A wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion births a busi­ness

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

On an or­di­nary early spring day, Li Bo and Ding Xin­dong worked to­gether to pro­duce an elec­tronic wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion for Ding’s up­com­ing mar­riage, with­out know­ing that they had opened a door for their fu­ture busi­ness.

The elec­tronic wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion in­cluded the hob­bies, nick­names and all the mem­o­rable ro­man­tic mo­ments of the cou­ple. To Ding and Li’s sur­prise, as soon as the smart in­vi­ta­tion was posted on so­cial media Wechat and Weibo, it got thumbs up from view­ers.

In two hours, 50,000 peo­ple, many of whom in­quired if Ding could make sim­i­lar in­vi­ta­tions for them, viewed the prod­uct.

“The large amount of view­ers and pos­i­tive re­sponse had en­cour­aged us, so we de­cided to make it our new busi­ness,” said Li, co-founder and CEO of Bay­inhe (means mu­sic box in English).

Ac­cord­ing to Li, they named their brand “mu­sic box” be­cause they want peo­ple to have the same pleas­ant feel­ing as open­ing a mu­sic box when view­ing the wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion.

Li met Ding dur­ing a trip in the United States, and they quickly be­came close friends. When they re­turned to China, they started to look for op­por­tu­ni­ties of start­ing their own busi­ness as part­ners.

“We used to have many dif­fer­ent ideas, such as launch an e-plat­form for book­ing break­fast for white-col­lars work­ing in Bei­jing and Shang­hai’s CBD ar­eas, and to de­liver them di­rectly to of­fice,” Ding said.

But the idea went nowhere be­cause they failed to find a good chef part­ner.

Af­ter more than a year’s con­sid­er­a­tion, they de­cided to cre­ate a mo­bile phone plat­form for telling sto­ries.

The plat­form that orig­i­nated from an elec­tronic wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion is ex­pand­ing rapidly.

“It could be a how-to-do guide for cook­ing a dish or pro­duc­ing an ob­ject, and it could also serve as a guide­line for writ­ing a love let­ter, find­ing a job ad, post­ing a piece of news, it could be any­thing,” Li said.

Since it was of­fi­cially launched last Au­gust, “mu­sic box” has gar­nered more than 1 mil­lion view­ers, with an av­er­age of 50,000 view­ers per day.

More than 100 cases have been han­dled by the plat­form, and many of them have been well-re­ceived.

A three-bed­room apart­ment was leased only one day af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion cre­ated through “mu­sic box” was pub­lished, thanks to the eye­catch­ing pic­tures and at­trac­tive de­scrip­tions.

Sun Vivi, a 28- year- old woman posted a no­tice look­ing for a football fan hus­band via “mu­sic box”, and in one day she im­me­di­ately re­ceived more than 80 in­vi­ta­tions on Wechat.

By fix­ing her mar­riage date on the last day of 2015, Sun’s ad­ver­tise­ment kept count­ing down the re­main­ing days, hours, min­utes and sec­onds left for the mar­riage be­tween two football fans.

Sun is now dat­ing one of the friends she added through Wechat.

The Mu­sic Box’s suc­cess also won the fa­vor and sup­port from the cap­i­tal mar­ket, as it al­ready re­ceived 1.5 mil­lion yuan ($241,800) an­gel in­vest­ment less than a month af­ter its foun­da­tion, and the co-founders are look­ing for a new round of fi­nanc­ing at the mo­ment.

Li said find­ing new pos­si­bil­i­ties is the goal of the plat­form, and in the fu­ture, they will also in­vite free­lance de­sign­ers and pro­gram­mers to build more spe­cial tem­plates with ad­di­tional side-func­tions.

“The ul­ti­mate goal of the Mu­sic Box is to be­come a plat­form of cre­at­ing all kinds of sto­ries by com­bin­ing text, pic­tures, video and au­dio al­to­gether,” Ding said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

(left) and Ding Xin­dong look to make their ‘mu­sic box’ a big busi­ness.

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