After 3-months development, Tencent’s new service Fanli (Rebate) is now in private test (right now, you need have your QQ number whitelisted in order to login). Here is what we’ve learnd from a call with its product manager, Richard.
1. Tencent is not only caring about young generation
Fanli is a trial to ‘entertain’ older users. It’s very true that almost every internet user in China is using Tencent’s service, but Tencent has to admit that most of these service, including QQ, QQShow, QZone etc are much less attractive to older users who are now using MSN, Skype for instant communication as alternatives, not paying attention to its QQ avatars and not using QZone because they think it is not that user-friendly. “Kids probably don’t need to get rebate, but for mature users and when kids get older, they will love our new rebate service.” said Richard. I think it does make sense. Tencent is preparing for the future.
2. Tencent wants its users to ‘Get Paid’
Tencent is making a huge amount of money from its online virtual goods, online advertising, mobile value-added service etc, but now, Fanli is sending us a message, you can save some money and even get some cash back from Tencent. Fanli has now established the partnership with a couple of popular e-commerce sites such as Dangdang, 360buy, Newegg, Joyo (Amazon China), VANCL and so on. With its huge user base and super strong online presence, it’s no surprise to see more to join in near future.
3. From Paipai to Fanli, from C2C to B2C
Tencent is putting more effort on e-commerce to challenge Taobao. Paipai, Tencent’s C2C service to compete directly with Taobao is doing OK, and Fanli is now the answer to Taobao Mall (Taobao’s B2C service), but this time, Tencent chose not to fight head-to-head. Instead, it focus on the rebate for the customer which is what Taobao Mall is not offering explicitly.
4. The future plan
Fanli is very bad news for other rebate sites such as 51Fanli which is operating for several years. But talked to Richard, it seems that they are not thinking of adding Price Comparison or Product Search feature or launch it as a new service which Google China has done it nicely and I thought it will be quite popular and important in Chinese e-commerce. Also, no exact plan yet to integrate Fanli into Tencent’s other service. ‘We are not going to promote it on other service at this stage.’ the product manager told us. However, when I asked if they will introduce social networking feature into Fanli (Taobao’s Taojianghui is the SNS bundled with Taobao’s e-commerce), the answer is Maybe.