It was a propitious return visit to Beijing, and the sprawling Chinese National Convention Centre (CNCC) for Minimob — having originally launched its marketing platform for developers there at GMIC in 2013. Yet, how much has changed, both for Minimob — and the China smartphone market as a whole! On this occasion, Minimob is now a private company with specific Chinese-speaking staff (eponymously entitled the China business Group, or CBG) which has been tasked with engaging the vast – and commercially compelling Chinese App market.
The focus is to provide in-app mobile advertising solutions that work for both direct advertisers, as well as the major Chinese publishers — a few of whom we met, and could proudly show us a recognized installed base of up to 500 million users, whilst still getting up to one million fresh downloads per day! This type of business, is something Minimob can support quite easily (explain it fluently in Chinese!) and importantly, do so in a fully automated fashion.
The Minimob approach is ostensibly a simple one and the platform brand itself, is far better known than it was before (certainly than it was in 2013 at least!). Indeed, we found many Chinese publishers telling us they knew the name, the company, the platform – and had even set-up self-service accounts to take advantage of the supreme monetization options that it delivers to devs in real-time, all the time.
Despite the disparate nature of the GMIC exhibitors overall; whether they were I-o-T vendors, makers of Connected Cars – or even AI-driven robots – as well as flying camera drones; Minimob stood out from the networked crowd, enjoying what was a large daily influx of trade visitors, often numbering in the tens of thousands from both Beijing as well as the surrounding Chinese provinces.
With hundreds upon hundreds of business cards gathered, as well as the de rigour WeChat connections made — and yes, even Insertion Orders being detailed, the event proved a great success and whetted the appetite for bigger things to be realized in the China market. It is fair to say hereabouts, apps rule and indeed, some of the stands at the exhibit, (which only really had Chinese characters illustrating what the company did; likewise proffered the simple moniker “APP” to highlight their business was not just Mobile – but rather App-first.
Reminding us just how much further the World has to go in terms of the fast-maturing App economy getting to the point where every single company has an app that drives its business – and every brand worth its salt, utilizes native, interactive, digital content thru an App (hosted on a smartphone) to get the best out of their business. This movement in China, is led by the most renowned web corporations who ‘got’ mobile a while ago; such as tencent/qq/wechat, baidu, netease, Qihoo 360, Alibaba (Ant Financial) and SINA. The excitement in the App economy there is palpable.
These recognizable leaders have been joined by younger companies, such as APUS, who’s CEO Tao Li, and tireless support staff it must be said, threw the party of the week at the chic Elements nightclub for about 1000 people (with 3000 delegates registering…). Something which shows quite tangibly that a barely two-year-old company can go from App idea to gargantuan global install base in just 24 months; in the process, achieving 500 million downloads globally for their family of apps. Proactively harnessing and monetizing this tremendous output of commercially adroit Apps from (and for) China, could provide the biggest impact of Minimob’s equally short, but J-curve-like growth to date.