China Marketing Weekly: Nike's ad on WeChat and more.
This week we talk about 两会 (lianghui - the annual plenary sessions), Nike’s huge investment in social media ad and recent policies.
Has your VPN been cutting more than usual lately? The answer is the 13th National People’s Congress that started on March 5. It’s a regular practice to tighten up the censorship during the government and the party meetings. During his opening speech, Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, talked about the past 5 years of remarkable achievements. He also pointed out the overall direction for economic and social development in 2018. - Read more (Chinese)
Considering the abolishment of presidential term limits which was declared lately, the global press was expecting rather “revolutionary reforms” to be mentioned during the speech. However, the speech was plain and not revelatory instead.
WeChat keeps pushing their mini app feature to next levels. They just teamed up with Nike and added the brand’s ad to their popular game called Jump Jump (跳一跳). Nike spent more than $3 million to buy a virtual base within the game. It seems like a fair price for more than 100 million daily active users. Although Nike is definitely talked about, the campaign also got some negative feedback. Nike “failed to impress people they want to sell to”. And “it’s new, but dull”. - Read more (Chinese)
The number of WeChat users just surpassed 1 billion. The app is chasing Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube’s numbers. However, its audience is still mostly Chinese. Although WeChat has many more features that the Western apps, it is not very likely to catch up on international users soon. - Read more (Chinese)
Alibaba keeps pushing its plan to revolutionize e-commerce forward. Orders made in Hema Fresh or Tmall are to be delivered straight to customer’s house within 30-120 minutes if the distance does not exceed 3 km. Their system relies on advanced algorithms and AI in order to make use of every single piece of customer’s data they can get. - Read more (Chinese)
Only 14.6% of Chinese people choose e-commerce platforms for Chinese New Year shopping, according to Tencent’s latest report. Instead, the world’s more digitalized society prefer sticking to offline shops. It is because the delivery time is much longer during the festival season. - Read more (Chinese)
Meituan (a food delivery company) will now deliver clothes as well. They just teamed up with Heilan Home (a men’s clothing brand). The clothing brand seems to be investing a lot into cross-marketing lately as they have just opened a variety store partnering with Tencent. The store’s designers were clearly inspired by Muji’s style. But the prices in the new store are much lower. - Read more (Chinese)
Ps. Muji is a Japanese brand, very popular in China. It's a common practise in China to copy Japanese style or to pose as a Japanese brand.
Zhihu (a Quora-like platform) is upgrading its community management rules. They are claimed to have failed to abide Cyber Security Laws according to Beijing Municipal Office of Information Technology. The platform was forced to close its current comment section. It will be replaced with a new one with a built-in review function. It means all the comments on the platform must be authorised before they are published. The government seem to be taking care of one platform after another lately. - Read more (Chinese)
Watch out, WeChat official accounts! The State Administration for Industry and Commerce has just announced it would soon start reviewing online advertisements. It will take a closer look at popular websites, search engines, e-commerce platforms, mobile apps and new media accounts. They particularly pointed out that for the first time WeChat official accounts would be included. They will start with 1,000 accounts, such as Mi Meng (咪蒙), a Shenzhen-based columnist and media editor. The official goal is to cut down on false advertising. - Read more (Chinese)
China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom - the three biggest telecom giants - will stop charging for domestic data roaming. They will also reduce mobile data fees by at least 30 percent and increase mobile data speed. It’s their response to Li Keqiang’s plan to boost the development of “Digital China”. - Read more (English)
Chinese government discusses raising personal income tax exemption limit. Currently, it’s 3500 CNY/month (552 USD). During the annual plenary sessions, it was proposed to change it to 7,000 or even 10,000 RMB per month. - Read more (Chinese)
NetEase Music and Ali Music Group will swap music copyrights in order to enlarge the music base of both platforms. It is surely a step to enhance users’ experience and convenience. But it may also relax the tension on China’s music market that started in 2015 when the government banned unlicensed music streaming. On the other hand, the agreement between these two giants leaves little place for smaller companies. - Read more (Chinese)
See you next week!