For­eign pro­mo­tion for lo­cal brands

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai

wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

While peo­ple were de­bat­ing about the rise of an “In­ter­net star­let econ­omy” in China, Daniel Ma and his part­ners were busy search­ing for ways to cash in on the phe­nom­e­non.

In 2014, Ma and two busi­ness part­ners — Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer Huang Chao and Vice Pres­i­dent Hilda Ye — co-founded Shang­hai YeDao Inc in Shang­hai’s Pudong dis­trict and the com­pany has since been con­nect­ing so­cial me­dia stars with Chi­nese re­tail­ers look­ing to pro­mote their prod­ucts. Shang­hai YeDao cur­rently has 300,000 reg­is­tered for­eign users and 200 so­cial me­dia star­lets.

“At the be­gin­ning, we fa­cil­i­tated deals with fe­male cy­ber­stars from North Amer­ica and Europe. We would mail clothes and cos­met­ics to them ev­ery month for free and all they need to do is to wear the clothes and makeup, take pho­tos and post them on so­cial me­dia plat­forms like In­sta­gram, along with a web link to these re­tail­ers,” said Ma, CEO of Shang­hai YeDao.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from an MBA pro­gram jointly spon­sored by the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment, Ma be­gan his foray into In­ter­ne­tre­lated busi­nesses in 2007.

“In the past two years, more and more busi­ness starters have rec­og­nized the great op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided by cross-bor­der e-com­merce in China. How­ever, I found that such sin­gle-sided trad­ing does not bring any ac­tual busi­ness vol­ume to Chi­nese com­pa­nies,” said the 30-year-old.

When he re­al­ized that sev­eral Chi­nese com­pa­nies were al­ready in the cy­ber­star busi­ness and had signed up most of the pop­u­lar In­ter­net star­lets, Ma de­cided to do things in a slightly dif­fer­ent way in­stead — ap­proach so­cial me­dia stars in for­eign coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma, Western stars, when com­pared to their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts, pay more at­ten­tion to per­sonal style and are of­ten more will­ing to cre­ate and de­velop their own brand.

Be­cause of this, Shang­hai YeDao will soon be col­lab­o­rat­ing with these for­eign stars to launch their own prod­uct lines that will be de­signed and pro­duced by Chi­nese com­pa­nies. Ma ex­pects his team to gen­er­ate up to 300 mil­lion yuan ($46 mil­lion) by the end of this year through this ini­tia­tive.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Edi­son Fan's stock is fast ris­ing and could soon be a movie star af­ter sign­ing with an artiste man­age­ment agency.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Daniel Ma, CEO of Shang­hai YeDao

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