Coca-Cola is one of the very few multinationals in China that seem to understand the market. Although it is a foreign product it is known and accepted by almost every Chinese, and it’s available all over China. It might be the only foreign product that can really reach all China’s 1.3 billion customers. I follow their branding and marketing activities, and also there they seem to have a good nose for trends. Last year they partnered with The9 to promote World of Warcraft in China. Coinidence or not, WoW is now the most-played online game in China.
CCTV International today announced that Coca-Cola set up a strategic partnership with Tencent. In case you don’t follow Chinese internet companies, Tencent is the biggest player in the instant messenger and online gaming market here. Their IM client QQ has a market share of about 80% (!) in China, and because of that they can reach almost every Chinese person who goes online. I think the interaction between the online and the offline world will continue to increase, and Coca-Cola is very smart to make this step. I hope this won’t further increase QQ’s market share though: Tencent is also active in online gaming and therefore a competitor of youxi.cn and the other gaming sites that we plan to set up in China.