A Little Niche Can Go a LOOONG way

Monday, May 28, 2007 21:41

Writing about niches in China somewhat defies logic. After all, with 1.3 billion people in China, and fractioned markets across the board, you wouldn’t think that too many niche markets would exist yet.

H owever, one industry where saturation may have already occured (certainly in the major east coast cities) is in English.

With the Olympics on the way, World expo in 2010, and the other hundred thousand or so international business people coming to China on a montly basis, it is no wonder the Chiense are learning Chinese en mass.

I seems like everyone is learning English… even the cab drivers

Funny to think that at some point there will be more English speakers in China than anywhere else.

In response to this hundreds of schools like English First, Wall Street Institute, and others have opened up language centers across the country. Groups like Talk da Talk offer social settings for English learners to practice in a safe (I mean this in the saving face sense) and fun environment, and groups like italki and Pop English are now offering online platforms for language exchange.

the industry is highly competitive, requires a lot of talent, is highly sensitive, but is HIGHLY LUCRATIVE if done right.

and it is about to go to another level…

Today, Nokia announced Mobiledu in the WSJ (People’s Daily Coverage here):

Mobiledu “is a Chinese service at the moment, but there is no limitation” on where the service will be offered in the future, Marko Vanska, director of Nokia’s emerging business unit in China,

When I skyped this article a friend of mine who invests in mobile platforms, her comment was:

very cool – i think it could fly as a standalone business. too bad the handset makers themselves are not venture capitalists these days!

At a cost of 26 cents to the consumer, this platform is sure to be a big performer, and I am sure that will bode well for Nokia’s investors once up and running.

For the rest of us, this is an example of how a little idea can go a long way in China, and how a segment niche can hit the mass market at a larger level than targeting a market niche.

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3 Responses to “A Little Niche Can Go a LOOONG way”

  1. China Law Blog says:

    May 29th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Nokis is just one of those companies (along with Carrefour and a few others) that just seems to be doing everything right in China. They get it. Very impressive.

  2. rbrubaker says:

    May 29th, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Actually, Carrefour did exactly what we tell people not to do. they built without formal approval… but it worked, and they are definately doing better than any of the other foreign hypermarket chains.

  3. China Law Blog says:

    May 30th, 2007 at 6:45 am

    You are right about Carrefour, but at least when they did it, it made more sense than if they were to do it now, especially since now what they did would be allowed and then it was comletely blocked.