As I wrote previously, China’s digital economy has reached a turning point.

Before, new user growth could offset digital businesses’ strategic and commercial missteps. Double-digit or triple-digit MAU growth could mute criticism of flimsy unit economics, absent strategy, dodgy investments, or lackluster monetization efforts.

Now, internet user saturation within China’s consumer class makes it harder to avoid scrutiny with eye-popping user growth. Companies like Meitu, JD, and Zhihu are facing tough questions: shareholders and investors want to whether these platforms can turn their impressive scale into profits.

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Michael Norris

Michael Norris is a TechNode contributor and Research and Strategy lead at AgencyChina. He focuses on how culture, technology, and digital trends affect industry and business. Michael is a TechNode Insider.