This week we talk about Chinese women. #MeToo was indeed trending in China, but has the empowerment movement really reached China yet? Also for the trends, read about the Chinese government’s Two Sessions (两会 lianghui). Hurry up, they are quickly being censored!
Above all the other news - the constitution was amended on March 11, allowing Xi Jinping to rule past the current 5-year term limit. It’s hard to know the opinions on this, since comments on Weibo and other social platforms were restricted. Is Xi really after a lifetime presidency? Well, he is believed by China’s people that he is not. There are two reasons that may facilitate the party to take this step: First, no ideal candidate was found to take over the presidential responsibilities, or, second, Xi is planning something rather magnificent, which takes time to be realized. (Summarised from the internet and social media)
People's Daily promoted a ‘China is Great’ hashtag, encouraging Weibo users to take part in a finger dance battle. Following popular celebrities, many users shared their “thumbs up for China” pictures. - Read More (Chinese)
At the same time in Beijing, local restaurants and bars were ordered to limit the number of their foreign visitors due to the plenary session. - Read more (English)
International media and Chinese Internet went crazy about a video of a Chinese journalist rolling her eyes on a fellow reporter’s question during the Two Sessions press conference. It turned into a meme and was copied by many netizens in China. The journalist was reportedly fired, but it did shed light on how choreographed press conferences are. - Read more (English)
Chinese women are becoming a strong spending group in China. They are the leading consumers in 62 percent of Chinese households. They are also getting more independent and willing to invest in luxury products and healthy lifestyle. - Read more (English)
Brands in China couldn’t have missed an opportunity to target that girl shopping power. For the International Women’s Day, many companies rolled out special offers just for women - coupons for free Didi rides, discount on clothing, underwear and beauty products, etc. Also, following the international women empowerment trend, many brands in China hired strong ambassadors “who women respect and wish to emulate”. - Read more (English)
Still, the changes are slow and the reality is rather harsh. Chinese women earn much less than men - 22 percent less, on average. And the higher the position, the more significant the income gap is. Moreover, women in China tend to put convenience over “opportunity to grow” when evaluating job offers. Views on women's position in society and family are still very conservative. It’s also the reason why independent and single women are labelled as ‘leftover’. - Read more (English)
At the same time, just in time for the Women’s Day, Sina Weibo suspended Women’s Voices’ account, a microblog run by China’s most outspoken feminists. Their posts reportedly “violated China’s relevant laws and regulations”. As no one mentions which laws were broken, it’s clearly a way to silence independent women’s voices. The government calls Chinese people a nation of “equal rights” - but there’s still a long way to get there. - Read more (English)
Miranda Kerr just launched her exclusive Tmall store during a 45-minute live-streaming broadcast. The Australian model says she chose Tmall platform for two reasons. First, in order to bypass China’s animal-testing demands for beauty products. Second, the Tmall live cross is a good way for a new brand to enter the market and build a trust among new customers. - Read more (English)
WeChat has been working on a new mobile app for official accounts. It is supposed to simplify interacting with followers and publishing articles. It’s now being tested by WeChat KOLs. - Read more (Chinese)
Moreover, businesses in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong & Macau will soon be able to open overseas official accounts.
The Australian Defence Department banned its personnel from using WeChat due to data privacy concerns. In 2016, Amnesty International scored WeChat’s encryption system zero out of 100. - Read more (English)
Marvel’s Black Panther made 63 million USD in China over a weekend. But the reviews on Douban are quite different from what you can read on Western platforms. Some Chinese people say the movie is trying too hard to be ‘politically correct’. But most of the comments mention the movie being ‘too black’. Some also suggest that China, a country obsessed with whitening products, is not yet ready for a movie “full of black people”. - Read more (English)
Alibaba has launched its cloud and AI solutions in Europe, this time aiming at European businesses. They introduced eight products “ranging from big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to infrastructure, security and private cloud solutions”. - Read more (English)
Have you ever heard of Dangdang.com? It entered China’s market in 2010 and was soon called an ‘Amazon of China’. However, it did not manage to catch up on fast-changing trends. Its problems started after the real Amazon released its famous Kindle in China, and then lost the market share to giants like Taobao and JD.com. - Read more (Chinese)