TOKYO (Xinhua) — From Haier’s washing machines to Huawei mobile phones, Chinese hardware brands have successfully entered the Japanese market and the Japanese people cannot live without “made in China.”
Nowadays, an increasing number of Chinese “soft goods” are coming to Japan such as taxi hailing app DiDi, as well as Chinese mobile games and video sharing app Douyin.
The slogan of “Traveling around Japan with DiDi” has become familiar to the Japanese. Since entering the Japanese market for over a year, DiDi Japan has been operating in 17 Japanese cities and expects to expand to 20 cities by the end of 2019. As of September, DiDi Japan have nearly 50 million users and have cooperation with more than 200 taxi companies.
Chinese tourists can open DiDi’s domestic app in Japan and hail a taxi directly. Didi Japan provides real-time translation of Japanese language, as well as Chinese customer service, Alipay and WeChat payment functions.
Chinese mobile payment apps are also the most pervasive “soft commodity” in Japanese society. Besides in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, people can also use WeChat pay and Alipay in convenience stores and street vending machines in small and medium-sized Japanese cities.
At the end of October, Xinhua reporters went to the mountain town of Toei county in east Aichi Prefecture, which is nearly 70 kilometers from its nearest high-speed railway station. Like other local Japanese towns, Toei, with a population of just 3,170, faces loss of talents and a shrinking population.
To attract visitors, a library, a coffee house and a village life experience classroom have been built in an abandoned primary school. In Naori, a classroom where students can experience handmade cosmetics, Xinhua reporters saw a small sign that read “Welcome to use Alipay.”
According to the Nikkei website, China’s “soft goods” such as mobile games, short videos and live streaming have made Japan an important part in their international distribution.
In Japan, NetEase’s game “Knives Out” has been ranked among the top three most popular free apps in Japan for six months since its release in November 2017, and remains popular today. The game earned 274 million U.S. dollars in Japan last year, accounting for 74 percent of the game’s global revenue.
The international version of Tik Tok has captured the hearts of many young Japanese and become a must-have app on their phones. Meanwhile, Chinese live-streaming site Douyu is working with Japanese companies to expand its business in the country.
Not only are Chinese “soft goods” increasingly coming into Japan, but China’s experience in the development of e-commerce is also attracting more and more attention in Japan. On this year’s Nov. 11, a shopping festival day, a record 268.4 billion RMB (38.16 billion dollars) was traded on China’s shopping site Tmall. That is more than Rakuten, Japan’s biggest e-commerce platform, makes in a year, Japanese media reported.
Yahoo Japan, Japan’s largest Internet portal, and LINE, a social-app giant, announced a merger shortly after the Nov. 11 event. Local media reported that the move is aimed at creating a “Japanese version of Alibaba” and boosting the international competitiveness of Japanese companies