China Marketing Weekly: Social Media Bots Surprise Nobody in China And More

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:55



This week we sum up Chinese New Year’s numbers and talk about trends among Chinese customers - travellers and Zillennials, for example. Keep reading if you also want to know which Chinese companies decided to cooperate to make user’s experience even more ‘ultimate’.
Och, there’s a quick survey at the end of the newsletter - we’d love to know what to improve!

On our blog, Cherry discusses the best marketing campaigns of 2018 Chinese New Year. Check who managed to draw our team’s attention and what are the takeaways for China marketers. You can read both in English and Chinese.

Popular on Social Media
You can never predict what will go viral in China. The latest hit is a handmade iron wok from Zhangqiu in Shandong Province. It got so popular as it was the main character of China’s beloved food show “A Bite of China”. It opened the third season of the show and afterwards, the number of orders increased 6,000 times! - Read more (Chinese)
Note: Chinese customers are more and more into quality handmade products.

Gucci’s latest collection has been widely discussed in media and on the Internet, also in China. Chinese netizens praise the brand for using cutting-edge technologies (3D printers for example). On the other hand, many of them also mentioned the fashion show’s resemblance to a “horror movie” was striking. Also, some people asked why would they spend money on Gucci’s new collection, if it looks exactly like counterfeit clothes they could find on Taobao. - Read more (English)
Chinese New Year Statistics
During Chinese New Year (Feb 15 to 21), Chinese consumers spent over 900 billion (sic!) on domestic ‘shopping’ and ‘eating’. It includes almost 500 billion yuan spent on travelling and over 5 billion spent on movies. - Read more (Chinese)

What’s worth underlining here is the Chinese concept of spending has changed a lot. Chinese people are no longer satisfied with just buying clothes or eating. They now chase healthy food, refined and fashionable clothes and things. Catchy phrases are: customized, imported, high-tech. Understanding the changing Chinese society is essential for any brand entering China market. - Read more (Chinese)

For the Chinese New Year stats, what’s also worth mentioning - there are apps that gained a lot of attention during the festival. Mostly because of the amount of time Chinese people spent in trains and planes. But the apps are also becoming the most catching marketing channels. Five top ones are: 1) Honour of Kings (gaming), 2) Douyin (short videos), 3) Huashan (short videos), 4) Toutiao (news), 5) Youku (videos, tv series&movies). - Read more (English)
The Spring Festival DiDi data: around 3.7 million passengers used Didi for cross-city trips, just in 7 days. - Read more (Chinese)

Understand Chinese Customers
Chinese tourists care about convenience and ‘experience’ and they rank it before the price. They want to book trips and apply for visas online, preferably using mobile apps. The convenience of abroad payments is also very important - that’s why more and more Western vendors incorporate Alipay or WeChat Pay. Chinese tourists have their own check-lists that often include visiting famous, picture-perfect destinations they saw on the Internet, and buying luxury goods or exclusive products they can’t get in China. - Read more (English)
Generation Z - Zillennials - is becoming a new customer group in China with a huge consumption potential. They are particularly interested in electronics and sports, according to iResearch. Besides, they are not very interested in reading plain text, what appeals to them is video, graphics and music. - Read more (Chinese)

On the World Mobile Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, China Mobile announced that it has 890 million users in China, of which 650 million are 4G subscribers. - Read more (Chinese)
Social Media
Following the fake followers and bots scandal on Twitter lately, Jing Daily decided to check on Chinese social media. What are the results?
On Taobao, you can buy fake followers for as little as 1 RMB. They're an inseparable part of social platforms in China. 40% of Weibo's users are claimed to be automated bots. Some state some of them are released by Weibo itself.
In China, using bots is like "creating a snowball effect for posts to go viral" and it's much more accepted than it is in Western social media. - Read more (English)
WeChat, QQ and Weibo’s system maintenance takes place between Feb 25 and the end of March. All the users cannot edit their personal details such as name, profile pictures etc. - Read more (Chinese)
Chinese Companies’ Investments
Momo, a dating app, just announced a purchase of Tantan's (Chinese Tinder) shares. The apps are a hot thing as China’s been dealing with a vast number of single people. One thing to note: Momo invested a lot in live-streaming in the previous years, which brought them 524 percent year-on-year revenue jump to $246.1 million in Q4 of 2016. Read more (English)
YiChe (EasyCar Network) and Baidu tighten cooperation in order to enhance users’ experience. Baidu collects more data than any other search engine in China’s Internet. EasyCar serves more than 70 major automobile manufacturers and nearly 30,000 dealers. They have worked together in fields such as traffic, content, product, data and capital. Their goal is to provide better service and connect vehicle producers with merchants and customers. -
- Read more (Chinese)
Tencent announced that it would invest 115 million dollars in Indian music streaming service Gaana. The capital is going to be used for AI development. It's not the first investment in the industry for Tencent as it just confirmed shared swap with Spotify. - Read more (English)
Pitfalls To Avoid
For the past few weeks, we’ve been reporting all the pitfalls western companies fell into. Zara, Mercedes-Benz or Marriott received backlash from Chinese netizens and the government for listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries or quoting Dalai Lama. Many of you did not like it - especially when the backlash came from Instagram, which is forbidden in China. But those of you who do business in China or sell to Chinese customers should know which areas are way too sensitive. Check here (English).
Other News
Mobike launches its own social points system. The app will now rate user’s behaviour. Parking it within a designated space, not breaking traffic rules or keeping bikes clean boost your score. Contrary, crossing street on a red light or leaving bikes in remote places will cost users their points. Moreover, users with poor score will pay more for their rides. - Read more (Chinese)
As Beijing is to host the next Winter Olympics, China’s Olympic Committee was in charge of the last performance of the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. They organized a show featuring artificial intelligence (24 smart robots accompanying 24 human performers). Also, Chinese audience could take part in the show using a WeChat mini-program (“冬奥有我”) on their phones. - Read more (Chinese)

See you!


Add new comment