China Marketing Weekly: How Our Live-Streaming Got Banned In China
This week we talk about what we learnt from our own live-streaming on Chinese platforms. It’s quite a lesson, so if you’re not interested jump straight to the latter part. In there, you will read about the flame that got put off very quickly - Peppa Pig. Also, Balenciaga got into spotlight thanks to Chinese netizens. And a Chinese designer fights for a rightful place for plus-size fashion in the country. Dig in!
On the blog, we talk about e-commerce. Tait interviewed Jing Zhou, a business director of TMO Group, about using Magento 2 for e-commerce in China. Are you familiar with it? It’s very popular among Western businesses, but can also be used in China as well, as long as the right adjustments are made.
We’ve been working more with guest authors lately. Do you have a story or a tool you find useful for China marketing? Reach out to us, leave a comment or send us an e-mail. We may interview you, just as we did for the last blog post, or you could just write the post yourself. Help us learn more:-)
For the past few months, we live-streamed our China marketing trainings on Yingke. We did it mostly for fun, to play around with the platform and marketing possibilities it creates. Each time we got around 400-700 viewers in total - around 200 average viewers at a time. Do you want to know what we learnt? I summed it up in a blog post here.
Ps. To go along with the livestreaming, we started a WeChat group. It has grown into 65 members. Would you like to join? We won’t be live-streaming much, but it will be another place to follow us and join in on a real-time discussion. Add our WeChat: n1778804.
Peppa Pig disappeared from the short-video platform, Douyin. Over the past few weeks, the piggy gained a mad amount of attention in China, becoming a real celebrity on the Internet. However, over the past weekend, netizens noticed that videos connected with Peppa started disappearing and related hashtags were banned. A list circulating in the cyberspace showed the piggy listed as forbidden content along with nudity, men dressing as women, displays of firearms etc. Experts claim it’s due to a subculture growing around the piggy - many social media users alter the images of Peppa making references to paedophiles and sexual organs. The subculture (shehuiren) is supposed to have power over young people and may damage the society in the future. The state media promote a domestically-approved, ‘harmless’ equivalent of Peppa instead. - Read more (English)
Chinese netizens call for a boycott of Balenciaga goods after an incident in a Parisian store involving Chinese expats. Apparently, a security guy favoured French Albanians over Chinese people when they got into a fight waiting for the store to open. After the video of the incident went viral on the Internet, in revenge, Chinese people decided to stop buying at the brand’s stores. They were also not satisfied with the company’s apology. The issue is, the security guy was not even hired by the brand, but by the shopping mall. - Read more (English)
It’s not a good news for Balenciaga as the brand highly relies on China’s market. Also, it’s just one of many stories lately about how Chinese netizens backlash at foreign companies. It seems like now it’s either China way, or no way at all (in and outside of China).
Get To Know Chinese Consumers
Chinese designer builds a niche for plus-size Chinese women. Photos of Zheng Qi wearing traditional hanfu went viral over Chinese New Year and she wants to use the popularity to change attitude towards plus-size people. In China, even more than in Western countries, people are being stigmatized for their weight. Zheng wants to help them gain confidence and underline their beauty. “We fatties need beautiful clothes, too,” she says. - Read more (English)
Special request: draw Iron Man for me! As if food delivery business in China was not under the pressure of time already, following the latest social media trend many people ask restaurant staff to draw something for them. Be it Iron Man or Peppa Pig, or an apology drawing for a girlfriend - merchants are flooded with requests. And although they are quite worried about their skills, they see it as a way to communicate with their clients, and also a form of advertisement - the pictures are very shareable and go viral fast! - Read more (Chinese)
Platforms in China
LinkedIn China is beginning to enforce real-name verification. LinkedIn is one of the only big Western platforms accessible in China without a VPN. They already filter out content that isn’t allowed in China though. They recently informed users that they will need to verify their identity with their phone number. - Read more (English)
Brands in China get “great results” from their WeChat mini-programs. Thanks to the first underestimated WeChat feature, users can now engage with brands in more creative ways. They can personalize their pictures, create brand-related stickers, play simple but addictive games - all without even leaving the app. It certainly widens the passage to Chinese customers, helps increase shareability and create a hyper shopping experience. On the other hand, WeChat keeps the users in their app. Mini-programs are designed to minimize the chance for users to jump to other platforms or websites. Another drawback? Brands have less control over user data and marketing compared to what they collect from their own websites. And they rely more on WeChat regulations. But most of the brands seem to be willing to pay the price, or they’re just not aware of it. - Read more (English)
Seven Chinese websites made it to the top 20 of the most visited websites worldwide. Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, even made it to top 5! Want to know more about SEM in China? Check our blog posts.
Tweet of The Week
Background: an American teenager posted a picture wearing a traditional Chinese qipao dress to her prom night. It raised a ridiculous discussion online whether it was a “cultural appropriation" or a "cultural appreciation” (read more in English).
And, hey, one more thing! Have you heard any news you think can affect marketing in China but we missed it? Let us know, leave a comment!
See you next week!