Staff Reporters
May 21, 2021

Tech MVP 2021: Jianhao Chen, Verystar China

MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL: Jianhao Chen is a competent leader and has driven digital experience transformation for major brands through his WeChat-expert agency VeryStar.

Tech MVP 2021: Jianhao Chen, Verystar China
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Jianhao Chen

Chief technology officer

Known as “Teacher Chen”(陈老师) to his colleagues, Jinahao Chen is a gifted technology expert who not only helps clients solve problems, but also helps them understand complex technical solutions in a simple way. His striking business acumen and experience in digital transformation has helped multiple industries quickly build efficient and forward-looking solutions.

In 2011 Chen founded VeryStar, a mobile and online retail commerce agency in China, which later joined Isobar Group in 2016. Today VeryStar has 145 employees, more than half of whom are technology-related personnel. With his strength in rethinking different social platform features, product values, and user experiences, coupled with his experience in software innovation, it’s little surprise that Chen has been recognised as one of the most valuable digital technology solution consultants in the retail sector by brands such as Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels and KFC.

Notably, in 2015 Chen created the WeMedia system, which helps clients operate WeChat official accounts and connects various application scenarios in the WeChat ecosystem, such as WeChat payment, WeChat card pack, and WeChat mini-program. Major brands including Uniqlo, Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, Decathlon, Innisfree, Levis, Hyatt Hotels and Marriott Hotels all now use the WeMedia system.

In recent years, Chen has seen his technical team members grow from a team of two to nearly 80. Keen to elevate and champion others, Chen excels at encouraging each team member to play to their strengths by placing them in the right position to flourish.

Among his standout work, Chen worked closely with Starbucks for more than two years to meet its digital experience requirements. He was instrumental in helping the brand adjust its product design to perform more effectively within the WeChat ecosystem. The result was a campaign called "Say with Stars" (用星说), where users purchased gifts with emotional expressions and then used WeChat to seamlessly send the gift to friends. Subsequently, WeChat opened the gifting capability based on this cooperative project, which drove the social gifting application of many retail brands in WeChat.

Chen continues to excel at bridging the gap between the capabilities of social platforms and the needs of brands. Jury members commended Chen's strong software innovation skills in creating the WeMedia system, which they noted was an excellent example of product and tech skills.

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