The numbers are in. LinkedIn’s new Simplified Chinese site, otherwise known as Ling Ying, or “领英”, has seen an increase of 1 million users in mainland China since its beta release at the end of February 2014. Take note that it took a whole decade on the English-language LinkedIn site to gain 4 million members from mainland China. Ling Ying isn’t done yet. Derek Shen, President of LinkedIn China, shared that LinkedIn’s goal is to “create locally relevant products so professionals can get even more value from LinkedIn” (see source post in Simplified Chinese here). Ling Ying initially integrated features like Sina and TenCent, but its most recent partnership shows the local integration in a big way.
WeChat’s integration of LinkedIn profiles into its platform is a good indicator of China’s acceptance of this US-based channel, a success that Twitter has been unable to experience. With its latest update, WeChat added a LinkedIn tab option for users’ profiles. Tapping this tab opens a users’ profile via the LinkedIn mobile app. This multi-app integration is becoming more and more prevalent in the mobile world. Apps are teaming up and integrating in order to create a more universal, user-friendly experience. What does all this mean for B2B marketing in China?
As described in a previous post, WeChat is a widely-used tool for communication in China with business and personal melding into one. Individuals in sales and customer service positions use WeChat to communicate with customers on a more personal level. The integration with Ling Ying adds another important tool to the mix. It’s extremely important to build a foundation on real-time media channels as quickly as possible, since this is such a fast-paced means of communication. Users want to see posts on a regular basis. They want to see engagement. That’s why it is important for companies who take their business in China seriously to integrate both WeChat and Ling Ying into their real-time media strategies right away.