Babytree: new e-commerce regulations present opportunity

Wei Xiaowei, the COO of leading Chinese parenting portal Babytree, said his company will offer more new services to mothers and babies in an interview with several media outlets including AllChinaTech at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing on Friday.

What Babytree does

Founded in 2007, Babytree has now developed into a comprehensive platform that aims to provide all the services that mothers and babies need. Pregnant women and babies under 6 years old are its targeted customers.

The company has a community where mothers can ask questions on child-rearing and get answers from professionals. The community also provides parenting guides and techniques in the form of articles, video and animation.

In addition, there is an e-commerce sector on its official website where mothers can buy baby products including paper diapers and milk powder. It has an advantage over other pure e-commerce platforms in that its e-commerce users are its community users, so the company has a large user base.

“Our users cover 80% of the netizen population who have a baby. And we have about 180 million monthly active users,” said Wei.

Apart from community and e-commerce sectors, the platform also provides many other services including early education and advertisement.

Wei said advertisement is their main source of revenue and they will make profit from e-commerce businesses this year.

Babytree's COO Wei Xiaowei. Photo from baobao.sohu.com.
Babytree’s COO Wei Xiaowei. Photo from baobao.sohu.com.

What new services will Babytree offer?

The company sees changing demands in the new generation of mothers. To better serve them, it will provide new services for mothers in addition to sharing professional knowledge about parenting techniques.

“We will make some entertainment content including IP movies and online dramas to meet the needs of those post-’85 and post-’90 mothers,” said Wei.

In terms of e-commerce, the company has already cooperated with offline shops to sell baby products. But Wei said a big event will be held next Friday or Saturday, and afterwards, tens of thousands, or possibly even hundreds of thousands, of offline stores will be opened through cooperation with partners. He didn’t disclose more about the big event.

The company will also step into the medical sector. Last Saturday, Fosun Group, which started its business from the medical sector, announced at a conference that it will invest in Babytree. The two companies have reached a strategic cooperation agreement.

“We will enter the medical market as a platform to provide online services for mothers and babies,” said Wei. “We have already worked with the United Family Hospital under Fosun Group.”

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Additionally, Wei said the company will cooperate with insurance companies and launch special insurance for Babytree users. And the company also will offer tourism services to its users in the future.

What does Babytree say to China’s new policies?

China implemented a new policy for cross-border e-commerce businesses earlier this month. Many overseas products, especially baby products like disposable diapers and milk powder, will see a huge increase in cost. Many e-commerce platforms regard this policy as a challenge while others think it brings opportunities.

“The new policy has some effect on our platform, but it’s not that big,” said Wei. “We have built branches and warehouses in German and Hong Kong, and we will soon have branches and warehouses in the US, Japan and Australia.”

Wei said they can directly deliver orders from these branches and warehouses, which will give them an advantage over other e-commerce platforms that don’t have international logistics after the new policy has been implemented.

As for the two-child policy which took effect this year, the company sees it as an opportunity. Wei said most mothers want to provide far better services to their second child as their consumption habits change with their improved quality of life. For instance, when they have their first child, they are reluctant to go a private hospital because of the high prices, but they are more willing to go when they have their second child.

AllChinaTech has a media partnership with GMIC. AllChinaTech is a startup media platform dedicated to providing timely news and analysis on the Chinese tech industry in English.

(Top photo from Deviant Art.)

AllTechAsia Staff

AllTechAsia is a startup media platform dedicated to providing the hottest news, data service and analysis on the tech and startup scene of Asian markets in English.

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