China Marketing Weekly: Christmas in China And More
Ho ho ho! Happy Holiday!
It’s Wiktoria here and, as promised, this week we talk about Christmas in China (the regular news is down below). It’s not too surprising, but I bet most of you can’t think about anything else anyway, can you? I kinda miss the Christmas mood in Europe, but year after year more people join in the celebration in China as well. It’s not because of their religious beliefs, but for the magical atmosphere and joy of exchanging gifts. Christmas is the most popular Western festival in China. There are Christmas trees on every corner - and believe me, when Chinese people do something, they do it 500%! So Nanjing’s downtown turned into a shining, singing fairy-tale-like place. Last year I went to Shanghai in December and it was pure magic! Am I getting too excited? It’s just because Nara promised to bring us some cake for Christmas. And if someone in China bakes anything, instead of frying noodles, it must be a Christmas miracle!
On the other hand, there’ve been some people in China boycotting Christmas. Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, banned its students from organising any form of Christmas celebration. Hardline Confucianists or staunch cultural revivalists believe Chinese culture should not to be “polluted” with Western holidays. But unless the Party decides to follow their guidelines, I can’t really see them standing on young people’s way to enjoying this merry time and… spending even more money. When I asked our team how was the Christmas preparation going, most of them were like: “Och, need to check if there are any discounts on Tmall”... Not to mention all those tremendous queues in shopping malls. My friend said she gave up on the weekly grocery shopping because she couldn’t even move around at Walmart.
Anyway, this week we also talk about e-commerce, technology development and Tencent investments.
And for this week’s news, here’s our latest blog post. We get asked very often how to launch a successful Baidu SEM campaign. So you might find this step-by-step guide pretty useful. Tait talks about SEM strategy in general, so it covers more than just Baidu.
Any chance you are in Beijing and planning a trip to Shanghai for a Christmas party? Let’s suppose that’s your plan. How would you go: by train or plane? Well, tough choice it’s no longer! On board of all the fast trains shuttling between Beijing and Shanghai you can now access Wifi. The service will be extended to all the other trains soon. - Read more (Chinese)
Personally, I’ve always been in favor of trains rather than planes, they’re just much more convenient and more affordable. Those who think otherwise may change their mind soon as well.
In 2017, the global online advertising market is expected to reach up to 209 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 41% of the total advertising market. Between 2014 and 2016, 61 -72% of global online advertising spend comes from five Internet companies: Google, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. In 2016, online ads from Baidu, Ali and Tencent accounted for 54% of China's market share, while Google and Facebook swept 76% of the market in the rest of the world.
What’s the most important: market share of mobile advertising will significantly increase compared to PC share. When it comes to marketing, you should pay more attention to video ads. They are claimed to occupy most of the mobile channels by 2023. - Read more (Chinese)
Tencent and JD.com will invest $900 million in VIPshop, mainly focused on apparel retailing, covering famous shoes, bags and beauty product brands. Tencent will bring VIPshop its “audiences, marketing solutions, and payment support” in order to attract China’s rising middle class. VIPshop will be implemented into JD.com’s mobile app interface and WeChat’s shopping portal. - Read more (Chinese)
Alibaba’s plan to join online and offline retailing is going live now. It’s a another step on the way to provide an ultimate experience to your clients. How to do it? Make sure you use the newest technology. How about creating a game for the customers in your offline stores? Or delivery straight to customer’s home within 60 minutes after the purchase? Retailers get more and more creative. - Read more (English)
Tmall’s first intelligent nursing room has been opened in Beijing Dahong Men Intime Department Store. It’s the first out of 51 Intime stores they plan to open across the country in the near future. In the next two years they want to open over 1,000 of them not only in the cities, but also in the suburban areas.
So far Tmall’s been a leader in online maternal and child retail market. In the third quarter of 2017, Tmall ranked first with 50% market share, which is more than the total of Jingdong (26%) and the third VIPshop (4%). - Read more (Chinese)
Japan's fashion giant Uniqlo plans to promote their half-customized clothes worldwide. Customers would provide their body measurements online or in the store and a few days later they would have the customized clothing delivered to home.
Customized services or products are getting more and more popular. It’s expected to be a new hot trend, just like socks subscription, for example, and more stores are expected to follow Uniqlo’s example. - Read more (Chinese)
Sogou just released a lip-reading recognition technology. The system uses its vision recognition over the voice one and can understand what the speaker said through the lips movement. Its accuracy rate exceeds 60% which is much more than that of system released by Google (50%). - Read more (Chinese)
Although it’s difficult to rate AI’s influence on our lives just yet, I think this technology’s impact on disabled people’s everyday life cannot be overestimated.
Another trend not to be overlooked? Live stream. More on the topic soon, but if you have a minute check the most popular live streaming grandpa here.