In the first of our series on China’s new generation of tech entrepreneurs, we look at Wang Ning’s dream to revolutionize how local netizens engage with fitness. An idea born of a new reality for this generation – how to stay healthy and beautiful in a super competitive society.
An Idea Based on a Common Reality
Born in 1990, Wang Ning was overweight during his college years. He initially tried all manner of things to address this increasingly common problem in China, without success. As a student, he did not have money for gym memberships or a personal trainer.
Like many of his fellow millennials, Wang searched the internet to find more direct ways to control his weight and improve his wealth. Combining running with changes to his diet based on information he had pulled together online, he lost fifty-five pounds in a seven month period.
The Birth of KEEP, a Local Fitness App
To help others to maintain a healthy weight, Wang Ning created a phone app to provide others with the same information that had helped him. The result, KEEP, provides videos, training information and tips on diet, all in the same handy and mobile location. No need for a gym, fitness classes direct on your phone.
Wang’s idea hit the jackpot. Since launching last year, KEEP has already amassed ten million active users, as well as attracting strong interest from investors.
Features popular with users include the ability to personalize your fitness regime by creating your own profile and the option to schedule your workouts at convenient times. Perfect for time poor white-collar office workers looking to burn off that big lunch.
Also KEEP allows users to share their experiences and progress to friends. Similar to Weibo (China’s twitter), users can post photos and information about their workout to others. So the invention of KEEP has created little “fitness communities” online – capturing a strong trend amongst younger Chinese consumers.
This trend is one that Resonance China, and the SMART team is following closely – we are noticing a strong spike in the interest of young urban women in fitness, especially running.
Look out for more “fresh faces of China tech” next week.
Source – Shangye Zhoukan/Zhongwen Ban