IDC predicts the worldwide sales of SaaS applications of $10.7 billion by 2009, and CCWResearch also said the Chinese SaaS market value would reach RMB40.6 billion in 2011. But how much you know about Software as a Service (SaaS) in China? Chinese web markets are very active, but most of startups are spending their efforts on consumer-oriented web-based service which is what we generally called Web2.0, not the SaaS. AskForm, a small company based in Hangzhou offering online questionnaire builder seems an exception.

Unlike Wufoo which is the pioneer in this market providing free online form and survey builder, AskForm right now only focus on online questionnaire. On AskForm, you can easily use its tool to build a nice online questionnaire with all sorts of fields such as multiple choice, single or multi-line text input, email etc. The questionnaire can be embedded on your site, your blog etc in the way of Flash, iFrame, Javascript. The information submitted from the questionnaire will be collected by AskForm which instantly generate the report with nice pie-chart or column-chart.

AskForm is indeed a very useful service, but where is the revenue in future? Offering freemium service could be a straighforward business model, i.e. offering basic services for free, while charging a premium for advanced or special features; They can also white-label this tool too and sell it to third party. When we talked to Huawei CHEN, founder of AskForm. He mentioned to us its new platform called Diaochabar which is currently still under development. Reading from the slogan of Diaochabar: a precise and efficient online questionnaire distribution platform, we are looking forwards to see how well AskForm can work for its customers to create and efficiently promote their questionnaire and precisely analyze the information collected.

AskForm is founded by CHEN in late 2007 and officially launched in April 2008. There are several competitors we found in China, such as SoJump and ZhiJiZhiBi. We prefer AskForm because the design is neat, the user experience is good and what this site wants to achieve is clearly delivered. AskForm has already impressed some traditional media including CCTV and Zhejiang Daily online which built the questionnaire on AskForm. CHEN also said the team was working on the English version which we will keep an eye on for sure.

Talking about SaaS in China, Fred Chong wrote a great post , we suggest you to give it a read too.

Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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