California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Junjie Zhou and Xing Wan
Image Credit | Samuel Chan
In the traditional offline context, the mental health industry suffers from poor local demand and a lack of trustworthy supply. Emerging digital platforms can solve this problem to a large extent by building network effects. How to build network effects is a primary issue for mental health platforms. This article explores this problem by investigating two cases from China. Platform firms can design mechanisms to increase user scale, multiply user roles, facilitate user engagement, and enhance user trust on platforms. The pioneer platform and the later entrant can implement different strategies for building network effects.