Top 5 most popular apps for Chinese women
A decade ago, women made up less than 40 per cent of China's internet population. That proportion has gradually risen over the past years to 47 per cent in 2014. On mobile, the share of female users is 38 per cent but is growing faster than men, increasing by 41 million last year to 282 million, according to research firm Analysys.
Meanwhile, in four in 10 mainland Chinese families, women are the financial gatekeepers, contributing to around 60 per cent of China's retail sales, according to iResearch. It is natural then that Chinese tech firms are recognising the growing importance of catering to their female users. SCMP staff reporters have sifted through the many apps targeting women. Apps are included on the following list based on their popularity and investment level.
Also called Meet You, this Chinese app originated as a menstruation tracker but has since evolved into a social network targeting female users who want to discuss and share tips with one another about women's issues, including fashion, health, relationships, finance, pregnancy and children. Launched in April 2013, the app had more than 70 million registered users as of 2014, with over four million active users. The Xiamen-based startup has raised three rounds in about a year: millions of dollars of Series A financing in June 2013, US$15 million in Series B led by Matrix Partners China, and US$35 million in Series C funding led by SIG and followed by Matrix Partners China and China Renaissance K2 Ventures.
Founded in 2008, Meitu made its name for its beauty-focused photo-editing apps, with Meitu Xiuxiu - also called MeituPic - being its most popular one. Apart from providing a host of image processing apps including Meipai, Meiyan Camera, and BeautyPlus, it also began making its own smartphones to help users take better selfies. The Xiamen-based firm raised US$360 million in three rounds of funding all in last year, and was valued at US$2 billion at the latest round, according to the company. It is rapidly expanding to new markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Los Angeles.
“Talk about beauty” in Chinese, Meilishuo is a Chinese Pinterest-like website which enables women to find personalised clothing and skin care products. Users can search for experts, shops, group buying sites, and share online shopping links and information on their favorite products. It was founded in 2009, and have received US$30 million in five rounds of fundings. It is accessed by 3.2 million users daily, clocking up 164 million page views a day.
One of China’s largest group-buying websites, it offers deals for local restaurants, bars, cinema, karaoke, among many other businesses. It has waded through the mainland’s highly competitive and fragmented daily deals industry to become a top daily deals site. The Beijing-based company, founded in March 2010, received a US$700 million series D investment in funding in January, just eight months after getting US$300 million in a series C funding round from Sequoia Capital and Alibaba.
The Guangzhou-based operator of flash sales, where goods are offered at a steep discount for a limited period online, is one of mainland China's top online retailers. More than 80 per cent of the New York Stock Exchange-listed firm’s customers are female and they contribute to about 90 per cent of sales. The company sells mainly clothing and cosmetics, but is looking to sell more maternity and children products and even cars and travel deals. It makes about 70 per cent of its revenue from the sales of leftover stock that it called inventory and the rest from exclusive products that were only available on Vipshop.