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Infobip sees opportunity amid digitalization rush in China

By CHENG YU China Daily Updated: 2022-09-28
Visitors experience high-tech equipment during Infobip Shift, an international developer conference held by Infobip, on Sept 19 in Zadar, Croatia. [Photo/PIXSELL]

Chinese businesses' digital transformation is inducing foreign companies to engage the Chinese market, especially when rising firms bet big on technologies to improve customer experience and retention rates, according to an international business executive.

"China has been one of our most important markets in the Asia-Pacific region as well as globally since the beginning of the company's presence in the country," said Silvio Kutic, CEO of Infobip, a Croatian IT and telecommunications company offering cloud-based omnichannel customer service engagement.

Kutic said that China has been a critical force in leading global digital transformation, and that Chinese business practices in the area will be watched closely by their counterparts in other countries.

"China's continued investment in digitalization has produced tremendous opportunities. We expect that customer-centric businesses, whether they plan to expand abroad or not, will incorporate cloud-based customer communication solutions into their core business strategy.

"Personalized, engaging customer communication will be a must-have, rather than a better-to-have, for business success."

Kutic emphasized that technological development is constantly accelerating in China, which offers Infobip the chance to add value to local companies.

For instance, he predicted that the country's efforts in expanding 5G networks and applications will create an opportunity for Infobip to provide its rich communication services (RCS) messaging product to more clients.

The RCS is a next-generation SMS text system that enables businesses to add multimedia content such as images, videos and GIFs to their messaging to customers, making communication more engaging.

The company's report found that most Chinese consumers still rely on live human technical and customer support. Kutic added that Chinese consumers expect real-time personalized services and interactions through human agents, especially when it comes to addressing emotional or complex situations.

However, in China, he noted that 69 percent of people surveyed were comfortable with cross-channel interactions, significantly higher than the average of 50 percent across the Asia-Pacific region.

In Japan, those who prefer human assistance were more pronounced, while in Singapore, consumers were more inclined to keep communications digital.

"To help China in such aspects, we can leverage our platform and technologies to keep a balance between automation and human assistance so both can play to each other's strengths," he said.

Last year, China's e-commerce industry hit 295.9 billion yuan ($41.27 billion) in revenue, which constituted 22.6 percent year-on-year growth, according to market consultancy iiMedia.

"As more Chinese e-commerce firms go global, supporting their successful landing in overseas markets will be one of our major focuses," Kutic said.

"We also see the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement that entered into force this year as a promising signal to further accelerate the development of cross-border industry and encourage more Chinese businesses to make profits in overseas markets," he added.

Silvio Kutic, CEO of Infobip, a Croatian IT and telecommunications company.