Our China Blog
In a relatively underdeveloped Chinese ad tech market (see our previous post), ad fraud in China remains a serious problem, costing millions of dollars to advertisers. While it is, undoubtedly, a global phenomenon, for the reasons we discussed earlier, Chinese programmatic ads market is still lagging behind.
Here are the six most common types of ad fraud in China: read more…
When it comes to digital marketing, in recent years, Chinese tech companies have been on the forefront of innovation. Unfortunately, Chinese ad tech that deals with programmatic ads still remains far less developed.
Although, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, collectively known as BAT, account for the major part of China’s overall digital marketing ad spend, there are also other online channels where ads are bought and served. Outside of China placing such ads is typically done via programmatic deals through third party platforms. Unfortunately, due to several reasons, China programmatic ads ecosystem is a generation behind western markets. read more…
Online dating in China has never been bigger and Chinese dating apps are where the action is. Looking for a lifetime partner, casual date, romantic dinner or a quick hook up – rest assured that there is an app for it in China, although it isn’t the one you are familiar with at home.
Here is our review of the most popular Chinese dating apps:
Momo is, by far, the most popular Chinese dating app and by the number of users this mobile app is only second to WeChat.
In the last couple of years Momo has been trying hard to improve its past seedy reputation re-positioning itself more of an interest based social app rather than purely a hook up service. It has added some shopping elements, games, groups etc. Those changes also made it harder to navigate – it is sort of all over the place nowadays.
Nevertheless, when it comes to Chinese dating apps, Momo is the first one that comes to mind of most singles in China.
Unfortunately, it is only available in Chinese – the English version was discontinued 3 years ago, although the company promises to launch an international version in the future.
After Momo, Tantan is the second most popular Chinese dating app. It doesn’t have a great deal of features focusing on just one mission – being a purely a location based hook up app.
In terms of design, Tantan is a shameless Tinder rip-off taking advantage of its famous trademark feature – left or right swipe. Two users that “liked” each other can start a chat and there is a daily limit on how many profiles can be viewed. Similar to Tinder, more features can be unlocked with premium membership which is how the app makes money.
Although Tantan is almost exact copy of Tinder (it also can be used in English), the western original has only itself to blame for not making it in China. By linking itself to Facebook as the only way to create an account, it has locked itself out of Chinese market from the start.
Baihe takes looking for a date onto a whole new level. It targets people who are serious about finding the right match and are not there just looking for a booty call. In fact, users’ info in Baihe look more like job resumes rather than typical dating profiles.
All users must use real names and have to pass verification to ensure there are no fakes. They are also encouraged to list assets like housing and cars with the proof that they really own them. Educational credentials such as diplomas and certificates as well as credit score are also common profile features.
Dating is a serious business on Baihe and this attitude is what sets it apart from other Chinese dating apps.
QingChiFan literally means “invitation to a meal” which is already self-explanatory name for this Chinese dating app. The idea is that getting to know each other over a meal is the most natural form of dating.
Typically, guys would be the ones offering dinner invitations and it is up to a girl to accept it. Of course, the opposite is also possible although much less common.
User can also choose to extend invitation to a group as well as set the time frame within which the offer is valid: only for today, tomorrow or within a week. The “inviter” can narrow down the criteria for invitees based on age, profession and even zodiac sign.
QingChiFan seems to be a great concept with a lot of potential and, for a change, without a direct equivalent in the West as far as we know.
No list of Chinese dating apps would be complete without mentioning Blued, the most popular service for gay community. It is also available in English.
Upon registration, users are required to upload a short video of themselves which will be manually matched with uploaded photos by Blued team. This way, the app attempts to make sure that only real people are allowed to use it but without having them to use real identities – a valid concern for many gays living in a fairly conservative Chinese society.
Although it is still the most popular Chinese dating app for gays, Blued may soon find itself fighting a strong competitor – the majority stake of Grindr, the most popular Western equivalent, has recently been acquired by a Chinese billionaire.
WeChat isn’t typically considered a dating app, although it is often used as one. The popular “Search nearby” feature allows looking for profiles within a short distance filtered out by gender preference. Users have to enable the feature first before they can be found, which means that everyone who shows up in search results is making him or her visible on purpose.
Moreover, no matter what dating app one uses, once the match is found, sooner or later, they would move to WeChat anyway – it’s just easier and everyone has it anyway.
So, although WeChat isn’t a dating app, it can rightly be considered to be a part of the overall dating ecosystem in China.
In the era of social media, instant messaging and apps like WeChat and WhatsApp, one may be tempted to think that marketing using emails is old fashioned and is losing relevance. Nothing can be further from the truth. Email marketing not only remains one of the most cost effective tools in marketers’ toolbox but it is also getting more sophisticated and efficient.
In one of the biggest news this month, WeChat search function had undergone significant overhaul allowing WeChat to expand into new territory and challenge existing market leaders in China’s search engine space.
In this post we are going to have a closer look at five main drivers powering fast growing Chinese sharing economy.
In our earlier article, we have introduced six most innovative services that have developed around various concepts of Chinese sharing economy. Some of those companies, like DiDi, have grown enormous within record time, swallowing rivals and winning new markets. Others have recently achieved infamous “unicorn” status (Tujia, Huochebang) while more startups are still small but full of potential.
The concept of sharing services didn’t originate in China, but, in recent years, Chinese are increasingly embracing many concepts of sharing economy. Several innovative startups have been on the forefront of China sharing economy with some achieving major success in record time.
Here we are reviewing several of those companies which are based on variety of different business models, products and services. read more…
Hosting website in China can be quite beneficial to a business in several respects. First of all, and most importantly, local web hosting in China will significantly reduce website’s loading time. This will both improve ranking in Chinese search engines, such as Baidu, as well as improve visitors’ overall experience.
Unfortunately, many websites that are hosted abroad still have a dismal loading time. This, undoubtedly, is adversely impacting their business in the Mainland. In addition, there is always a risk of getting banned and losing Chinese traffic completely if a website has been unlucky enough to share a server with a site that has been blacklisted by Chinese authorities for whatever reason. read more…
According to the recent report by Webpower, email and SMS marketing in China remains one of the most cost effective ways to reach target audience.
WeChat Index Tutorial
According to the most recent data, WeChat is approaching 900 million monthly users which puts it far ahead of any other Chinese social media platform. Measuring trends on such an enormous network could potentially bring the most statistically accurate data to marketers. read more…
Weibo Index Tutorial
In terms of monthly users, Weibo is the second largest Chinese social media platform after WeChat. However, unlike WeChat, it is still primarily PC based. Weibo is one of the most powerful marketing tools in China offering wide range of possibilities for reaching people across various demographics and psychographics. read more…
One of the foundations of successful online strategy in any market is keyword research and China is no exception. Since the familiar tools such as Google keyword planner are irrelevant here, China keyword research must be done with the local equivalents.
Getting serious about setting up Chinese website for your business? There are a few important things to keep in mind before investing time and efforts into building your China web presence. Getting it right will enable your Chinese website to rank high with the main search engines. Get it wrong and your website may not show up high enough in searches to be found or, worse, will never be indexed by Baidu.
Here are the top 10 items on your China web presence check list:
#1: Subdomains or multiple domains
Up until the middle of 2016, Chinese PPC, especially with Baidu, was, on average, delivering better returns than SEO. This was due to several factors:
- First, the search results, especially for popular terms, were dominated by paid ads. In some cases, hardly any organic results would be displayed in the first page;
- Second, there was little visual distinction in Baidu between paid and organic results and most people couldn’t even tell the difference.
In 2016, live streaming in China has been reshaping the ways people use mobile internet becoming the latest craze in the country. The phenomenon has also given rise to a new type of live-streamer KOLs (key opinion leaders).
According to China Internet Network Information Center, the number of live-streaming users reached 325 million in mid-2016 － nearly half of China’s total internet population of 710 million. read more…