MIT Sloan Management Review Article on What the West Can Learn From China's Live Commerce Success

  • 6m
  • Jialu Shan, Michael Wade
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2021

Ask someone in the West about livestreaming, and they may look back at you blankly — that is, unless they are under 25, in which case they may likely mention gaming or TikTok. Ask someone in China, and you’re more likely to hear about e-commerce.

Livestreaming simply refers to online media broadcast in real time, like a webinar (think a Zoom lecture) or game play (think Twitch). When you combine livestreaming and e-commerce, you get live commerce, where real-time interactions between shoppers and sellers take place. It is basically a refresh of the old late-night TV infomercial, except, unlike infomercials, it is dynamic, exciting, and occurs in prime time.

About the Author

Michael Wade is a professor of innovation and strategy at IMD Business School in Switzerland, where he holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation. His most recent books are Orchestrating Transformation (DBT Center Press, 2019) and Digital Vortex (DBT Center Press, 2016).

Jialu Shan is a research fellow at the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, a joint initiative of IMD and Cisco.

Learn more about MIT SMR.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on What the West Can Learn From China’s Live Commerce Success