8 Things I Learned about Mongolia (from People Who Live There)

One of the great things about my job is the completely out-of-leftfield meetings we have with international franchisees.

Last month, I met two people (a female publisher and male editor) for the Mongolian edition of Men’s Health, which launches early in 2015. I learned a bunch of things—much of it related to the country’s digital footprint:

  • Half of Mongolia’s population lives in a single city, Ulan Bator (that’s a photo of it above, on a -22 degrees C day).
  • “Everybody” has a smartphone and government-subsidized computers.
  • You pay for Internet, but it’s subsidized and low-cost. Facebook traffic is not charged for.
  • The city is young and urban and geeky.
  • Mongolians travel a lot to Beijing. When they want to go someplace warm, it’s Thailand.
  • Mongolia is feeling the effects of the western diet, and obesity is a rising problem. When a KFC opened, the line wrapped around the building.
  • Mongolians’ traditional diet is protein-heavy. The nutritional motto: “Meat is for men, grass [all plants, including vegetables] are for goats.”
  • Mongolia has the usual social media players, but a different take on who is where. Facebook is for young people, Twitter is more general, and Instagram is upscale. The publisher said: “Facebook is where you post if you want to look pretty. Twitter is where you post if you want something to be seen. Instagram is where you post if you want to seem rich.”CAM02326Bolor (publisher), me, Monk (editor), and Men’s Health (U.S.) editor Peter Moore

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