E-commerce fortune found in portable pianos

A Jun plays roll-up piano in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, on July 31, 2019.
PHOTO: Weibo/大学生杂志

Of all the musical instruments, the piano is perhaps the least suited for portability. But a young entrepreneur has found her fortune making content to boost sales of foldable, transportable roll-up pianos in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province.

A Jun, born in 1996, started to learn piano in kindergarten. But at that time she practised on an electronic organ.

She had to give up piano in her third year of junior high school due to her studies and financial constraints.

During summer vacation after high school, she had her first brush with e-commerce as an intern of an e-commerce company, but she also played the piano part-time for extra money.

PHOTO: TMall 

She wanted to continue to play when entering university, so she searched for an electronic organ online. What she found was a roll-up piano, which is cheap, collapsible and suitable for limited space in a dorm.

With experience in e-commerce and a passion for music, A Jun started to record videos of her playing, attracted many fans where they could buy the instrument.

Manufacturers of the pianos also wanted to promote sales with the help of the newly christened internet celebrity, so A Jun started publishing sponsored content and building a brand.

In 2016, A Jun went to Shenzhen to establish her own variety of roll-up piano which can be connected to smartphones.

She opened a flagship store online and sold 14,000 roll-up pianos priced at 358 yuan (S$70.30) each within one month, with the help of popular online videos.

Her company has been developing very fast and she hired 50 people, all in their early twenties and pursuing their dreams in Shenzhen. She now sells other instruments, including drums.

A Jun enjoys what she is doing and has a great sense of accomplishment when seeing her pianos help people - especially children - realise their musical aspirations.

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