China Marketing Weekly: Marketing Strategy That Actually Worked In China
This week we bring you a real story from the China marketing world. We also talk a bit more about Baidu’s latest improvements, and foreign companies struggling to get onto Chinese e-commerce platforms. As usual, there are also trending topics spotted on social media.
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And now, dig in!
What's the better way of learning China Marketing than getting to know on-the-ground stories? We talked to the marketing executives of the Beyond App, a cross-border shopping platform based in California targeting Chinese customers. We asked what are their marketing tricks in China and what their customers value most. Then, we analyzed their app from the Chinese customer’s point of view. What did they do well? What is there to improve? Read here.
Also, if you like learning from specific examples, here’s an article about a “made in China” fashion brand that made it from Beijing’s outlets to NY Fashion Week. Read how they managed to win over Chinese customers.
Have you heard of Baidu Bear Paw yet? It’s Baidu’s attempt to provide better content for users. It helps webmasters submit their content for indexation and protect it. (A long time pain for Chinese SEOers is that Baidu is bad at determining which content is original.) Bear Paw also allows users to subscribe to receive updates. We’re testing it, let you know what we find. - Read more (English)
Baidu Baike uses blockchain to improve their service quality. They want to ensure the content transparency, and the history of modification is being recorded. New edits will now be verified. - Read more (Chinese)
It’s important, as Baidu Baike (Chinese Wikipedia) pages often show up near the top of Baidu organic search results. It’s an important tool to build up customer’s trust in China.
Baidu rolls out a user-friendly search app. “Simple search” is based on AI and switches between adult and child mode automatically. It uses a variety of new generation search functions such as voice search, image recognition, for example. Moreover, the app is claimed to have the most modern data analysis tools to provide the most suitable search results for each user. The company says they will never use ads in the app. - Read more (Chinese)
Many foreign companies struggle to get on Taobao. Especially for small biz, the cost of getting onto Chinese e-commerce platforms is higher than they ever expected. The cost includes not only deposits, fees and taxes, but also the relatively high cost of setting up and managing Taobao store. - Read more (English)
Spotted on Social Media
'Sugar Daddy' dating app's popularity skyrockets in China, after Global Times warns citizens about it. One of the Weibo users even commented: “Thank you, Global Times. If you hadn’t had said, I wouldn’t have known.” However, WeChat suspended the app’s official account right afterwards, with no explanation. - Read more (English)
The very similar idea drives the creator of Ulove - a matchmaking website introducing rich Chinese man to beautiful Ukrainian women. The owner himself has a Ukrainian wife and got the idea after male Chinese internet users called him a “winner in life”. - Read more (English)
Foreign media demonize Chinese Social Credit System. There are at least two systems in China that are often regarded as one: commercial Sesame Credit System run by Alibaba, and the Social Credit System that Chinese government will roll out in 2020. Chinese netizens seem to pay more attention to the advantages of the systems than the scary drawbacks. For now. - Read more (English)
I agree that these two systems should not be mixed together. The one run by Alibaba resembles me of the bank assessment you get when you try to get a loan. The other one is complimenting the legal system of China. On the surface, they both look good, something that makes your life easier and safer. But I can’t blame foreign media for “demonizing” them, as it gives a huge power over the people of China to companies and the government.
China approves five new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s companies, right before Donald Trump announced he was working on dropping the U.S. ban on cellphone manufacturer ZTE. - Read more (English)
Chaping returns funds they received from Tencent over plagiarism allegation. The self-media platform, with over 6 mln WeChat followers and 590 million reads, was accused of using content written by other bloggers and marking it as “original”. It obviously does not line up with Tencent’s policy, which has been focused lately on protecting content creators. The platform announced they would return 30 mln yuan they had received from Tencent.- Read more (Chinese)
Plagiarism is what China has been known for decades now, but it’s been changing, fortunately. More and more companies and Chinese people engage in protecting intellectual property.
We all love food delivery, especially in China. But apart from the fact there’s a huge risk of being run over by a delivery guy, there are even more alarming environmental issues. Just the three major delivery platforms in China - Ele.me, Meituan and Baidu Waimai - produce 65 million food containers, 20 million pairs of disposable chopsticks, and 20 million plastic bags every day! - Read more (English)
See you next week!