The 10 Most Influential Fashion Stylists in China
14 February 2018
The professional, in-store and amateur personal stylists of famous KOLs are themselves becoming KOLs. They are the once who shaped the entire image of the famous KOL, based on their talent, reputation, and social media followings. And brands are slowly starting to recognize their value of direct ambassadors. We believe this is certainly a good development towards a less mainstream approach. “The trust in expertise and the cult of opinion leaders and influencers there is very strong, and they have serious power in making a success of trends. Brands are certainly courting these players for their charisma in upselling goods and flash sales,” said Susan Jenkyn Jones, from Conde Nast China.Read more.

Alipay sends eight Chinese tourists on a cashless experiment in Finland
12 February 2018
Chinese outbound tourism numbers have been growing rapidly and they are traveling everywhere. Countries that want to benefit from this industry do need to adapt though. One country that is ahead of the pack is Finland. According to Finland’s national tourism board, it is the first country outside China where Chinese tourist can make ALL payments with Alipay. “Alipay was first made available in Finland in December 2016. I am glad to see it is widely accepted among Finnish merchants today, and it demonstrates Finland’s commitment to ensure that Chinese visitors leave our country with an unforgettable experience,” said Paavo Virkkunen, executive vice president of Visit Finland.Read more.

China’s Ban on Rap and Hip-Hop: What Brands Need to Know
7 February 2018
When your brand is associated with a ‘Trendy TV Show’ it could be raining cash when it is still on fire. However, what happens when it turns into a bad influence to society because your direct or indirect ‘brand ambassadors’ go rogue? It might temporarily make you extremely popular among the youth, but it will also put you at risk of being noticed by the regulatory bodies in China. That is exactly what happened to the popular TV show “The Rap of China”. So sometimes it might be better to play it safe and temporarily overt support of explosively ‘Trendy Cultures’. The lesson here is to stay up-to-date on trends and regulations in China to make sure you don’t go wrong and certainly never identify your brand with just one trend or hype.Read more.

Le Tote’s expansion in China is centered around WeChat
6 February 2018
They don’t have a desktop app in China, and their approach has been 100% mobile-first. Le Tote's CEO in China stated that their customers spends all their time on mobile. “So we started with a WeChat app. People interact with friends, sell things and make payments through WeChat. It’s a very dominant platform,” said Tondon. Le Tote considers their approach a low-risk way to enter one of the riskiest markets and we agree. Newbies to China can certainly learn from this.Read more.

For Chinese Millennials, Tech Trumps Heritage
2 February 2018
A recent report by Agility Research & Strategy suggests the best way to capture the attention of luxury millennial consumers is with innovative technology, not heritage and tradition. Based on that finding it is suggested that luxury brands could benefit by making their products and services more innovative. We actually believe this holds true for every company wanting to succeed in China. Read on to learn more about the reports findings. Read more.

Don’t Highlight the Hype, Internet Office Tells Weibo
30 January 2018
Following the recent errors of Marriott resulting in their Chinese website still being down, it is now Weibo's turn to be reprimanded by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). It was said that "content of wrong public opinion orientation, obscenity and ethnic discrimination continued to spread on Sina Weibo" and for that reason the it was ordered to move several portals offline. Weibo has temporarily suspended some of its popular features among which is the "hot searches" page, which displays the social networking platform's top trending topics. Read more.

The State of Search Engine Marketing in China
28 January 2018
Great article explaining the state of complex search engine market in China in a refreshing way. Baidu is no longer the only players in SEO & SEM and paid search ads no longer dominate all the results. Ultimately a native speaker or team on the ground in mainland China would be key for three reasons: 1) to acquire the right legal licenses (ICP) and get local hosting; 2) Translate your brand expectations into correct Chinese keywords; 3) Insight into the market to select correct tools and platforms. Read more.

What's next for China's connected consumers - a roadmap for driving digital demand
26 January 2018
Market research company Nielsen recently released a report that reveals how connected devices and digital platforms have led to a consumption boom in China. “Chinese consumers have shown an insatiable appetite to integrate digital technology into their lives. Connected devices, social media, e-commerce, online payments and digital advertising are now firmly woven into the fabric of society”, said Vishal Bali, Managing Director of Nielsen China. A statement supported by numbers showing that online sales grew 28% in 2017, and 84% of consumer used their mobile phone to shop in 2017. The report aims to help brands (better) understand Chinese consumer behavior and improve their digital marketing strategies. Read more.

Fashion brands are quickly capturing China's make-up market
24 January 2018
Fashion brands venturing into cosmetics is a big hit in China, as the popularity of luxury brands’ cosmetics lines skyrocketed in 2017. Besides the fact that these luxury brands can “piggyback” on their good reputation and the “brand experience” already created by previous fashion items and marketing campaigns, the affordability of these luxury items also plays a big part in the rise of their popularity. Luxury brands’ beauty products are perceived as a good entry point to the world of luxury, as they allow Chinese consumers to enjoy a certain level of wealth and sophistication without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. Read more.

How online marketers fuel China's fake news problem
22 January 2018
China’s wildly successful social media marketing industry is starting to show its dark side: rumourmongering. The viral potential of online content is a blessing for marketers, but a curse for companies when it concerns damaging (fake) rumours. Rumourmongers often target the food and beverage industry, education, elderly care, and charity – all institutions that lack comprehensive market oversight. And as the majority of Chinese netizens tend not to verify information before they share it online and companies knowingly distribute fake news to undercut the competition and oversell their own successes, regulations for commercial defamation are much needed. Read more.

Two brothers crack the impermeable Chinese market by bringing gaming to retail marketing
18 January 2018
Considering the immense popularity of gaming in China, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of using interactive games for retail marketing. Giles and Julian Corbett built an innovative, game-based data collection and marketing tool for retailers, that enables brands to engage with their customers right at the moment of purchase. Ksubaka - the name of the platform - comprises more than 8000 interactive screens known as Playspots, that influence shoppers’ behaviour while increasing shopper satisfaction. By analyzing the patterns of interaction between PlaySpots and customers, Ksubaka offers brands unique and actionable insights into shoppers’ tastes and preferences. Read more.

WeChat opens its closed ecosystem for brands
15 January 2018
In December 2017, WeChat launched a new feature called “Brand Zone” that allows brands to display their posts and sell their products and services directly to users, even if they aren´t followers. Before, the visibility of WeChat posts was always limited to an official account’s followers. With this new feature, Tencent takes the next step in making WeChat an all-encompassing digital platform that connects social media marketing, e-commerce, and payments. A dozen major international brands are already utilizing this feature in different ways, including Carties, Gucci, Swarovski, and Lancôme. Read more.

Why do foreign brand names have to be translated into Chinese?
11 January 2018
One of the first things you’ll notice when arriving in China, is that most Chinese netizens tend not to be familiar with even the simplest English words. Although you’ll see a lot of English signs and names on the streets of China, these are mostly meant as symbols of internationalism. They are there for the purpose of being seen, rather than being read. In general, all English words are either phonetically or semantically translated into Chinese, making it almost impossible for English brand names to penetrate the everyday conversations of Chinese people. Which is why well thought-out Chinese brand names are absolutelnecessary in order to promote your brand in China. Read more.

Ad targeting is a status symbol in China
9 January 2018
While ad blockers are rather popular in Western countries, Chinese consumers are far more accepting of online advertising. In fact, it appears that Chinese people even like to be advertised to, as they see ads as indicative of their status. BMW discovered this by mistake, when they decided to direct their new advert to a specific target audience and – completely unexpected – received numerous complaints from people who didn’t got the advert. Apparently, people felt that they weren’t in the right ‘caste’ to get the advert, which “destroyed their souls”. Read more.

How Swarovski is winning over Chinese customers on WeChat
5 January 2018
As a Christmas promotion, Swarovski designed an “Advent Calendar” box allowing customers to discover a new product every day in the lead up to Christmas, accompanied by a WeChat campaign offering incentives such as a chance to win free prizes after participating in different games in the app. By promoting the QR code that connected to the WeChat campaign in its local store network, Swarovski managed to drive both in-store purchases and awareness of their WeChat platform. The campaign was launched using WeChat’s interactive campaign feature H5, a suite of mini apps that allows for more advanced functionality including click-to-purchase and games. Despite WeChat’s broad range of functionalities and brands like Swarovski showing us record-breaking results of their WeChat campaigns, most luxury brands are still experimenting with it. However, for brands wanting to make an entrance in China, WeChat’s 900 million person user base is one place to start. Read more.

Who influences the influencers?
2 January 2018
Although new KOLs are joining the scene every day, luxury brands tend to merely use a handful of leading fashion bloggers and influencers to play it safe. But as these big influencers are often known to collaborate with any brand as long as they pay enough money, brands using these over-exposed KOLs risk losing the authentic connection with their audience and sense of product exclusivity their brand is associated with. Jing Daily listed four types of influencers that exist outside of the more mainstream names, but manage to maintain a substantive connection with their followers in a sea of competition anyway. Read more.

Online shopping a national pastime: survey
22 December 2017
According to recent survey data from KPMG’s China branch, online shopping has become the favourite leisure activity of Chinese netizens. Stimulated by shopping festivals such as Single’s Day and Double 12, online shopping has officially become a national pastime. What doesn’t come as a surprise, in a country where people spend an extraordinary amount of time on mobile devices. “Nowadays in China, the first greeting isn’t whether you’ve eaten, but how many items do you have in your shopping cart”, said co-founder and vice-chairman of Alibaba Group Holdings Joe Tsai at an event for singles Day. And as seventy percent of millennials plans to spend even more on luxury goods and services in 2018, we cannot help but wondering what next year’s numbers will be. Read more.

Christmas in China: delusions and differences
20 December 2017
Filling the period between Singles’ Day and Lunar New Year, Christmas has been embraced by Chinese consumers as another festival associated with shopping discounts and themed promotions. Many Chinese cities have been illuminated with commercially-funded twinkly lights and neon decorations, and in the last month, 600.000 Christmas trees were bought on Tmall alone. For brands, Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to position themselves as an international, modern brand that’s appealing to China’s millennials. And as there is an opportunity for commerce in China, there will also be the ever-present key opinion leaders more than willing to help brands spread that message. Like many things in China, Christmas has become a fascinating occasion to observe. Read more.

How China's luxury e-commerce market will evolve in 2018
18 December 2017
In 2017, Western luxury brands embarked on a migration in to Asia, and China in particular. While the rest of the world’s luxury purchases have slowed, Chines luxury consumers are spending more on luxury goods than they ever did before. And luxury brands are starting to take advantage of this. Over the past months, several high-end brands opened e-commerce stores to sell directly to customers in China. As luxury brands are beginning to establish a direct presence in China, they are taking control over a market that was once dominated by counterfeiters and grey market. What can we expect in 2018 from the evolving luxury e-commerce industry in China? Read more.

5 Types of influencers for marketing to millennial Chinese moms
15 December 2017
Millennial Chinese moms grew up during an age of prosperity and technical change, leading to different lifestyles and ways of thinking than previous mom-generations. They are trendy, value self-expression, are experienced online shoppers and tend to have a higher spending power than the average Chinese citizen. According to PARKLU, the real opportunity for brands right now lies in China’s third and fourth-tier cities, as the mommy-baby market in these cities is growing fast and market leaders are yet to be defined. Collaborations with mommy influencers can be an excellent way for brands to promote their products and spread their brand’s message in these cities. Read more.

How to do social media marketing for your B2B business in China?
13 December 2017
While social media marketing has gained in popularity when it comes to B2C marketing, using social media to market services or products to other businesses can be an extremely difficult process. Whereas giveaways and discounts, for example, are effective incentives for B2C companies to get people to follow their WeChat official accounts, what B2B businesses should focus on is to create powerful content instead. And while consumers often decide to follow an official account after the first interaction, the CEO’s and CFO’s who B2B businesses want to attract will likely have to interact with contents on multiple occasions before deciding to follow an account. You can find these and other insights in Technode’s four keys to a successful social media campaign. Read more.

Two years on, what does the two-child policy mean for brands
11 December 2017
In response to China’s aging population, the government announced in late 2015 that it would end it’s one-child policy and allow all married couples to have two children. Two years after the implementation of the so-called two-child policy, the impact on Chinese family formation and shopping habits varies across different cities. Families in less urbanized provinces saw the biggest response to the policy change, for example, whereas the most developed cities such as Beijing and Shanghai were the least affected. While it will take years to fully evaluate the effects of China’s two-child policy, it is crucial that brands pay close attention to the changing demands of Chinese families and parents, who constitute one of the fastest-rising consumer segments in Chinese markets. Read more.

China's potent marketing channel: online video
7 December 2017
Online video is one of the most popular and engaging channels in China. For brands hoping to reach Chinese consumers, using online videos as a marketing channel can be very powerful. There are a number of possibilities for the use of online videos, such as developing original video content and video advertising. For brands willing to spend, video blogging and related livestreaming by KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) can really bring your brand to life and can be a persuasive and seemingly authentic way to amplify your brand’s message. Agencies such as AgencyChina can ensure you maximise the online video opportunity. Read more.

Why Z-lennials will upend Western brands' China strategy
5 December 2017
Although Chinese millennials, with their increasing purchasing power, are considered as the most important consumer group for luxury brands, the next generation is one to watch as well! Z-lennials – those born after 2000 – are starting to reach adulthood next year and their spending power and behavior is expected to expand quickly. As this generation is bound to undergo changes in China’s social structure not experienced by previous generations, their consumption patterns are likely to be different from everything previously considered characteristic of Chinese consumers and will challenge luxury brands in whole new ways. Read more.

Daigou retailer AuMake opens flagship George Street store as Aussie brands beg to be stocked
30 November 2017
The prices for luxury goods and products as baby formula, vitamins and skincare products are on average 30 to 40 percent higher in China than abroad. To allow people in mainland China to avoid these high prices, a new channel of ecommerce emerged named ‘daigou’. The term daigou refers to people who purchase highly sought after products in for example Australia, and sell these via social media apps like WeChat to customers in mainland China. A highly profitable business it appears, as some daigou make upwards of $100,000 a year. Daigou retailer AuMark has discovered an opportunity in facilitating these daigou, by opening a one-stop shop where daigou can purchase, pack and send the sought after products to their customers. AuMake chairman Keong Chan explains the reasons for their success and their vision for the future. Read more.

The crazy world of Weibo verification
28 November 2017
Chinese social media is – unfortunately – full of fake accounts, fake news and online scams, making it difficult for users to see what’s real and what is not. To combat this problem, Weibo has created a great number of options to verify your account, proving to your users that you’re ‘the real thing’. Once your profile is verified, a ‘V’ appears on your profile making it quite easy for your followers to recognize that your account has been verified. However, there are multiple types of ‘V’s (such as Orange V, Blue V, Red V..) and multiple ways to earn them. As this makes it somewhat difficult to understand the process and the actual meaning of verification, KAWO has created a verification manual that will guide you through it. Read more.

You can now use WeChat to take the subway
26 November 2017
One app to rule them all: WeChat has – over the course of six years – evolved into a platform offering everything from instant messaging, blogging, and networking to peer-to-peer payments, taxi hailing, and selling products and services. And with the launch of WeChat Mini Programs earlier this year (applications within WeChat that don't require a download), WeChat has opened a whole new range of possibilities. An innovation that led , among many others, to the 'Tencent Ride Code': a WeChat Mini Program that allows Chinese citizens to take the subway using their WeChat instead of a ticket. Read more.

Western brands cultivate Thanksgiving culture in China through marketing campaigns
24 November 2017
After witnessing the increasing presence of Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween in Chinese society and the growth of sales associated with those festivals, we cannot help but ask ourselves which western holiday will be next? According to Coach this will be Thanksgiving, as they launched their first Thanksgiving campaign to Chinese consumers on November 16 this year. Although Thanksgiving is largely an American affair, the examples of Christmas and Valentine’s Day tell us that Chinese consumers tend to be very open-minded when it comes to engaging with foreign holidays. One of the key factors contributing to this phenomenon appears to be the fact that Chinese youngsters tend to view Western holidays as “trendy”. Considering this, it should not be hard for brands to figure out how to effectively introduce Thanksgiving to Chinese consumers. Read more.

Cross-border e-commerce spending in China to top the $100 billion treshold in 2018
21 November 2017
Mainly because of their greater awareness of overseas brands in China and the perception that foreign goods are of better quality, China’s growing middle class is helping to increase cross-border ecommerce sales to $100.17 billion by the end of 2017. This, and the fact that Tmall Global, JD Worldwide and Kaola are adding more brands to their offerings and improving cross-border logistics and processing times, offers an opportunity for foreign brands to tap into this demand for high-quality foreign products. Read more.

Be data-smart: how to avoid fake KOLs
15 November 2017
Paying key opinion leaders to promote a brand or product is a common – and very effective - marketing strategy in China. But, as Chinese social media is full of fake accounts with fake followers and fake comments, choosing a real and suitable influencer for your brand is challenging. To combat this problem, JingDaily has listed some advice on how to collect the right data to screen out fake KOLs. Read more.

What sensitive keywords on WeChat could mean for brands
13 November 2017
As WeChat is increasingly used by multi-national companies for both national and international communication, WeChat has also become the latest digital space to be monitored by the Chinese government. Operating a chat application in China requires following laws and regulations on content control and monitoring, and with WeChat it works as follows. When you send a message via WeChat, it passes through a remote server than contains rules about certain topics. If your message includes a keyword that has been targeted for blocking, the message will not be send. Whereas in the past users received a notification when their message was blocked, now the message simply disappears without a trace. As this censorship can severely curtail a company’s (internal) communication, brands need to be aware of the implications and take extra care in formulating messages and advertisements. Read more.

Single's Day chasing more growth
10 November 2017
The day before 11.11 Singles’ Day, we cannot avoid wondering about what this year’s biggest ecommerce festival is going to bring. As customers – including us – are conditioned to expect more glitz and light with each subsequent promotion, Alibaba has to deliver an ever-more engaging experience. The same applies to brands – with 140.000 brands promoting 15 million products during the festival, it’s not just a case of throwing up a promotion on Tmall and expecting the masses to buy. Smart marketing tactics are – much like the rest of the year – rather necessary! Read more.

Virtual Reality in China: unlimited possibilities for luxury brands
6 November 2017
Virtual Reality is the perfect tool for brands wanting to establish a new position in their audience’s mind. As users are fully immersed and not distracted by external stimuli, messages are efficiently conveyed and better memorized. VR is known for helping boost sales conversion rates, especially when used on a Chinese audience. “In fact, 49 percent of the Chinese respondents to a survey from Worldpay said that the products or shopping advice shown in a virtual environment stimulated their impulse to buy products.” Read more.

How to improve your website SEO for Baidu
1 November 2017
As Google is largely inaccessible in mainland China, ranking high on Google is not going to put your products and services in front of 800 million Chinese netizens. In order to get the attention of the Chinese middle class, Western companies need to rank high on China’s home grown search engine Baidu as well. But be aware, the differences between these search engines are significant and a site that ranks high on Google might not rank at all on Baidu. So, how do you improve your website SEO for Baidu? Read more.

How luxury brands can unlock the power of user-generated content
26 October 2017
With the soaring popularity of social media in China, luxury shoppers are more and more starting to seek opportunities where they can be more than just a consumer. As a result, content creation is no longer led by mainstream media and KOLs alone, but consumers are increasingly generating original content on Weibo and WeChat as well. How, then, can luxury marketers take advantage of this growing desire of Chinese consumers to share content? To answer this question, JingDaily interviewed three experts in the field who provided suggestions on how brands can unlock the power of user-generated content. Read more.

Tmall kicks of 11.11 buildup with 'See now, Buy now' show
20 October 2017
The `See Now, Buy Now` fashion show last Friday, with models showing off branded fashion and apparel that will be available to buy for Alibaba´s 11.11, kicked off three weeks of promotions Alibaba will run to create a buzz ahead of 11.11. With `retail as entertainment´ as the central theme to this year´s 11.11, the `See Now, Buy Now` fashion show perfectly illustrates the merging of offline and online shopping: viewers enjoyed the live show while shopping the items they saw directly on their phones. Read more.

The new China Cultural Revolution: how micro-influencers can deliver better ROI than big KOLs
17 October 2017
Brands often devote a portion of their online marketing budget to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), influential (online) public figures with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. However, based on Dunbar’s number - a theory saying our brains cannot maintain more than about 150 stable relationships and influence declines as the number of relationships grows – influencers with a smaller network might be better. Social scientist Robin Dunbar tested whether online social networks are similar in terms of size and range to that of offline face-to-face networks, resulting in some interesting suggestions regarding the influence of KOLs and mini-influencers. Read more.

Infographic: online behavior of Chinese millennials
5 October 2017
Chinese millennials – people born between the early 80s and early 2000 – are often referred to as digital natives, as they grew up with the development of new technologies. With 211 million 90’s millennials in China, that account for 4 billion US dollar of online shopping, marketers do well by learning about their behavior and understanding their preferences. Studying the infographic made by Hylink might be a good first step in this. Read more.

"Sang" the trend of negative messages on Weibo & WeChat
27 September 2017
Black tea called “My ex-boyfriend is better off leaving me” and brand advertisements saying “No one can make you give up on your dream, you will give it up by yourself after giving it a thought”. Depressing messages are winning the market as they have become a proven method of attracting attention, so much that the Chinese youth came up with a name for these dispiriting messages: Sang(丧). Fascinated by this new marketing strategy, Netease and Eleme collaborated on a new concept named Sang Cha, the depressing opponent of Hey Tea (Happy Tea). Read the full article to get a good look on how this came into being. Read more.

Understanding consumer's attitude to enhance add effectiveness
15 September 2017
Marketers today face a new mindset: consumers have gone from simply receiving content to seeking it out and controlling what they see. As a respond, many marketers have moved to marketing in the moment – trying to reach consumers in the moment when they are shopping or at the point of purchase. However, according to Kantar China Insights, the real power of advertising lies not in the moment but in people’s memories. The true power of advertisements is to establish motivating feelings, ideas and associations linked to the brand in people’s memories so when people are making up their own minds at the moment of purchase, those impressions shape the way they respond. But then, how should advertisers adapt? Read more.

China e-commerce days you should know about
21 August 2017
Since the dawn of online retail, e-commerce days are a big part of celebrating different national holidays. These shopping days are often created by different e-commerce platforms in China, running promotions for all the major holidays and using discounts to turn them into e-commerce days. For every company doing business in China: you should mark these e-commerce days in your calendar! Read more.

What you need to know about using WeChat for B2B - 5 top tips
14 August 2017
Although some might argue otherwise, WeChat is a brilliant tool for B2B. If properly used, WeChat offers incredible opportunities for brands to market directly to potential customers on a device that each person does not let out of sight throughout their waking hours. However, as this only applies for well-designed accounts, Brandigo listed 5 tips for running B2B WeChat accounts all brands should consider while opening an official WeChat account. Read more.

Chinese digital consumers are a model for the future
20 July 2017
With cellphones being the primary device for working, shopping and entertainment nowadays, a mobile platform should be a brand’s first priority when wanting to reach Chinese digital consumers. Chinese digital consumers consume content via mobile platforms while commuting, taking breaks at work, and during lunch – spending on average 26 hours per week on their phone. Right now, brands use their website blogs as flagship content marketing tools: they publish content on the website, push the content to other channels, and refer social media and mobile readers back to the website. However, with WeChat being the go-to-platform for Chinese digital consumers, WeChat will become the primary platform for articles and thus a crucial component to spread your content. If you haven’t already, read more about how you can maximize your social channel’s potential. Read more.

The evolution of Chinese social media in 2017
13 July 2017
The Chinese social media landscape is one of the most unique and dynamic ones in the world. As social media and the internet evolve and the gap between business and social is shrinking, brands cannot ignore the importance of putting effort in understanding trends and integrating them wisely into their business strategy. To be of assistance, Kantar media CIC has shared five major trends shaping social media and strategy in China and around the world Read more.