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Apps see big upswing in users during epidemic

Enlarged font  Narrow font Release date:2020-03-04  Browse number:5
Note: Residents do exercise at home following online instructions in Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai province.
 chinese do exercise at home

Residents do exercise at home following online instructions in Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai province.

A string of mobile applications in areas such as mobile karaoke, online recipe-sharing, online fresh food sales and mobile fitness are gaining traction among younger generations in China, as they spend more time at home during the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Changba, which literally translated means "Singing Bar", provides an online platform for music fans and allows users to share their performances with friends.

Chen Hua, founder and CEO of the company, said: "People are more willing to use mobile karaoke application during the epidemic, and our user growth rates, retention rates and activity levels surged dramatically."

Chen noted the impact of the epidemic on people's daily lives is comprehensive, and the offline music performance market is also symbolic of this trend. "The internet has become the pivot of people's life, work and entertainment."

Changba Live House has provided online performance opportunities for 100,000 musicians. "We cooperated with Modern Sky, one of China's largest indie record companies, with 200,000 users watching online concerts on the first day of livestreaming."

According to Chen, the main users of Changba are music lovers and their fans, ages 20 to 30. "We found that youths who are under 20 swarmed into our app amid the outbreak, and older users have come back. In addition, they tend to spend more time on mobile karaoke app, and their frequency of use each day is also rising."

Chen noted the epidemic has an influence on the company's offline business—over 700 Maisong KTVs across the nation. "Our competiveness lies in low operation costs. I believe this business will witness an explosive growth when the outbreak ends, because users still have strong demand for offline entertainment experiences."

Xiachufang, an online recipe-sharing community, has encountered a temporary disruption due to the influx of a large number of users during Spring Festival.

Data from app tracker Analysys Qianfan showed in January monthly active users of mobile apps from the whole network reached 1.02 billion, a slight increase from the previous month. Meanwhile, daily average usage period surged 1.50 percent month-on-month to 6.15 hours.

Sun Mengzi, senior analyst at Beijing-based market consultancy Analysys, said the unprecedented epidemic forced app firms to improve operations. "With rapidly increasing traffic, mobile app companies should think of how to maintain customers when the epidemic ends. When the app is not a 'must-have', app operators should improve their technology, content, products and services to enhance user experience and keep their users," she said.

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