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April 28, 2020

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Videos, vendors benefit from virtual makeover

Shanghai’s digital entertainment companies and online retailers are stepping up efforts as demand for virtual forms of shopping and leisure activities increases.

Video and audio platforms are fostering partnerships with other players to carve out new opportunities for growth.

An audio travel guide for Shanghai’s historic sightseeing spots and cultural relics has been unveiled following a partnership between audio book platform Ximalaya and AutoNavi.

Ximalaya is also working with local neighborhoods to set up audio-book libraries in cities like Shanghai and Hangzhou as part of public cultural services.

Bilibili, which used to mostly stream user-generated content, is working with 300 colleges and educational institutions to air online courses. Livestreaming and video formats have been widely used by schools and students during the coronavirus epidemic.

Animation co-production works, overseas licensed content and eSports livestreaming have also produced new revenue streams for Bilibili.

The platform has also attracted gaming firms, manga studios, makers of accessory products and design studios in new business synergies.

E-commerce giants are strengthening their foothold as well. Alibaba's fresh food and grocery site Freshippo is setting up a farm-products processing and dispatch center in Pudong to foster a closer partnership with farming cooperatives and ensure supply of fresh agricultural products.

Online orders at Freshippo and other online food delivery sites surged amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the experience of securing safe and stable meat and produce supplies will continue to channel the company’s focus into the future.

Other online food companies are working with existing vendors to sell pre-packaged meals fit for online delivery.’s partners include some 150 eateries that used to offer only dine-in services. One of them, Cheng Huang Miao, an eatery specializing in Shanghai-style dim sum, has developed a frozen food selection that went on sale on JD in early April.

Other smaller regional players, like Miss Fresh, are enhancing delivery capacity to turn new customers into frequent buyers.

JD-backed delivery platform Dada plans to bring livestreaming shows to Shanghai’s TV shopping platforms to promote products and services.


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