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Digital Marketing in China: our top stories for December 2020

December 21, 2020 |   Christine Lee

Just like that, 2020 is coming to an end. As we enjoy the festive season, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the year that was in China. In this article, we recap the most important headlines of each month to understand the country’s fast-evolving consumption trends and changes within international education.

January: Opportunities and challenges of the greater China luxury market in 2020

In January, the Chinese luxury industry welcomed the 4th edition of the Luxury Symposium in Central Hong Kong with the goal to learn more about the future of China’s luxury market. Topics included, where brands should look for growth, and how marketing campaigns should have an emphasis on experiences.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more about How brands can deliver an exceptional customer experience in China

February: Consumers seek online retail therapy amid virus winter

With COVID-19 forcing everyone to stay home, online retail is where many are escaping to for a sense of relief from reality. Companies have turned to WeChat groups to engage directly with customers during this time. This article talks about how Rachel Ding, a 26-year-old marketing agency employee who discovered one of her favourite brands, which led to her joining a VIP WeChat group that gave her special access to brand discounts.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more about 4 consumer trends to factor into your 2021 Chinese New Year marketing plans

March: Australia pushes to remove firewall for Chinese students

Due to the spread of coronavirus, which coincided with the Chinese New Year, many Chinese international students are unable to return from their holiday to continue their studies in Australia. The Australian government said it is impossible for students in China to access crucial educational learning tools due to the firewall.

International students from China pay full fees for tuition and accommodation and are the biggest contributors to the higher sector education market.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Learn more about how businesses can navigate the coronavirus crisis

April: China’s six emotional stages of recovery

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused immense change in Chinese consumers. Similar to the five stages of grief identified by psychiatrists, Chinese consumers are going through six emotional stages in in response to the pandemic. These include disbelief, preparation, adjustment, acclimatisation, endurance, and anticipation. For example, if consumers have insecurities about their financial situation, they are more likely to switch between brands to find a low-cost alternative. This article describes how the pandemic has caused an emotional strain on the Chinese population and shares the psychological science behind their response.

Read more at WARC

Learn more about positive stories from digital China

April: Sinorbis offers free access for international education providers

In April, we here at Sinorbis made the news for offering free access to our digital marketing software to international education providers who were struggling to stay connected to Chinese students during the COVID-19 crisis. We made the announcement after an IIE survey found that more than 20% of higher education institutions had made no alternative plans for their Chinese international student recruitment and engagement. Because China remains the largest source country for international students, a lack of engagement plan for this market can lead up to major enrolment drops for the future.

Read more at The Pie News

Learn more about creating a Chinese website with Sinorbis

May: Has COVID-19 shown that EdTech can close China’s education inequality gap?

Education inequality in China is not an easy topic to pin down as there are many variables. Geographical differences are particularly pronounced with education in the North East better than the South West. The pandemic has provided a push for EdTech to overcome this divide. Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Education had announced plans to open a “National Network Cloud Classroom”. This has now been made available for first grade to high school with plans to offer widely used textbooks online for free. For those residing in the country, the Ministry of Education has promised to arrange China Education Television to broadcast relevant courses and resources. The article also touches on the benefits of rolling out online education and making it accessible throughout China.

Read more at Pandaily

Learn more about creating more effective online learning experiences for Chinese international students

June: Prestigious U.K. school push on with plans to open in China

Harrow, the 450-year-old boarding school that produced 7 British prime ministers, is poised to open five schools in China. The demand in China for English language international schools is projected to double by 2029. Harrow has been one of the pioneers of internationalisation and has opened schools in Thailand, Hong Kong and Mainland China. This move allowed them to educate six times the number of students that can attend the famed boarding school. The article touches on the benefits of opening branches abroad where they schools can lend their name and educational expertise to local partners.

Read more at Bloomberg

Learn more about why Chinese international student demand is shifting to the UK

July: Loewe’s content-commerce approach is the winning luxury strategy for the 2020s

Long popular in Europe, Japan and North America Loewe’s has expanded its low-key marketing approach to China as it opened a Beijing flagship store and over 2 dozen points of sale across the country. Instead of following the trend of flashy, large scale promotional efforts that characterise many luxury brand debuts, Loewes has instead opted for laser-focused marketing bursts that target specific customer segments. The brand has kept their digital presence to a minimum, making sure they have full control of the content they share with the audience.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more at The best Chinese viral marketing campaigns of 2020

August: Tencent scores a big Q2 before Trump’s WeChat ban plan

Tencent Holding reported its second quarter financial results, showing its total revenue surging up by 29.3% to 16.5 billion and a net profit increase of 28.2% to 4.35 billion year over year. The outstanding performance is attributed to the tech giant’s value-added services such as WeChat’s mini programs for small to medium size businesses, online advertising, and mobile games.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more about how to use WeChat to target Chinese overseas

September: The Chinese version of TikTok now has 600 million daily active users

Douyin, the Chinese version of the popular short video application TikTok has hit 600 million daily active users as of August according to parent company ByteDance. With over 22 million creators making USD $6.15 billion on the platform over the past year, the company has announced plans to invest traffic resources to support creators and aim to double their income in the coming year. Despite recent challenges in the US, TikTok and Douyin have also been seeing steady growth. TikTok has reported hitting 700 million monthly active users in July with over 2 billion global downloads.

Read more at CNBC

Learn more about Bytedance, the company behind TikTok

October: China’s ‘revenge consumption’ in Golden Week signals strong recovery

China’s tourism sector witnessed a strong recovery during the Golden Week holidays. Despite strict COVID-19 prevention measures, this event sends a clear signal that the Chinese economy is recovering quickly from the pandemic, with a GDP forecast to achieve 6 percent growth in the third quarter of the year.
Data from the ministry of commerce showed that major retailers and catering companies across the country posted combined sales revenues of 1.6 trillion yuan during the holiday season, with daily revenue of 4.9% year on year.

Read more at Global Times

Learn more about lessons from Chinas travel recovery

November: Alibaba’s $56 billion Singles’ Day record overshadowed by 10% stock plunge as China proposes new regulation

Alibaba has set a new sales record for the annual Singles’ Day shopping event during a pandemic. Singles’ Day is a shopping event in China that sees huge discounts across millions of products on e-commerce platforms run by Alibaba. To put it into perspective, this event generates more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combine in the US.
Alibaba expects imported goods to be a big hit with Chinese shopping this year because travel restrictions mean fewer trips abroad. Despite the Singles’ Day success, Alibaba also saw a stock plunge in November after the Chinese government proposed new antitrust regulations.

Read more at CNBC

Learn more about what singles’ day could mean for the global economy

December: How short video platforms are shaping Gen Z behaviours

Short video applications have the world’s young consumers hooked with their compelling and easily digestible feeds of content. Applications like Douyin are dominating the pop culture conversation as much as the attention of digital natives. In 2020, Douyin and TikTok have gained popularity as they’ve kept users entertained during COVID-19 lockdowns. These new scrolling habits have naturally come to shape the tastes, habits, and expectations of young netizens. For marketers this means that they should focus on storytelling over advertising, look for new ways to personalise their interactions with their target audience and make sure they speak about important social issues.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more about 5 ways marketers can take advantage of the Douyin app

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