China Marketing Weekly: ‘Vlog’ Has Become a New Buzzword in China

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 18:00


Hello there,

We’re back from the Labour Day holiday- well, at least most of us are as many people all over China decided to take more days off and pump more money into the travel industry ;-)

This week, we talk about videos in China- mostly the rising popularity of vlogging, and how Douyin helps brands understand their position on the platform better.
Also, how is China doing in terms of green technology and why Chinese parents turn to international schools.

Dig in!


Social Media

Douyin releases a list of trending brands for DOU+ to help brands understand their position on the platform. DOU+ is Douyin’s advertising platform, and the list of trends reflects brands’ spread and influence, as well as social reception.
For now, the list showcases three main industries: automobiles, beauty and mobile phones; coming-soon are the following categories: gaming, food and beverages, clothing, luxury goods and home appliances. - Read more (Chinese)
This list not only helps the brand to understand its performance on the platform, but also helps the public to understand the popular brands and consumer trends. And for that matter, I wonder if Douyin will decide to charge “fees” to increase brand’s position in the ranking.

- Nara

Chinese platforms turn to vlogging. Video trend is not slowing in China. Douyin just announced all the users will now be allowed to publish 1-minute long videos (before there was a 15-sec restriction) to encourage users to post vlogs. The platform will also increase efforts to dig for creative content creators and reward them for “outstanding content” with a “Vlog Creator” badge. In the same time, Baidu Haokan also launched Vlog feature on their video platform allowing up to 10-minute videos, but promoting mostly the ones of 3 to 5 minutes. - Read more (Chinese)

Vlogging is becoming a major trend (source in English). They’re different from short videos that have been popular over the past year. Vlogs are expected to provide more value than short videos that are pure entertainment. Chinese giants are rolling out the Vlog feature one after another, or they invest in video editing apps.
When it comes to more mature platforms, Bilibili is worth looking into. One more note: Baidu is right to promote shorter videos though (3 to 5 minutes). Chinese users are mostly not patient enough to watch 20-minute vlogs that are seen on Youtube.

- Phoebe



A white Chinese farmer becomes a hit on the short-video platform Kuaishou. “Uncle Petrov” is ethnically Russian, but was brought up in China and is 100% Chinese. Well, apart from his appearance. Hence he definitely challenges the idea of being Chinese. As China’s population is 92% Han, and other minorities often bare appearance resemblance, the idea of someone being white (or of any other race) and Chinese is difficult to embrace. Even for me! And I am the person who’s being photographed daily by people who have never seen a foreigner before. - Read more (English)

- Wiki

Leica gets in trouble for an ad dramatizing the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The video depicts the journey of a journalist who took the famous picture of the Tank Man. It’s concluded by a message “This film is dedicated to those who lend their eyes to make us see.” and is sending a pro-democracy message. Oh boy. The video and all related posts have been censored, and the brand has been a subject of heated discussion ever since. Also, because Huawei uses Leica’s lenses in their devices, and some netizens pointed out that Leica may be bringing Huawei down with them. As the video was not officially commissioned by the brand but was shot by a Brazilian agency, all they can do now is distance themselves from it. - Read now (English)
Similar troubles faced by other Western brands in China occurred before also because decision-makers didn’t involve their Chinese team in the process; otherwise, they may have avoided the scandal. I do wonder though… Was the agency really that ignorant? Or, they thought they had a chance of sending “the right message”? Chinese consumers are sensitive to not playing by their rules. Comments often seen on social media say things like: they want our money but don’t care enough to respect us and our country.
- Wiki


Consumer Behaviour

One hundred ninety-five million people travel within China during the Labour Day holiday, an increase of 13.7% compared to 2018. The tourism industry revenue was 118 billion Yuan (17.5 billion USD), an increase of 16.1%. The average spent per person was between 500 and 1,000 CNY (74 to 148 USD). Many families opted for educational trips, taking their kids to places where they could learn something at the same time. - Read more (Chinese)
As visitors to popular tourist spots were packed like sardines, there was a popular meme on social media showing Thanos (Avengers) with a caption: “Too many people? Now you should understand me.” ;-)

- Phoebe

Chinese parents send children to international high schools as the pressure of the Chinese education system grows stronger. Although the tuition fees are daunting, even new schools often see a waiting list growing during the first two years after they’re opened. However, following the trend spreading from mouth to mouth on social media (as it often happens in China), more and more parents decide to enroll their children to schools abroad, Thailand being one of the top choices lately. They want their children to grow in more international environments, and also protect them from the inhuman rat race in Chinese high schools. - Read more (English)
For Westerners it may seem odd, but we must remember Chinese families often spend millions of Yuan to buy an apartment in good school districts. The pressure of providing the kids the best possible opportunity is huge! So, there’s a lot of money invested, even more for extra classes, and in return their kids have basically no life, get all the stress and no one can guarantee they will get into a good university. And, even if they do, they are unable to live on their own lacking basic survival skills, because everything has been done for them so that they had time to study. Sending the kid abroad does not seem like a bad option anymore, huh?
- Wiki


Other News

China is a big spender in green technology. China’s electric buses save more diesel than all electric cars combined. There are four hundred thousand electric buses in operation in the world, with 99% of them in China. China’s also the biggest market for electric cars. The downside is that the electricity often comes from coal, which is another problem/business opportunity. - Read more (English)
- Tait

Chinese companies force employees to share ads on their personal social media. Otherwise, they’re labelled as “undevoted to work” or even fined! Sometimes, the contract even includes the condition. It may be anything, such as sharing a recent update, engaging in WeChat group discussion, posting a regular ad on WeChat Moments etc . It mostly happens on WeChat, as it is usually used to maintain both personal and business relationships. - Read more (English)
- Wiki

Haidilao open its first hot pot restaurant in Europe, in London. It’s a two-floor restaurant, the prices set around 50 USD per person on average, providing a real Chinese hot pot experience. The brand is extremely popular in China, mostly for its top-notch customer service experience (which is not so obvious in China). The chain plans to open 20 restaurants in London by 2020 and expand to other European countries. The consumers’ hearts may be tough to win as, opposite to what many Westerners believe in, they’re not really used to authentic traditional Chinese cuisine. - Watch the video (in Chinese)
- Sissi




China is everywhere from staple pins to modern technologies like 5g. but never had a idea they would so hyped about vlogs :)

Vlogs in China are still quite different from the vlogs you see on Youtube! Bilibili (B站) is an interesting platform to look into.

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