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Digital Marketing in China: our top stories for January 2020

February 11, 2020 |   Christine Lee

This month we highlight articles on how western brands can succeed in China, WeChat’s new paywall function is the future of online content, China’s SAMR releases new manual for naming of health foods, trends in digital marketing in China, Steinway turns to influencers and WeChat in the search of its 2040 customer as well as the relaxed regulations as the new taskforce focuses on coronavirus and how the Government is negotiating with Beijing to relax the firewall for international student access.

1. Name game: China’s SAMR releases new manual for naming of health foods

As reported by Nutra Ingredients Asia

China’s State Administration for Market Regulations (SAMR) has introduced an updated version of its ‘Health Foods Naming Directory’ to standardise the naming of products. There are four parts to this document including product name, basic principles for naming the products, banned content and assessment criteria for health foods naming.

According to a report by Nutra Ingredients Asia, the manual also listed out the types of expression or wordings that are banned for use. For instance, names of people and places and pinyin should not be used. False, exaggerated, extreme expression, local dialect, and reference to human organs and cells are also prohibited.

Read more at Nutra Ingredient Asia

Learn more about Advertising law in China

2. How western brands can succeed in China

As reported by WARC

Western brands in China are struggling in the ever-changing China market.  A study undertaken by LEWIS consultancy revealed that 40% of US marketers are using the same marketing strategies in China even though the two markets have extreme differences in their culture, demographic and platforms used.

According to WARC’s survey, 69% of US marketers were using Bing as part of their search marketing efforts – more than were using Baidu (59%) – while almost a third (30%) were unfamiliar with Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms.

Read more at WARC

Learn more about your China digital marketing strategy

3. WeChat's new paywall function is the future of online content, even if it makes you angry 

As reported by Pandaily

Any public WeChat account that has been around for at least three months, has published three (or more) original pieces of content, and has not violated WeChat’s content publishing rules, can now add a paywall of 1 to 208 yuan to their articles. The feature is still in a trial mode, but it is clear that WeChat is now looking into the online paid knowledge (OPK) pantheon that has dramatically expanded in recent years.

WeChat’s introduction of the paywall feature is a particularly interesting case. The app’s users are getting older, accumulating more disposable income and spending increasingly more time on the app. Having arguably a better understanding of Chinese consumers than any other company in the world, WeChat came up with a witty solution to cracking the local mentality. Instead of introducing subscriptions, WeChat will let users pay per article read.

Read more at Pandaily

Learn more about WeChat marketing

4. Trends in digital marketing in China

As reported by Jing Daily

Every year, retail executives try to respond to the market’s latest requests by incorporating new wrinkles into their digital marketing strategies. This is especially true in China – a country that quickly developed a fiercely competitive digital ecosystem that led to a booming and hyper-efficient economy.

Here are the four latest digital marketing trends in China:

  1. Livestreaming is becoming the most profitable form of marketing
  2. Chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) which allows consumers a tailored experience
  3. Xiaohongshu/Little Red book remains the most innovative luxury crowdsourcing app
  4. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) helps to build closer relationships with users.

Read more at Jing Daily

Learn more about China’s fastest growing apps

5. In search of its 2040 customer, Steinway turns to influencers and WeChat

As reported by TheDrum

Steinway & Sons, piano-maker of 166 years has recognised that they cannot rely solely on their products to do the talking, and had to look at external platforms to promote their products .The brand saw less recognition with younger consumers as a piano is no longer a staple house item. In order to stay on top of the game, Steinway had to invest in influencer marketing and platforms such as WeChat.

Like any luxury heritage brand, Steinway is finding the Chinese market to be critical to its commercial success. So Gilroy, who has witnessed the influx of wealthy, China-born consumers buying pianos in North America, has adapted his media plan to capitalize on the trend. His team recently launched a WeChat channel in the US, which is run by Chinese-speaking consultants and aimed at this newer, often younger audience that has a penchant for brand new Steinways.

Read more at TheDrum

Learn more about how to use WeChat to build awareness

6. Regulations relaxed in Australia as new taskforce focuses on coronavirus

As reported by The Pie News

Standard operational procedures for education providers in Australia are being relaxed after the impact of the coronavirus which led to travel bans being implemented to help stop the spread of the virus. Educators are currently rally to work out how to deliver an education to Chinese students unable to get to Australia.

According to a report in The Pie News, “where providers determine that enrolment in a wholly online of distance learning mode of study is in the student’s best interest for semester 1 or trimester 1 2020, TESQA will not pursue regulatory action” announced industry regulator TEQSA.

Read more at The Pie News

Learn more about how businesses can navigate the coronavirus

7. Government negotiating with Beijing to relax firewall for international student access

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian international student market is facing a potential $8 billion hit due to the coronavirus and it’s travel ban. The government is currently negotiating with Chinese authorities to ease the internet firewall to give international students access to online and video teaching from Australia universities.

According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian government will work to provide surety to students and academics whose visas are impacted by the travel bans and Education Minister Dan Tehan said “we have agreed to explore all avenues to minimise the impact of the coronavirus”.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Learn more about how businesses can navigate the coronavirus

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