Our China Blog
After reaching nearly 1 billion registered users, WeChat continues to reign supreme in China social media landscape. From marketer’s standpoint, the platform is still limited in many way due to its more private nature compared to other social media channels. On the other hand, some unique features of WeChat for marketers that can be used quite effectively.
In this post we are going to have a look at top 5 of them.
5 Most Useful Features of WeChat for Marketers
When it comes to design for marketing, does the color perception stays universal across cultures or are there significant differences?
Should marketers adopt cross-cultural approach in marketing communication or attempt to take into account psychological and socio-cultural associations and meanings that different colors convey in various cultures?
Most of the research on color theory has been done in the West and was primarily focused on Western color perceptions. It comes to no surprise that those perceptions differ significantly in the East. read more…
Mobile apps continue to play central role in Chinese smartphone revolution. Most popular mobile apps in China have been developed by either Tencent or Baidu, two rival tech giants, although other companies are not far behind.
Communication, browsing mobile internet, listening to music and watching videos are the most common activities of Chinese mobile users. Not surprisingly, companies who traditionally dominated those niches on the internet have also been the leading providers on mobile.
Interestingly enough, not only that there isn’t a single non-Chinese app in the top 10 list, they don’t even make the first 50. In fact, the only foreign app that enjoys some popularity in China is Google’s mobile Chrome browser. read more…
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…
Over the last couple of years, ecommerce giants like Alibaba and JD.com 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…
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…
WeChat official account ads involve WeChat advertiser on one hand and WeChat publisher on the other.
WeChat official account ads are displayed in the form of a banner appearing at the bottom of a WeChat article published at another WeChat Official Account.
Who can use the WeChat official account ads?
WeChat Moments ads involve WeChat advertiser on one hand and WeChat users on the other. The ads are displayed in user’s moments which is equivalent to Facebook timeline. Users see those ads while scrolling through their feed and typically have an option to interact with such ad.
Who can use WeChat Moments ads? read more…
Thanks to its enormous size (900 million users strong by the latest count) and importance in China, WeChat marketing is considered to be one of the most critical elements of any brand’s China marketing strategy.
Big part of WeChat marketing is WeChat advertising. Since WeChat has no direct equivalents in the West, many foreign companies often find it hard to understand how exactly WeChat advertising operates. This why we are going to look at it in some more details in this post. read more…
Promoting brand’s official WeChat account is the trickiest part of WeChat marketing. Scanning WeChat QR code is the primary method for the followers to subscribe to a WeChat account but where should you display it? Companies have been trying hard to make sure that it shows in every place where there is a chance to get a smartphone camera pointed to it and some have become quite innovative.
If your company has a WeChat account, you should go through our checklist to make sure that you have all the bases covered. read more…
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…
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…