China Marketing Weekly: How Should You Localize a Website for the Chinese Market?
This week we answer one of the most commonly asked questions: how to localize a website for Chinese consumers. We also talk about China’s unicorns, Chinese students’ habits and KOLs opting for Weibo instead of WeChat.
Oh, and the most shared news in foreign media outlets? Jack Ma is retiring!
On The Blog
How should you localize a website for the Chinese market? We just wrote an updated guide that answers all of the common questions we get, with no BS. Learn more here.
China has created valuable startups faster than any other country over the past five years. China's unicorns are worth a combined US $628.4 billion. What are the secrets to their success? Check Lu-Hai’s latest post: a brief guide to China's newest and biggest unicorns.
If you are planning a promotion for Single’s Day, start right away. It can take a month to plan and get set up. Shoppers then search for deals ahead of time and fill up their carts. Then, finally, when the clock strikes midnight on November 11, they start buying.
It’s easy to lose count of China’s e-commerce festivals. Apart from the biggest one, Double Eleven, shopping platforms roll out smaller sales throughout a year. Taobao launched another promotion on Sept 9, offering up to 10% discounts, gifts and coupons for the upcoming Double Eleven festival. Some users say that they’re not impressed with the discounts, but there are still a lot of users posting about their shopping haul. - Read more (Chinese)
China finally introduces "E-commerce Law of the PRC". This is the first comprehensive law in China that clarifies the responsibilities and obligations of e-payment service providers, and also ensures law protection for online shopping consumers. - Read more (Chinese)
The new law aims at reducing the number of fraud sales, promoting fair competition and protecting the customers. We can also expect more paperwork for vendors during the verification process.
JD.com launches its own express delivery service. “Jingdong Express” is supposed to be a cheaper competition for SF delivery service. The speed of delivery is expected to be much faster as the products are sent straight from JD's warehouses. - Read more (Chinese)
Another healthcare-related scandal hits Baidu, China’s most popular search engine. In 2016, one user died after getting immunotherapy that was promoted on Baidu. Now, it turns out users searching for “Fudan University Affiliated Hospital” ended up going to “Fuda Hospital” where many of them received misleading diagnosis and were overcharged. In Chinese, “Fudan University” can be abbreviated as “Fuda”, hence the misinformation. Baidu’s verification process failed to catch the nuance when setting up the account. It’s alarming considering how much paperwork must be submitted in order to open a PPC account. The news received a huge response online, many users expressing their anticipation for Google’s comeback to China. In the meantime, we can expect some users to switch to 360 Search or Sogou. - Read more (Chinese)
Baidu enriches its video platform with a “knowledge payment” product: Listen (听吧). The app is loaded with movies, short videos, live broadcasts etc. The company launched it with Himalaya FM, China’s most popular podcast app. Baidu’s video platform has exceeded 600 million mobile users, so the company is now trying to chase the demand for paid premium content that has been growing in China. - Read more (Chinese)
Two weeks ago, Ofo launched in-app video ads. The 5-sec video is played after users scan a bike and before it’s unlocked and ready to go. Although everyone doomed the ads from the very beginning, it seems Ofo’s cry for help just brought them 400% rise in business orders. Market analysts judged that the moment chosen for the ads is perfect as it engages user’s attention fully, and companies like Coca-Cola and Chips Ahoy! (趣多多) decided to take advantage of that. - Read more (Chinese)
TV dramas create new opportunities for brands to show their creativity. A new type of pop-up ad gained publicity during the broadcast of popular show “Story of Yanxi Palace”. The ads are closely connected to character’s lines and plot, making them a lot of fun for viewers to interact with. Viewers often share the screenshots on social media spreading the word. The ads only show up for 5 sec and disappear. They can be linked to the brand’s landing page. - Read more (Chinese)
Social Media Platforms
Bullet Messaging has already hit 7 million users but is reported to have slowed down. The app sped up to the position of the most downloaded app in just two weeks, while its CEO says it had not been even ready to launch. Even though it’s called WeChat’s new competitor, the app has not been able to create an ecosystem of 100 million users within a few weeks’ time, obviously. - Read more (Chinese)
Stay tuned for a more complex case study of the app.
KOLs favour Weibo over WeChat, especially when it comes to travel marketing. For users, Weibo’s posts are easier to share and interact than those on WeChat which provides KOLs with more options. - Read more (English)
WeChat sticks to its policy that comments on the posts published on Moments are only visible to people in the same friend circle. WeChat official accounts have limited visibility, while Weibo works similar to Western platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Therefore, Weibo posts are more visible. The platform is especially recommended for industries such as beauty or fashion.
The pet industry in China is growing fast. According to the latest reports, the market’s value in 2018 has grown to 170 billion RMB, which is a 27% rise compared to 2017. - Read more (Chinese)
Just as with a booming travel market, it is a sign of improving living standards in China. In the recent years, having a pet has become very popular - among young people, it’s even fashionable. Another reason is that, for more and more people in China, a pet (a real one or a digital) is often a remedy for loneliness.
Mobile ads take 70% of overall online advertising in China, according to the latest reports. The numbers are expected to reach over 80% in 2020 as Chinese consumers are highly dependent on their smartphones. - Read more (Chinese)
Chinese college students spend most of their money on food and beverages. The average daily disposable funds of college students is reported to be 1405 RMB/month (around 200 USD). Moreover, female students tend to spend a vast amount of their funds on a full range of basic skin care products, while the most popular cosmetic products among male students are skin cleansers. - Read more (Chinese)