Online-to-Offline (O2O) services have been all the rage in China as citizens are hunting for solutions to urban life. While the model is transforming all industries, Chinese tech startups are expanding the O2O craze to a particular demographic: university students.

China has nearly 30 million university students now thanks to the enrollment expansion program launched at the beginning of this century, according to a research by Shanghai Jiaotong University. The customer base creates a large and relative untapped market for all kinds of services from education, entertainment, e-commerce to social networking. However, it is not only the sheer market size that lured domestic companies.

Despite being stereotyped as broke penny-pinchers, the group has a considerable amount of spending power. Chinese students’ average annual spending stood at around 11,347 RMB (around $1,826 USD) in 2013. Furthermore, most current university students are post-1995-ers, a new generation born in the digital/mobile era, and more responsive internet-related services and willing to try new things. Accumulating potential customers early is another incentive for companies to deepen forays in this burgeoning vertical.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.