China Marketing Weekly: Chinese Netizens Call For A Boycott Of American Goods

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:24


Tait here.

This week we talk about China-US trade war, American universities cutting down on Chinese students, Kim Jong-Un’s visit to China and what’s trending on social media.

Also, we’re on the hunt for two new full-time team members.

  1. A social media marketer with experience with WeChat and Weibo.

  2. An account manager with a broad range of digital marketing experience. More info here.

As always, we’re looking for people that share our core values. Additional experience related to e-commerce or website creation is beneficial. Send us an e-mail for more details.

Top News

A possible US-China trade war is affecting the way Chinese people look at America and its products. As a response to the claim of US$60 billion tariffs imposition, Chinese people started demonstrating with “No KFC or McDonald” banners in some city centers. Also, some posts on WeChat encourage to boycott American goods. However, even though many middle-aged users (who are a strong spending force) share these posts on social media, for now it’s rather an idle talk. They may support it mentally, but are not ready to stop purchasing American products.
Xinhua also started an online movement tagged as ‘Counterattack the Trade War’ (#反击贸易战), which is supposed to state that China “does not want a trade war with America, but certainly does not fear it”. Read more on Chinese people and media reactions here.
- Wenhui

Another side to the story is that Best Buy will stop selling Huawei devices due to the company’s close connections to the Chinese government. In response, Chinese netizens call for a boycott of American devices in China, like Apple for example. Some of the netizens say: “My Huawei phone is Chinese, even McDonald’s China is now in Chinese hands, and I don’t care about American movies. So what do I need American products for?” - Read more (English)
- Wiktoria

Kim Jong-Un secretly visited Beijing on his first trip abroad since he took power. The news passed on social media since Monday, when a mystery train arrived in Beijing, turned out to be true. The North Korea’s leader said he was committed to denuclearization but there are condition that need to be fulfilled. - Read more (English)
Most of the visit-related posts were, of course, censored on social media, but some of them managed to hit over 38 million views before being taken offline. Chinese netizens refer to Kim as a ‘Third Fatty’ or ‘Post-80s Fatty’. As Beijing issued a heavy smog alert just in time for Kim’s visit, many netizens joke it’s yet another way to make the Fatty’s visit even more secret. - Read more (English)

- Wiktoria

Some universities in USA have been limiting enrollment from China in order to gain a more diverse student body. It can be tough to integrate Chinese students with the rest due to the simple fact that there are so many of them. I might also add that they’re also all using different social networks. - Read more (English)
- Tait

Trending On Social Media

‘Dirty dirty bun’ becomes one of the most popular sweets in China. It’s not even about the taste, but like in other viral campaigns in China, it’s about shareability. People went crazy about sharing pictures of themselves covered with cocoa. So, following the trend, many cafes, like 85C or Hey Tea, added the bun to their regular menu. - Read more (English)
The food trends take off fast in China. Everybody wants to eat what everybody else is eating.

- Wiktoria

Baidu’s CEO, Li Yanhong, says “Chinese people are less sensitive to the privacy protection”. Are they really? In the past few months, companies like Tencent had to face netizens’ backlash caused by privacy violation issues. While in Western countries everyone goes crazy about Facebook data leakage, Chinese people often have no way of saying ‘no’. Apps in China request much more permissions than their Western equivalents. “We have no choice but to expose our privacy, or we won’t be even able to use Baidu Maps,” commented one of the netizens.
- Wenhui

Catching Chinese Consumer’s Attention

Last month’s fashion week shows were all about live-streaming. Most of the luxury brands, like Burberry or Tom Ford, decided to share their shows with the fans broadcasting live themselves, co-working with KOLs or fashion magazines (read more in English). If you want to know more about live-streaming, check our blog post.
- Wiktoria

Many brands try to catch young Chinese people’s attention. What type of customers are they though? They are tech savvies eager to discover new things, they are individual, they’re looking for customization, but like being part of many communities, especially online ones. And last, but not least, they are demanding and expect to be amazed. - Read more (English)
- Wiktoria


Walmart dropped Alipay in favour of WeChat Pay in Western regions of China. Most retailers allow their customers to choose which app is more convenient for them. But from now on, Walmart’s customers in provinces like Yunnan or Sichuan won’t be able to pay with Alipay anymore. - Read more (English)
- Wiktoria

Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment apps are left behind in China. Although Apple Pay holds 90% market share in the Chinese contactless payment sector, the sector itself holds less than 10% of the entire Chinese mobile transaction market. - Read more here (English).
- Wiktoria

Other News

WeChat opens up their mini-games for the developers to test and debug. Also, WeChat wants to enable a group-gaming feature within the mini-games. The exact date of the updates has not been announced yet. - Read More (Chinese)
- Shirley

China develops a range of online IDs and business licences to promote the Greater Bay integration. So far, many documents and certificates from Hong Kong and Macau are not recognized in Mainland China. In order to simplify cross-border operations, the documents will be soon unified and digitalized. - Read more (Chinese)
- Kevin



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