Netcomm Forum 2019; A Focus on China

Netcomm Forum 2019
30 May 2019

The 14th event of the Netcomm Forum was held at Milano Congressi on the 29th and 30th of May.

A must see

The event fundamental for all Italian companies operating digital channels. It is at this event that ideas are created and shared, where knowledge and experience are exchanged on the most advanced digital innovations.

The topics of greatest discussion were e-commerce, new consumer trends, state of the art technology and business models of online innovation of retail stores.

The numbers of the 2019 edition of Netcomm Forum give an idea of its centrality. In the two days the following were involved 15,000 individuals, 200 companies, 250 speakers at 127 workshops; numbers which indicate the importance of the discussed topics.


The word “digital” is now a term associated with China’s dominance over all other countries.

In 1998 was born as the first e-commerce B2C platform. Having grown by 543% since 2013, it now has over 300 million active users. 10 years later, Alibaba launched Tmall which boasts more than 600 million users.

Looking at digital payments, Alipay was launched in 2004. Today, it's used by 900 million users. In 2011 it was the turn of WeChat Pay, which reached the same volumes as its competitor in a short time.

In 2011 Tencent launched its digital services platform WeChat, now synonymous with ‘internet’ for Chinese people. With WeChat cam its own payment tool, WeChat Pay, which within a few years surpassed Alipay. It was this moment which confirmed China’s supremacy in the global digital ecosystem.

With more than a billion active users, it has an annual growth rate of 460%, WeChat is a compulsory tool for brands seeking successful entry and growth in the Chinese market.

WeChat and Made in Italy

Precisely for the above reason Retex played a central role at the Netcomm forum, collaborating with the Italian marketplace Ventis. Our department Digital Retex, as the only Tencent Official Trusted Partner in Europe, participated at the event in the section dedicated to brands which operate in the Chinese market.

During the first day of the event, Digital Retex’s Managing Partner Nicola Canzian, held the workshop “WeChat – company systems integration and in-app e-commerce” at the Chinese Theatre. The focus was on using WeChat as a direct sales channel with a significant competitive advantage. Companies can develop more efficient business plans thanks to data compiled by CRM, DAM, automated marketing and customer care.

Whilst on the second day of the Netcomm Forum, Santiago Mazza, Digital Advisor of Digital Retex and Ventis manager Stiven Muccioli, discussed the vast promotional impact of a “Made in Italy” label. The strategic choice to leverage WeChat soon became a must for Italian brands.

Not only WeChat

A discussion was held between Fausto Caprini, our CEO, Andrea Ghizzioni, Tencent European Director, Paolo Dalla Mora from Moschino and Stefano Poliani from Tuvia Italia Kerry Logistics. The four men gathered around the topic “Not only WeChat: a holistic approach to win the Chinese Market challenge” and conversed over the growing complexity of the Chinese market, the importance of omnichannel strategy (online to offline and vice versa) and the widespread social commerce.

This final panel also focused on the use of the most common chinese social media (Weibo, Douyin, Little Red Book) as complements to WeChat when considering operations in China. As well as the the importance of logistics, maintaining and guaranteeing the high standard of shopping experience which Chinese consumers are used to.