Remote work platforms attract new users as coronavirus spreads
CGTN

Chinese business has turned to remote mode in recent days due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, which greatly stimulates the use of remote work platforms that are eyeing for more business opportunities.

Major cities like Beijing and Shanghai announced that employees should work from home until February 9 as a way to weather the rapid spread of the epidemic.

On February 3, the first Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday, nearly 200 million people worked from home via Alibaba's DingTalk, a communication and collaboration platform, and millions of companies in China started remote work by using WeChat Work, a business communication tool developed by Tencent. As the number of video conferences surged at 9 a.m. that day, there was even a temporary flow limitation, which has resumed, according to the two remote platforms.

WeChat Work also said it has increased the number of people participating in one remote conference to 300.

DingTalk's smart meeting exhibition at Beijing International Trade Fair, May 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

DingTalk's smart meeting exhibition at Beijing International Trade Fair, May 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

Other remote work platforms also seized the opportunity to attract new users. Tencent Meeting, ByteDance's Lark and Huawei's WeLink all launched various free services in late January.

WeLink, Huawei's one-stop teamwork platform, said that 15,000 enterprises opened new WeLink accounts on February 2. In the latest week, the average number of newly opened WeLink accounts increased by 50 percent on an average day, Caixin reported on Monday.

Remote work becomes a new trend in China. /VCG Photo

Remote work becomes a new trend in China. /VCG Photo

Remote work boom drives industry and markets

China's smart office software industry witnessed a rapid growth in recent years. In 2018, the market size of China's smart office software industry was about 23.4 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 20.8 percent, according to the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute.

The institute also predicted that the market size of the smart office software industry would reach 48.6 billion yuan in 2024 as the country's information industry development speeds up.

In terms of industry, internet and information technology has the highest demand for smart office software, which accounts for 24 percent of the total, followed by manufacturing (19 percent) and trade, retailing and wholesales industries (13 percent).

The first day of work resumption is also the first day of the opening of the A-shares market. The remote work boom gave a strong boost to the cloud office concepts stocks, with Kingsoft Office (688111.SH) rising by 10 percent, 35.com (300051.SHE) and Bizconf (300578.SZ) also rising to a daily limit of 10 percent in the morning trading of February 4.