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Entrepreneur’s goal to lure online shoppers behind into malls

The e-commerce bang in mainland Chinese has propelled a new approach of life in that business can emporium for only about anything during their fingertips, yet it is an creation also poses a hazard to normal sell stories. Jason Chau, 33, a Hong Kong businessman who relocated to Beijing dual years ago with as an app developer and startup entrepreneur, aims to move online shoppers behind to a high travel and rediscover a pleasures of genuine window shopping.

His app “Yue Guang”, or “”Joyful shopping”, uses satellite navigation and Bluetooth record to lane and record users’ selling habits, such as that malls and stores they visit, how prolonged they stay there and how many they spend. The information is common with sell clients and in lapse shoppers can collect points from a stores for gifts and discounts. The app now has about 100,000 users. He spoke to Catherine Wong.

What encouraged we to pattern a app and start a business?

We wish people to suffer a earthy knowledge of shopping. The things that people buy from [internet site] Taobao are generally during a reduce cost point, yet if we wish to buy garments from Zara or HM, we still go to a earthy shops to try them on. We wish that with a app we can make a normal selling knowledge some-more fun.

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Why did we select to start in Beijing instead of staying in Hong Kong?

I worked during a genuine estate investment organisation before we started my possess business dual years ago. we visited cities like Beijing or Guangzhou once each dual or 3 months. Three years ago, a sell business in Hong Kong was booming. We primarily wanted to launch this app for malls in Hong Kong, yet a existence was that a large developers would not concur with us when we did not have a portfolio or past record in a business. we suspicion that given mainland China was a many bigger marketplace it would be easier to find someone who was peaceful to deposit and concur with us. So we started entrance business contacts from my prior job.

What was a many formidable impulse for your business?

Around Dec final year a association was struggling to tarry and roughly ran out of capital. In hindsight, we were a bit blind in a judgement. Everything was function really quick in a marketplace and we would hear about how easy it was to attract investors to flow supports into a business. The burble of a start-up bang appearance about a year ago when Premier Li Keqiang called for everybody to start their possess businesses. The foe gets worse when too many people are fasten a market. Now it’s removing many some-more formidable to get investors if we don’t have a plain business indication with a transparent income target.

Why did we enhance from building apps to providing tech services to selling malls?

At initial we insisted that we should rise a product that everybody knew about, yet a sourroundings has changed. Two years ago, if we were means to amass a large series of users, like Didi and Uber, we would be means to monopolize a market. But now, even when we have a million users, we might not be means to attract investors if we can't make a profit. So about 6 months ago we done a transition to business-to-business servicing – to yield tailor-made digital faithfulness systems to a clients. We were means to brand a new marketplace event when we found that many selling malls wish to digitalise their patron use systems. But not each selling mall owners wants to open a new dialect and spend half a million yuan building their possess app. So we yield a use where we pattern and work their WeChat open accounts. We can also share with them entrance to a information of a existent 100,000 Yue Guang users, and assistance analyse a poise patterns of customers.

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How does a sourroundings for start-ups in Hong Kong review with a mainland?

Companies in Hong Kong are reduction peaceful to take risks. Companies in a mainland are some-more open to new record and ideas since there new things are entrance out each day here. The mall owners we approached here, even if they are in a 40s or 50s and are not really tech-savvy, are some-more open to new ideas. That’s since new tech-based companies like Didi are means to detonate onto a scene. In contrast, we are still regulating a Octopus label in Hong Kong.

Is it some-more formidable to set adult a business in Hong Kong?

It’s not about a volume of process support. It’s a measureless vigour of struggling to make a vital on tip of a high rents and prices. The sourroundings creates we reduction adventurous to try. we feel that a Hong Kong supervision wants to inspire entrepreneurship by streamlining procedures and we know that there are some policies in place, yet we will be forced to face existence when we have to onslaught to compensate a rent. How can we set adult a business when we have to compensate HK$7,000 each month to lease only one chair in an office? To be honest, though, a rents in Beijing are also removing some-more expensive. We are anticipating that we might enhance into other cities like Wuhan and Chengdu where costs are many lower.

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What are a biggest advantages and disadvantages for a Hongkonger doing business on a mainland?

Because we am not a internal here and have complicated in a US, it was some-more formidable for me to know a internal enlightenment and sell a products regulating Putonghua. Most of my clients have not worked with a Hongkonger before and might consider we am not veteran adequate when they pronounce too quick and we don’t utterly locate their meaning. It was an ascending battle. The domestic conditions has done some people in Hong Kong resistant to a thought of operative in a mainland. But, in fact, a people we met here are generally really nice. Some of my clients might have a improved sense of me since we am from Hong Kong, yet a miss of business contacts here is a vital disadvantage. The sourroundings might be some-more enlivening for start-ups, yet only since it’s a colourful marketplace doesn’t indispensably meant that we will automatically constraint a marketplace and make a profit. We’ve only done that transition 6 months ago and there are already during slightest 3 to 4 companies providing identical services. But since we have an existent product and a skills to rise a app, we have a advantage.