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Digital marketing in China: our top stories for August 2019

September 6, 2019 |   Christine Lee

In August's From the Web we include top articles on Alibaba's acquisition of Netease Kaola; the success story of a Canadian brand on Tmall; dealing with fake followers and more!

1. Alibaba acquires NetEase Kaola for $2 billion

As reported by Technode.

Alibaba Group announced today that it has acquired NetEase’s cross-border e-commerce unit Kaola for approximately $2 billion, and along with Yunfeng Capital will take a minority stake in NetEase Cloud Music for $700 million.

Why it’s important

The acquisition merges the two largest platforms in the landscape, forming a principal player in the cross-border market. The two platforms jointly hold more than half of the country’s cross-border e-commerce market, according to data from research firm Analysys.

  • The deal forms a formidable competitor to other platforms in the field, including JD’s cross-border e-commerce unit,, and Suning Global.
  • China’s cross-border e-commerce market value was RMB 90.83 billion (around $12.70 billion) in the first quarter, according Analysys.

Read more on Technode
Learn more about ecommerce in China

2. How a Canadian mum became a top Tmall baby brand

As reported by Alizila.

Struck by the vast potential of the China market after just a few days in the country Canadian entrepreneur Dawn Pottier, knew that the rising spending power of Chinese consumers had created demand for niche, overseas products – products like hers. And the visit to Alibaba introduced her to the best way for an international small business to reach them: e-commerce.

“That’s when I realized there’s a whole other world out here, customers out here that will love our products,” Pottier says of her first Alibaba experience. “If it worked all over North America, then it would work in China.”

Read more on Alizia
Learn more about doing business in China

3. The latest enemy of brands in China? Fake followers

As reported by Jing Daily.

In an increasingly digital country like China, the Wanghong (网红) economy — a digital economy based on influencer marketing in social media — has proved to be a very lucrative business for KOLs and influencers. Considering the country has over 750 million internet users, and the youngest generation of luxury consumers is pushing for a fully digital retail landscape, it’s not surprising that brands are moving further away from traditional channels. Meeting consumers at every touchpoint rather than investing in only in-store experiences has become the focus for major luxury players today, but this lightning-fast digitalization trend has brought about some new challenges and risks

Read more on Jing Daily
Learn more about WeChat marketing

4. From Givency to Versace, big brands are apologising to China

As reported by The Washington Post.

As tensions in Hong Kong continue to escalate after months of political unrest, China has sought to rein in international brands that have mistakenly identified the semi autonomous territory — and other Chinese-claimed lands — as independent countries.

From Versace to Givenchy, brands have swiftly offered apologies to China over their references to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao on their websites and on items of clothing. The online backlash and calls to boycott the brands come at a highly sensitive time for China, with Hong Kong rocked by protests — which kicked off in June — over concerns that Beijing is encroaching on the territory’s autonomy.

The Chinese market is key for luxury brands, and many have been quick to publicly express regret over clothing designs that have upset Chinese consumers.

Read more on The Washington Post
Learn more about Chinese business


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