europeans are still using bank cards but Chinese buyers have made things easier by embracing the social media platforms on their phones. Their mobile activities include hailing taxis, buying breakfast, snagging luxurious brands, reserving hotels and booking flights. For many, cash is no longer necessary.

今天,随着智能手机的普及,当绝大多数欧洲人仍在使用银行卡消费的时候,中国消费者早已通过钱包、商户与手机社交媒体平台的绑定把花钱这件事变得更为简单。他们使用手机进行的日常活动已经扩展到打车、买早餐、追奢侈品牌、预定酒店和机票等生活的方方面面。对于很多人来说,现金已经不再是消费的必要前提了。

WeChat, a unit of China’s internet giant Tencent, boasts 800 million active users-the equivalent of the population of the European Union and United States combined. It has taken the lead in offering more than chatting and communication.

微信是中国互联网巨头腾讯的一个产品,目前已拥有高达8亿的活跃用户—相当于欧盟和美国人口数量的总和。微信目前所提供的服务远远超过了聊天和沟通的范畴,成功引领着多功能综合社交平台发展的风潮。

Now, the company has started to work as bridge between European brands and Chinese consumers.

现在,微信又马不停蹄地开始了为欧洲品牌和中国消费者牵线搭桥的工作。

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Andrea Ghizzoni, European director of Tencent

腾讯欧洲市场主管Andrea Ghizzoni

Andrea Ghizzoni, European director of Tencent, said the company will expand into the United Kingdom and France this year, after it opened its European headquarters in Milan, Italy, in 2015.

腾讯欧洲市场主管Andrea Ghizzoni表示,继2015年在意大利米兰成立了其欧洲总部后,微信将于今年进军英国和法国市场。 

“We plan to start operations in London and the team will be in place soon to kick off promotion activities by the end of March,” Ghizzoni said. 

“我们计划先开始微信在伦敦的运行,操作团队会马上到位,确保三月底推广活动的正式展开,”Ghizzoni说道。

In the UK, the company aims to enter into cooperation partnerships with local companies. Digital Retex is one. It will help find potential clients wanting to advocate their products on the social media platform.

在英国,微信希望和欧洲本地公司结成合作伙伴,Digital Retex便是其中之一。它会帮助微信寻找那些有意愿在社交媒体平台宣传其产品的潜在客户。

Digital Retex has already supported WeChat in Italy and “the partnership proved to be extremely successful”.

其实,Digital Retex对微信的支持在意大利就已经开始了,而且“该伙伴关系证明是极其成功的”。 

Ghizzoni unveiled the European plans in Brussels at an event organized by ChinaEU, a digital and communication promotion organization.

在中欧数字协会于布鲁塞尔举办的一场活动上,Ghizzoni公开了微信在欧洲发展的计划。中欧数字协会是一家旨在推动中欧数字交流的机构。

After one year in operation, the WeChat Europe-Digital Retex team employs around 20 people.

经过一年的发展,微信欧洲- Digital Retex团队已经有了约20名雇员。 

WeChat’s second step in Europe will target the UK because it is a “strategic market” and has an appeal among Chinese consumers, and because it is a trendsetter and innovation hub in Europe.

微信在欧洲发展的第二步将目标锁定在英国,这是因为英国是一个“战略市场”,对中国消费者很有吸引力,同时也是欧洲潮流风向标和各类创新方案的集结地。

Ghizzoni said Chinese consumers have been living their daily lives on their palms and European exporters should recognize the reality.

Ghizzoni认为,中国消费者的日常生活都集中在他们小小的掌中世界,欧洲出口商需要充分认识到这一现实情况。

He said the company’s operations in Italy have been growing fast and it now serves more than 50 clients, including large fashion and luxury brands, retail companies and the hospitality industry.

他说,微信业务在意大利发展迅速,目前已经有了包括奢侈品和大型时尚品牌、零售公司和酒店业在内的超过50家客户。

“Revenues are already in the range of millions, and we expect them to grow significantly this year.” 

“我们目前的收入已经上百万,预计今年还会有大幅度的增长。”

He said the company has been focusing on helping clients find ways to get closer to Chinese consumers.

他表示,公司的工作重点一直是帮助客户找到近一步接触中国消费者的渠道。

“This year, we are pushing new advertising formats and targeting capabilities, together with Tencent cloud solutions and cross-border payments. All these tools can prove extremely successful to help Western brands reach and serve Chinese consumers in a consistent and effective manner.”

“结合腾讯的云方案和跨境支付,今年我们会推行一套新的广告模式和定位功能。所有这些工具将成功地帮助西方品牌以连续而有效的形式接触和服务中国消费者。” 

He said the company will work on consolidating its business in Italy, starting its UK operations, and making headway into other EU countries.

他还透露,公司将近一步巩固其在意大利的业务,开始英国市场的运行,同时也希望在微信登陆欧盟其他国家方面取得相应进展。

“By the end of the year, we will consider setting up local operations in other EU countries, like France for example,” said Ghizzoni. 

“今年年底前我们也会考虑在欧盟其他国家开展业务的运营,比如说法国,” Ghizzoni补充道。 

He believes his company’s designed advertising campaigns for clients on the WeChat platform can help European brands reap returns in the range of 20 percent to 30 percent.

他坚信其公司为客户在微信平台上精心打造的广告活动将帮助这些欧洲品牌的收益提高20%-30%。

He said WeChat does not have a long-term expansion plan for Europe but continues to reinvent itself with new services and features.

他继而解释,虽然微信并没有一个长期的欧洲拓展计划,但它会一如既往地开发新服务和新产品来不断完善自身业务。

“In overseas markets, like Europe, we will keep focusing on the development of services to best serve EU companies interested in leveraging digital channels to foster business opportunities with Chinese customers,” he said.

“在海外市场,比如欧洲,我们还是会将重点放在开发和优化服务,来最大程度帮助那些有兴趣利用数字渠道吸引中国消费者并以此增加其商业机会的欧盟公司”,他这样说道。

Please click here to view the original article on China Daily. 

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