This week we focus on brands in China that lately managed to lose some brand trust they’ve built. Also, we couldn’t miss Halloween! How do Chinese people celebrate? Scroll down to find out.
JD.com apologizes for their “Women who don’t wear lipstick are no different from men” packaging statement. After the pictures of the packaging flooded social media in China, some netizens argued gender discrimination. Other said it was just low on every level. The company probably aimed at heart-to-heart kind of marketing resembling of a “girls talk”, but heavily miscalculated. - Read more (English / Chinese)
Chinese travel platform Mafengwo hit with a fake reviews scandal. After a WeChat public account - Xiaosheng Bibi - published a report revealing that millions of reviews on the platform are posted from fake accounts or copied from competitor platforms like Ctrip, Chinese netizens called it a ghost platform. Mafengwo managed to build a huge community of travellers in the recent years, and they claim it’s a deliberate targeted attack on them. True or not, it definitely affected the trust of their users - which is very difficult to build in China. And the platform’s image of ‘professional user-generated content’ platform can disappear much faster than it’s incepted. - Read more (English)
Helo, a younger brother of Douyin, takes India by storm. The product of ByteDance (now the world’s most valuable startup) is only 4 months old and it already ranks second among free Google store apps. It’s an entertainment app used for news, videos, funny gifs, and messaging. It has strong competition in India, however it’s perfectly chose its niche. They aim at users from smaller cities and towns, and offer an interface in 14 regional languages and dialects (no English). It’s also backed up by ByteDance’s high-end algorithms, similar to Toutiao. Why would people use it over Whatsapp or Youtube? Cause it’s "politics and haters free.” Fair. - Read more (English)
ByteDance invests heavily into global development, TikTok winning over Westerners’ hearts. It’s a good example of Chinese adaptability in the new market- something foreign companies struggle with in China.
Chinese social media lose credibility. Platforms like WeChat and Weibo are integral for life in China - they provide news, social discussions and share their online life. That’s why popular influencers have such an impact of WeMedia users. However, as public account owners’ main goal became monetizing their accounts, many of them become unreliable and worse: inauthentic. Authenticity is what netizens love about influencers- opposite to Chinese media and more relatable than TV celebrities. But as they celebritize themselves greed takes over and now users turn their back on them. No wonder reading numbers go down and down. - Read more (English)
While 73% of urban Chinese are online, only 37% of rural Chinese are. Why is that? Rural non-Internet users were asked in a survey. 33% couldn’t type with pinyin or otherwise lacked language abilities. 49% didn’t know how to use the Internet. About 14% are too old or too young. And 10% just don’t have the equipment to get online.
Chinese parents often pay more attention to their phones than their own children. And this isn’t only about extreme cases when an accident happens. According to a survey conducted among primary and middle school students in China, over 40% of the children stated their parents do not pay attention to them when they’re talking, because of phone activity. - Read more (English)
Double Eleven is no longer about competition, it’s all about combining online and offline. As the numbers go up every year, brands and e-commerce platforms in China seem to put aside the regular competition and join forces to sell more. The biggest e-commerce festival moves offline this year, with hundreds of thousands of intelligent stores rolled out by Alibaba and JD.com in cooperation with various brands. - Read more (Chinese)
It’s fascinating how every year it seems they cannot push it any further, yet, every year they surprise us with new solutions.
Halloween is popularizing in China. Maybe not the particular trick-and-treating thing, but pumpkin-flavoured drinks and sweets did become a thing. Children also celebrate it at school, having costume parties - and the main fun takes place in shopping malls where games are organised. Brands inform their followers via WeChat where they can get some sweet treats. However, Halloween is most popular among young adults who enjoy dressing up and joining parties organised by expat bars with friends. Not going out? No worries, Chinese apps got you enough Halloween photo filters to choose from - WeChat Moments are all secured.
For NMG’s team, Nara baked us a delicious pumpkin pie! Quoting one of our team members: “I don’t enjoy holidays that are not about yummy food!”