China Marketing Weekly: Outbound Travel Booms During Golden Week Holiday
We’re half way through China’s Golden Week - a time when the whole country travels and only the bravest (or unaware) foreigners dare to step outside or consider going to a train station (check the video)! The most popular destination? Japan!
What else? Baidu introduces its Super Chain technology, Chinese youth long for “instant happiness,” and Little Red Book becomes a social commerce must-have in China.
How to deal with Chinese tourists while simultaneously not offending them? One reader - a car rental company - asked what to do about Chinese customers who are involved in noticeably more accidents than other nationalities. We answer them on the blog.
Didi launches in Osaka, just in time for Golden Week. You use a Chinese account in Japan - messages between local drivers and Chinese visitors are translated in-app and bilingual customer services are available - making it a breeze for tourists to get around. Japan is expected to be a top travel destination for this year’s Golden Week. - Read more (Chinese)
Asian destinations such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong are becoming increasingly Mainland Chinese-friendly; they are open to solutions tourists are familiar with (i.e. mobile payments). Uber isn’t available in China anymore, so, Didi expanding abroad is really making it easier for the Chinese.
China is the largest source of outbound travelers, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report, and the number of Chinese who travel abroad increases every year. The key to acquiring Mainland customers is to understand their different needs compared to other nationals. A good idea is to start with quality online and on-location customer support and social platforms (Weibo is the #1 social platform for Chinese tourists). - Read more (English)
Baidu releases its own blockchain technology - Super Chain. It combines Artificial Intelligence and big data collected by Baidu’s extensive system. The first batch of six tools based on the technology includes Baidu Baike (“wikipedia”), Baidu Totem (an image rights management system) and Baidu Huixue (an education certification platform).
Baidu aims at starting the “blockchain 3.0 era” and to apply blockchain technology in various areas (i.e. government services, enterprises, and everyday life); pretty much everywhere except cryptocurrency. - Read more (Chinese) or a sumup in English
Amap joins Alipay’s mini-program ecosystem. As Amap is popular with drivers in China, it comprises a multi-area transportation card covering services like buses, taxis, subways, parking discounts, etc. (Read more in Chinese.) Recently launched, the mini-program feature absorbs new companies into Alipay and is now positioned as one of the two essential apps for survival in China (the other obviously being WeChat). Alipay’s ecosystem can now collect user data in nearly every field with no need to create their own app- making it a great partner in China - one recent beneficiary being Starbucks.
Tencent is mostly known to foreigners for its super-app: WeChat, but also for QQ- WeChat’s elder sister app. However, more apps exist in the Tencent family; for example: QQ browser. It incorporates other tools offered by the family (like Tencent Video or Sogou search engine and news). According to the latest reports, those are the most used tools offered by the browser. Users are aged mostly between 19 and 35, 60% being male. - Read more (Chinese)
US government consider a new restriction on student visas granted to Chinese students. Who is it going to affect most? American universities rely on Chinese student who pay high fees to study abroad more than ever. However, if visa application process gets even more complicated than it is now, many students may choose another country (such as Canada or Australia) or stay in China. It may also drive away graduate students who cannot secure a work visa in the US, and will come back to China after they finish university. - Read more (English)
Chinese youth search for “instant happiness”; they’re pursuing more relaxed and worry-free living, even if it’s far from healthy. The recent trend, “fat otaku happiness” (肥宅快乐), comes from Japan and encourages abandoning stressful beauty and living standards. Your waist is not as thin as an iPhone and you don’t really want to have a great job in Beijing and amazing social life? Play games and eat pizza all day - why not? As long as it makes you happy. - Read more (English)
China develops 5G network as 4G users exceed 1 billion users. It will certainly influence social media and content marketing. Last year proved Chinese netizens are really into short-videos with the rapid growth of apps like Kuaishou or Douyin. So far, the limitations of 4G network were the cause of many brands still sticking to text and images. 5G is expected to bring a surge of new video content. - Read more (Chinese)
China became the largest fish and seafood consumer in the world - and autumn is the peak season for crab consumption. Chinese eat a third of what’s on the market, and China is also a key producer. The country’s now produces 860,000 tones of Chinese mitten crab a year. Simultaneously, China also boasts the highest catch and largest aquaculture in the world, and its export volume ranks first in the world. - Read more (Chinese)
However, with the rapid development of China's economy in recent years, consumers' demand for seafood is growing. It’s a strong driving force for the development of their imported seafood market. Australian lobsters, New Zealand’s green mussels, and Thai tiger shrimp have become essential foods on Chinese tables.
Little Red Book (小红书) is the latest hit for social commerce in China. It’s often called Pinterest but with an e-commerce feature and targets fashionistas across China. The platform relies on “word-of-mouth” marketing and greatly promotes a fashion and beauty brands. So far, users have used it to look for products and then jumped to e-commerce platforms to make a purchase - the aim now is to make the users convert in the app. - Read more (English)
Taobao rolls out “Store Lite” tool to make it easier for shop owners. It will work as a mini-program within the Taobao app - a lightweight version of store manager, enabling merchants to post content, talk to consumers, and do live-streaming. The tool also collects brand information and displays it to netizens searching for the store. It’s now in beta testing. - Read more (Chinese)
JD.com expands abroad. The company just launched its new platform - JD Central - covering all of Thailand. It uses local third-party delivery services and plans to soon expand to other Asian countries- becoming a new competitor of Lazada, Alibaba’s partner. - Read More(Chinese)
JD.com also enters house renting; the new feature called “JD Direct Rent” is supposed to be “as easy as shopping online” by offering simple and safe services such as pre-rental viewing, secure payment, and post-rental management and communication. - Read more (Chinese)
Popular Weibo accounts can now ban users that they don’t like. Any account with more than 100k followers can now delete unfavorable comments - the user will be banned from commenting for the subsequent three days. The platform aims at removing the growing number of ruthless online trolls in China. However, many users wonder if it’s not affecting their freedom of speech. Some popular accounts already blocked the comment function altogether- but in their cases, the influencers were to blame, not their fans. - Read more (English)
What Happens in One Minute on the Chinese Internet
In just one minute! Isn’t it insane? Not familiar with all the apps? Read more here.