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Digital Marketing in China: our top stories for January 2021

February 3, 2021 |   Christine Lee

While a new year does mark new beginnings, it is also always impacted by the developments of the preceding months. And that is perhaps never more true than for 2021! COVID-19 has caused major upheaval for the international education sector and is expected to impact the industry for many years to come. It’s against this backdrop that we include the 5 biggest trends in international education in this months round-up.

Even though China has been incredibly successful with containing COVID-19, new outbreaks and associated travel restrictions are expected to put a damper on travel during the Chinese New Year. Despite all this, China is doing very well on many other fronts and has reported a 23% growth in digital ad revenue in 2020. And on a macro-economic level, the country is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2028 – a milestone it is expected to reach 5 years earlier than anticipated due to the vastly different approaches in handling the pandemic.

Last but not least, marketing to a different nationalities must always go hand in hand with efforts to continuously learn about the nuances of this culture. And the article on 10 biggest buzzwords on Chinese social media includes some surprising insights.

1. Digital ad revenue in China grew 23% in 2020

According to a new report from independent consultancy R3, digital advertising revenue in China grew by almost 23% in 2020. And the double digit growth occurred even though average media spend fell more than 15% between the first and third quarter due to COVID-19.

The 2021 China Media Inflation Trends report states that digital marketing media in the form of short-form videos, e-commerce and social media platforms are in high demand. Short video led growth in all categories, with an increase of 10% driven by popular platforms such as Douyin, Kauishou and Bilibili and each platform serving specific audience demographics.

Read more at WARC

Learn more about the best Chinese viral marketing campaigns of 2020

2. Chunyun (Chinese New Year migration) to fall due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, local governments in China have released travel guidelines advising people not to return to their hometown prior to Chinese New Year. “Chunyun” refers to the mass travel rush in the 40 days surrounding the festival taking place between January 28th and March 8th this year. Every year, the holidays cause the largest annual human migration as people return to their hometown to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family as well as travel around the country.

It was estimated there would be 10.8 million daily trips during this period, but a resurgence of COVID cases in northern China means that figures will be lower than predicted. Further COVID-19 prevention measures have also been put in place for those choosing to proceed with their travels. This includes showing their health QR codes, and China rolling out their vaccination program.

Read more at DAO Insights

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

3. Chinese economy to overtake US ‘by 2028’ due to COVID

China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028, 5 years earlier than previously forecasted. The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said that China’s skillful management of COVID-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in the coming years.

Although China was the first country hit by COVID-19, it controlled the disease with swift and extremely strict action. This means that it did not have to go into repeat lockdown and therefore paralyse the economy – as some European countries have done.

On the other end of the extreme, the US economy has been hit hardest by the world’s largest coronavirus impact. Although the economic damage has been cushioned by monetary policy and a huge fiscal stimulus, political disagreements over a new stimulus package could leave around 14 million Americans without unemployment benefits payments in the new year.

Read more at BBC

Learn more about What China’s new five-year plan means for businesses

4. The PIE’s rundown of the five biggest news themes for the education sector in 2020

The PIE news has rounded up five of the biggest news themes for the education sector in 2020. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 and its huge upset to mobility and welfare ranks number 1 in the trends that shaped last year. During the peak period of coronavirus, there was a real need for student hardship funds and support as the gig opportunity and part-time jobs collapsed impacting students’ day to day life.

Other trends included a drastic shift to online learning, political and policy upheaval in the US and, last but not least, a huge amount of investment and momentum for international student recruitment.

Read more at The PIE Review

Learn more about top stories for China digital marketing 2020

5. Top 10 buzzwords in Chinese online media

On a lighter note, chief editor of the magazine Yǎowén Jiáozì (咬文嚼字) has announced the “top ten buzzwords” in China of the past year. The terms “mutual learning” (文明互鉴), “blockchain” (区块链) and “hardcore - as used to describe punk music” ( 硬核) topped the lists of most talked about topics in 2020. Combined, Yǎowén Jiáozì’s top ten terms have received over 290 million views and counting. Yǎowén Jiáozì is a monthly publication focused on the Chinese language.

Read more at What’s on Weibo

Learn more about social media advertising in China

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