The idea behind our weekly newsletter has always been to get closer to all of you- every week clicking the “send” button we reach out to you to talk about what’s recently influencing China and Chinese marketing. And we like to think of this newsletter as a dialogue rather than a monologue, we’re always happy to receive your responses!
That’s also how some of our posts come to life- sometimes it starts with one of your questions. So, if you want to learn more about what’s coming, and maybe even get featured, Tait left a note down below.
This week, we add another thread to our series on podcasting in China, and talk more about social media platforms: what happened to WeChat’s latest competitors, and which platform is the actual “Facebook of China?”
We interviewed podcasting influencer Tyler Christler to learn how he built up a following of 140 thousand followers on Ximalaya. One of the major takeaways is that he reached out to Ximalaya to create a relationship. - Read more (English)
Weibo’s revenues increased 28% year-on-year. They now have 468 million monthly active users. From an advertising point-of-view, I see Weibo as being the closest match for title: “Facebook of China”. - Read more (English)
Douyin’s in-app store feature to promote offline stores. Through “point of interest” (POI) and local trending topics the company aims to help stores drive traffic to their offline locations. Brands need to first “claim” a POI and create a profile, including location, opening hours, products, etc. POI’s accumulate related videos posted by app’s users and helps bring more attention to the store.
According to the data from Douyin, Gubei Water Town - a brand who started their “point of interest” for Chinese New Year - the number of independent visitors on their POI page increased by 540%, related videos viewed increased by 260%, and their fans increased 55 times! However, there’s still a significant gap between fans online and the number of people who actually visit the location. - Read more (Chinese)
Does Tencent pull back QQ? Right after the app’s 20 birthday, Tencent announced they enabled full cancellation of QQ accounts. That includes all data: QQ profile, cloud, wallet, friends circle, etc. It raised comments online that QQ accompanied people through their youths, there’s no way they’re gonna delete the account. The policy upgrade is probably connected with data privacy, as QQ was one of the last platforms to store their users’ data after they deleted their account. - Read more (Chinese)
Although the number of WeChat users already surpassed QQ, the older brother is still popular among young people (70% of users born after 1995) and the number of QQ’s users hit 100 million last September.
Do you still remember Bullet Messenger? It was named “the WeChat Defier” last September; in January its upgraded version - Liaotianbao - was among three new messaging apps that were supposed to change Chinese social media. One of the employees posted that the company laid off most of their employees and will be closing.
Not surprising at all, as there have been many social platforms in the recent years that tried to undermine WeChat- and failed. What’s the reason? One popular post summed it up: “Liaotianbao/Duoshan- they’re all great! I found some great online friends there, we talked about everything, and soon before going offline, reluctant to part, we exchanged WeChat accounts.” WeChat is such an indispensable aspect of Chinese life, with 1.08 billion users and 45 billion messages sent daily, no one even discusses replacing it.
Huawei sues USA over an unfair ban. The company argues that the US government‘s claim that Huawei’s equipment poses a risk is unfounded, and they are determined to prove they don’t engage in any spying practices. - Read more (English)
Vogue roasted by Chinese netizens for promoting an “ugly” model. Just after Zara was criticised for featuring a Chinese model with freckles, Vogue is being accused of choosing weird models that reinforce stereotypes. Oh boy... - Read more (English)
“MLGB” (Chinese slang for motherf*cker) trademark registration rejected by the court for being “vulgar and low style”. The clothing company based in Shanghai applied for the trademark registration in 2010, claiming that “MLGB” stands for “MyLife’sGettingBetter”. At the same time, another company failed registering their “Caonima” trademark- it is a slang phrase to say “F*ck your mother”. - Read more (Chinese)
The words themselves do not have any particular meaning, but are slang swearing. Before registering a trademark in China, it’s important to investigate not only if the characters reads nicely or if it translated to English, but also whether the chosen characters do not have a negative connotation when combined together. We’ve covered the topic of picking the right brand name before.
Amazon China and Netease Kaola allegedly merging. This could create a stronger player in the cross-border e-commerce niche. - Read more (English)
Amazon has long been searching for a way to return to the Chinese market following loss of trust after numerous fake product reports in the past. Kaola is one of the most popular international cross-border e-commerce platforms and could be Amazon’s chance to rebuild the public’s trust.
WeChat merchants can now “befriend” their customers. The platform has just launched a new feature called WeChat Friend Membership (朋友会员) that allows customers and stores to become “friends” on WeChat. This way, merchants can offer individualized discounts and send product updates to their customers.It’s a new way of post-purchase remarketing.- Read more (Chinese)
JD.com releases a 3D book promoting children’s self-defense. The book “I’m not going with you” is based on AR technology which allows the story to literally come to life.- Read more (Chinese) or watch the video
Chinese will be able to change their mobile network providers without changing their numbers. In China, daily life relies on phone numbers where Westerners rely on emails- social media accounts, bank accounts, etc.- everything requires a phone number. That’s why many people get stuck with one network provider, unless they’re willing to endure the hellish data change process... They had to agree to anything the network provider decided but it’s time for a change, and China’s three main network providers will have to step up efforts to retain customers. - Read more (Chinese)
These are some topics that we’ll post about soon. If you have questions, send them our way. We’ll try our best to answer them. If you have answers, we might interview you and give you some free publicity!
Mobile App Usability Testing
Have you ever used a user testing tool/service to find out how to improve your app for the Chinese market? I’d be interested in hearing about your experience. What worked? What didn’t work?
WeChat Store Solutions
We can count at least eight ways to set-up a store on WeChat. With so many options, how can you compare the options and choose the best one?
Ideas for Chinese Podcast Content
We’re going to look into how hot some podcast niches look to try to answer the question “Is it a good idea to start a podcast about ____ in China?” If you run a podcast, let us know the topic.