China Marketing Weekly: Young People Turn Away From WeChat

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:00


This week, we talk about why young people turn away from WeChat, how travelling influences sales on cross-border platforms in China, and why breakfast has been trending on Chinese social media lately.

Dig in!


Social Media

Younger users turn to QQ as WeChat slowly transforms into a work communication tool and a social app for older generations. The number of QQ’s monthly active users among Zillennials, the generation born after 2000, grew by 16% compared to the last quarter of 2018. Their favourite features are social groups, and the top discussed topics are anime and celebrities. Users born in the 80s and early 90s prefer WeChat, and those born in late 90s use both of the platforms. - Read more (Chinese)
Younger users often turn to QQ seeking privacy, freedom to communicate with their peers and express themselves, and a break from parental control.
- Lillian

WeChat group admins in the risk of imprisonment. Some group admins have already been detained, according to the latest news reports. China’s Cyberspace Administration has increased the responsibility that the admin of each group bears for the content posted in the group. It concerns pornography, “politically sensitive” and military information, reposting of the news not approved by Chinese official media outlets, etc. I also noticed that group admins have become more sensitive when it comes to usage of words (both in English and Chinese) connected to VPNs, bitcoin, etc. Of course, netizens find a replacement for the risky words. - Read more (English)
- Wiki



Chinese tourists purchase online while exploring offline stores overseas. Based on the data from the Labour Day holiday, Tmall International sales volume increased by 65% compared to the last year. Chinese tourists travelling abroad during the holiday often decide to purchase (or re-purchase) the product online after experiencing offline shopping overseas. It's a new trend that fits into Alibaba's New Retail concept.
Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the United States were the most popular outbound travel destinations. Correspondingly, the sales of goods in these countries and regions in Tmall International grew faster. Beauty, health care, maternal and child products, took the top three spots of Tmall International's most popular categories during the Labour Day holiday. - Read more (Chinese)
- Lillian

Douyin expands into tourism and real estate. The company behind the popular short-video app has just updated its business scope, potentially moving into the travel industry, following their move into a homestay in February. - Read more (Chinese)
With the growing number of users (500 million MAU), Douyin has become a playground for individuals, brands and even cities in China. In 2018, Xi’an was one of the cities that started Douyin-based promotion, and according to the latest data, their tourism revenue has soared by 139% so far.
Short-videos are the most popular medium in China with over 80% of the viewers under 30 years old. The same group is also the main driving force of the Chinese travel industry. The most popular travel platforms, such as Ctrip, Mafengwo, and Qyer already enabled new features connected to audio and video sharing.
- Phoebe



Chinese latest hit is a show about breakfasts! The show “Breakfast in China” has been viewed over 200 million times, and seems to resonate with consumers all over the country. It also became a trending topic on Weibo, with users rushing to share their breakfast photos. - Read more (English)
The show is a follow-up for the extremely successful “A Bite of China” - proving that there are not too many things as important to Chinese people of all generations as food. I mean, where else people say “Have you eaten yet?” instead of a Hello ;-)
- Wiki



Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou rank as the most advanced cities in terms of “China Mobile Payment Development Index”. - Read more (Chinese)
It’s not surprising to us anymore how easy life has got thanks to the technology, but it seems to strike newcomers every single time. Booking movie tickets, taking the subway, grocery shopping, paying bills or your street food (and more!) - all using few taps in one app. In Nanjing, the government has also already rolled out an official app, allowing you to access all the related services and information, such as medical records for example.
- Sesia

Baidu’s AI virtual host, Xiao Ling, hosts the May Fourth Party Gala. Xiao Ling is an innovative stereoscopic 3D virtual host that combines the voice, vision, big data, and AR capabilities of Baidu's ecosystem. Its lip-moving technology is based on Baidu Brain artificial intelligence and is constantly learning. According to Baidu, their technology can automatically generate lip-sync animation directly from input audio. Baidu's Brain AI open platform has opened 171 technical capabilities, and plans on exploring more possibilities in social, entertainment, medical and other fields. - Read more (Chinese)

- Kevin


Consumer Trends

Here're some takeaways from the top trends in China's consumer market, according to Nielsen (in Chinese): 1) the quality of life has grown higher in China; 2) the rational consumption has become a mainstream trend; 3) social e-commerce has become a thing; 4) niche and innovative brands are taking over the market; 5) new retail (combination of online and offline) has become a must-do for brands; 6) traditional channels embrace digital transformation; 7) everything is driven by data.
- Sissi


Other News

Airbnb listings discriminate Uyghurs and other minorities in China. Dozens of offers were taken down lately as they explicitly asked Uyghurs, Tibetans and some other minorities not to book the property. - Read more (English)
It’s not a sudden outbreak of racism among Chinese citizens though, more of government policy. According to the law, hosts must register both foreigners and mentioned minorities at the local police station, although the minorities are (in theory) China’s full-fledged citizens as well. If they fail to do so, or they don’t have permission to host the minorities or foreigners altogether, they may face a fine or even imprisonment.
- Wiki

OFO bikes as good as… scrap? Three thousand bikes from Chengdu were moved to a waste plant last week. According to the company, the bikes are being removed from the city, as they already served their purpose and have become scrap. Following the shared-bike revolution, city regulations have gotten stricter to prevent trashing cities in China. Users are now even more concerned if they can get their deposits back, following rumours the company will withdraw from Chengdu (and China) entirely. - Read more (Chinese)
- Marvin




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