Sina Weibo, China's largest microblogging platform, is teaming up with Smart Cars to sell just 666 Smart Fortwo Special Edition cars online to the social media site's estimated 370 million users. Competition for the distinctive yellow & blue microcars is expected to be fierce.
Sina Weibo successfully launched its WeiboPay e-commerce transactions service a mere month ago, partnering with Xiaomi (China's leading budget smartphone maker) to market its new MI2 mobile phone online. The next step is a big one though the focal product this time is a small car – a Smart Car to be exact, to be sold online and ONLY online!
Smart Cars of China whipped up a Special Edition Smart Fortwo specially for the campaign, which officially begins moving product on January 18th. While the yellow and blue color scheme might not be to everyone's taste, the microcar boasts other distinctive features including unique 9-spoke artillery-style wheels, a special Year of the Snake decal and a necklace by jewelry designer Bao Bao Wan whose pendant is a snake weaving through the Smart logo.
Sina Weibo is flexing their social media might to tweak interest in the promotion as well. If Weibo users retweet a message promoting the contest through the official campaign page before January 18th, they become eligible to win one of three Apple iPads, 100 Smart backpacks, 600 Smart keychains, or 1,500 Smart/Weibo stuffed animals.
Only 666 Special Edition Smart Fortwo microcars are available and prospective buyers can pre-register to purchase through January 18th. Since Sina Weibo boasts upwards of 370 million users in China, the sale will be conducted in a lottery format with those chosen being required to pay a 1,999 yuan ($321) deposit via WeiboPay within 3 days.
Having completed this step, buyers will be contacted directly by the nearest Smart dealer beginning on January 24th to arrange payment of the balance. All in all, the microcars will cost 128,888 yuan (around $20,710).
What's next for Sina Weibo as it seeks to monetize its social media presence? O2O (online-to-offline) e-commerce is still in its infancy in China but since success breeds success, these types of brand partnerships may soon become the norm instead of the exception. (via Jing Daily and XGO News)