Meitu, with 450 million users a leader in China’s selfie apps and a growing following overseas, helps to beautify those selfies. But having a good idea is not enough, says Peking business professor Jeffrey Towson to AFP. Having a business model helps.
Chinese Internet giants like Tencent and Alibaba have struggled to replicate their domestic dominance overseas.
But Meitu said it had 430 million overseas users as of October last year, compared to around 500 million claimed by Instagram.
Yet profits remain elusive. Meitu lost CNY 2.2 billion ($320 million) in the first half of last year.
“Meitu’s big problem has always been that it came up with this killer app – and the usage is unbelievable. It’s crazy. But they never had a clear business model underneath it,” said Jeffrey Towson, professor of investment at Peking University.
Meitu did not respond to requests for comment.
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