Maimaibao (MMB.cn)  started in 2006 as a m-commerce retailer targeting at the rural China. It offers more than 50,000 items, from apparel to digital devices, and daily transactions are 20,000, according to the company intro.. As one of the biggest of this kind, MMB has developed its own logistics service to serve customers who buy through WAP pages and don’t have any online payment account. The company is funded by investors including Tencent and reached partnership with the latter on mobile shopping.

To leverage the fact that customers in rural areas are not well aware of most brands that are recognized in cities, the company began producing shoes and apparel under the brand of MMB. In mid-2012, over 50% of goods of that category sold were of its own brand, accounting for 20% of the total sales then. An established brand also means higher profit margins.

In an interview in 2012, the founder of MMB disclosed that all MMB users made purchases through its WAP site, with a half using feature phones, one third Symbian-based smartphones and the rest using phones that cannot be identified – creepy Shanzhai phones.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com