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Huge change coming in China's digital economy: 58.com founder

By Ouyang Shijia in Wuzhen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-18 16:19

With more than half of the digital economy coming from the life services, China is expected to see a huge change in the next decade, an internet tycoon said during the World Internet Conference on Thursday.

Yao Jinbo, founder of 58.com, a major online marketplace operator, said when everyone thinks there is no change in the market, a new change might already be brewing, which could grow into a future unicorn firm - that is, tech companies valued at $1 billion or more.

"We believe the combination of life services, mobile internet and data just lie at the starting point. We see how opportunities are created in particular areas, such as car-hailing and shopping. However, the vast majority of life services haven't been transformed yet."

The nation, which has about 710 million internet users, or one-fifth of the world's total, has a natural sort of advantage in the developing digital economy.

Yao also noted that the company is actively exploring new ways to approach the increasing market, such as the second-hand trading platform zhuanzhuan.com it founded last year.

According to Yao, total online transactions on Zhuanzhuan hit 7 billion yuan ($1.01 billion) by Nov 12 this year, the first anniversary of its establishment.

"I will consider launching a shopping festival for second-hand trading. And I hope online sales during that period will reach the same amount as the Nov 11 shopping festival, " he said.

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