The Chinese marketing toolbox

Simply copy-and-pasting strategies from familiar markets to China is not an effective approach. Val Kaplan introduces the tools for Marketing in China.

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What Does It Take to Break Into Chinese Market?

A growing internet user base means a smaller world for marketers. How can marketers break into Chinese market? Marketing News spoke with an expert.

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Mobile Marketing in China: WeChat Advertising Overview

Marketing on WeChat? Here is the overview of two types of WeChat advertising that can help you reach more users and get more WeChat followers for your brand

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WeChat Marketing Checklist: Where Should You Place WeChat QR Code

Scanning WeChat QR code is the primary method for the followers to subscribe to a WeChat account but where should you display it? Here is the checklist.

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Looking for love in China? The List of 6 Most Popular Chinese Dating Apps

Looking for a lifetime partner, casual date, romantic dinner or a quick hook up in China – check out our list of 6 most popular Chinese dating apps

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WeChat Search Function Expansion and What May Be Coming Next

The new WeChat search function will allow WeChat to expand into new territory and challenge existing market leaders in China’s search engine space.

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5 Reasons Why Chinese Sharing Economy Future Is Looking Promising

Chinese sharing economy has been growing by leaps and bounds. There are five main reasons behind rapid adoption of the those innovative services in China.

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Checklist for Building your China Web Presence

Getting serious about setting up Chinese website for your business? Here are the top 10 items on your China web presence check list.

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8 Powerful WeChat Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

WeChat app packs even more punch that you have ever realized. Here are the eight of the least known but extremely useful WeChat features.

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Live Streaming in China and the Rise of New Type of KOLs

Live streaming in China has become the latest craze reaching 325 million+ users. The phenomenon has also given rise to a new type of live-streamer KOLs.

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Our China Blog

The Chinese marketing toolbox

This article first appeared in Dialogue Review by Kirsten Levermore.

Simply copy-and-pasting strategies from familiar markets to China is not an effective approach. Val Kaplan introduces the tools for Marketing in China.

For foreigners, marketing in China is a complicated, delicate process requiring a whole new set of rules and tools.

If you are planning on setting up a campaign in China, here is what you’ll need in your toolbox: read more…

Taobao Villages: How Ecommerce Helps China’s Rural Economy

Over the last couple of years, ecommerce giants like Alibaba and have been cooperating with the government to plug China’s rural market into its vast online economy. The phenomenon of so called Taobao villages is one of the consequences of this approach.

China is one of world’s fastest urbanizing society in absolute terms. Although decreasing every year, approximately 45% of Chinese still live in rural areas which comes to about 600 million people.  read more…

What Does It Take to Break Into Chinese Market?

This article was first published by Hal Conick of American Marketing Association ( 

A growing internet user base means a smaller world for marketers. How can marketers break into markets like Japan, China and Germany? Marketing News spoke with experts from across the world to find out. The first interview about breaking into Chinese market is with Val Kaplan, author of Doing Business in China Online: read more…

Chinese Social Media Marketing Update: New Weibo KOL Posting Rules

Using KOL (key opinion leaders) has been one of the most effective social media marketing strategies in China. In this blog we have covered extensively the ways WeChat or Weibo KOL can be found, vetted and engaged to promote brands in various social media channels, which primarily are WeChat and Weibo.

Most recently, Weibo has introduced the set of new rules on what KOLs can and can’t do on their platform. Some of those rules are designed to fight completion, others to maximize the ad revenue. read more…

Chinese Programmatic Ads: 6 Most Common Types of Ad Fraud in China

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…

China Programmatic Ads: Why Chinese Ad Tech Is Still Behind the West

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…

Looking for love in China? The List of 6 Most Popular Chinese Dating Apps

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 (陌陌)

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.

Tantan (探探)

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 (百合)

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 (请吃饭)

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.

119 Facts About Email Marketing: Infographic

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 this post, we would like to share the latest infographic by featuring over a hundred facts about email marketing and why it works. read more…

WeChat Search Function Expansion and What May Be Coming Next

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.

Up until the release of new search function, searching on WeChat was, perhaps, the most frustrating experience of the otherwise awesome app. read more…

5 Reasons Why Chinese Sharing Economy Future Is Looking Promising

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.
read more…

China Sharing Economy: Six Most Innovative Services

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…

Challenges of Hosting Website in China

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…

Infographic: Email and SMS Marketing in China

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.

In this blog, we have covered extensively many aspects on Chinese email marketing: from deliverability issues to legal requirements and best practices for email template designs.   read more…

Basics of China Keyword Research: WeChat Index

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…

Learn all about China digital marketing here:


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