Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
How to Unlock Marketing-Led Growth: Data, Creativity, and Credibility: The scope of marketing has increased enormously from being a steward of the brand to, these days, being an architect of growth. Brands still matter. Creativity still matters. And like all things, technology has evolved the way that we develop, deliver, and improve upon the creative ideas and the way that we create connections with consumers.
Brands Without AI will soon Be ‘Irrelevant’ to Chinese Consumers – Says Martech VC: Brands without artificial intelligence capabilities will not make it in China’s increasingly automated advertising market. AI is a national movement in China driven by the central government. China doesn’t have strict privacy laws around data like GDPR and Chinese people are happy to forgo privacy in exchange for convenience according to Martech VC Bessie Lee. China now boasts more than 50% of the world’s AI patents.
In China, Searches to ‘Find a Job’ Hit a Record: The frequency of searches for the term “find a job” surged to the highest ever in April on China’s dominant search platform Baidu. That adds to evidence of job market stress already showing up in the official economic data. The ratio of job vacancies to job seekers declined to 1.68 in the first three months of this year, the lowest level since 2015.
In China, Public Talk of Sex Is Rare. Could a ‘Pleasure Community’ Change That?: Public discussion of sex is mostly nonexistent in China. Sex education is typically glossed over in Chinese classrooms and usually limited to one or two “physical hygiene in puberty” lessons in biology class. Parents often avoid discussing the subject with their children altogether. But communities are liberalising, such as the introduction of “pleasure communities” in Beijing — a safe and positive space for Chinese of all ages and sexual orientations to learn about sex, particularly from a female perspective.
Tencent’s WeChat is Door to Chinese Giant’s Transformation: Tencent is transforming itself into a “digital assistant for industries” by utilising its massive user base and data. More than 38,000 hospitals in China have embraced WeChat, using it to offer online registration, consultation and other services to patients. And at least 70 million passengers across the country have used WeChat Pay to pay bus and subway fares. At least 160,000 shops, restaurants and other businesses using the app to interact with Chinese consumers.
WeChat Official Account Live Streaming – How to Create One and Case Studies: A few handpicked pilots for WeChat’s new livestream feature have seen high engagement and sales conversion rates due to audience already being brand followers, content focus and urgency to make a purchase.
Will This New WeChat Feature Become the Next Social Commerce Mecca?: WeChat has quietly launched a new feature called “Good Product Circle”, extending its Shopping List feature to allow users to recommend products, access friends’ recommendation lists, and socialize on the interface. The initiative allows users to share Mini Program commerce stores with friends, a process that creates demand and makes selling easier and more seamless.
The Brave New Business Models Making Waves in China’s Ecommerce Market: As new players explore the possibilities inherent in social media integrations, augmented reality, and real-time online purchases, expect more unique platforms to emerge and capture the eyes, ears, and wallets of young Chinese shoppers.
Despite the Trade War, Chinese Consumers Still Embrace iPhone: Despite the escalating trade war and negative rhetoric between the US and China, Apple’s iPhone is still selling well. The iPhone XR was the top selling phone on JD’s rankings as of last Wednesday. On Tmall it has sold more than twice as many products as the second-placed Huawei P30 Pro.
China Finds Armyworms in 18 Provinces, Recommends Pesticides for Emergency Use: If the African Swine Flu wasn’t enough of a drag on China’s food supply, destruction of sorghum, corn and sugarcane from the dreaded armyworm continues to get worse, now found in 18 provinces. A moth can fly up to 100km per night. China has recommended 25 pesticides for emergency use against the armyworm, lasting until the end of next year. There is even talk of unleashing the stink bugs.
Weibo User Wins 15,000 Kilograms of Watermelons From Alibaba Fresh-Food Unit: One Weibo user has won a lucky draw from a Hema promotion, which saw 0.5 kilograms of watermelon added to a prize pool every 10 re-posts of a Hema marketing article. The article had been re-posted over 300,000 times by the time of the draw. The winner requested to receive the cash equivalent, however the users who reposted the article will get to vote whether the winner receives the thousands of watermelons or cash.
Alipay has Tripled its Merchants in Europe Amid ‘Booming’ Chinese Tourism Market: Alipay has tripled the number of European merchants accepting its online and mobile payment platform to “tens of thousands” in the past year. 55 countries now accept Alipay around the world, with 29 countries in Europe alone.
Chinese Shoppers are Going Absolutely Crazy over UNIQLO x KAWS Collection: UNIQLO’s collaboration with renowned American artist and designer KAWS (Brian Donnelly) has been a sensation in China. Lines have sold out in seconds online, with blackmarket listings 4-5 times the price. It was a top-trending term on social media with a host of memes, and shoppers were even fighting in stores to get their piece.
The Car Industry Is Under Siege: Global auto sales are slipping for the first time in a decade, disrupted by President Trump’s escalating trade war. Electric vehicles, ride sharing and regulations are all contributing to a challenging time for auto makers. China is increasingly influencing the course of the global auto market, accounting for 24 million sales last year, with the US a distant second at 17 million. China, Britain and France lead a list of countries aiming to phase out cars that burn gasoline or diesel by 2040. In related news, Ford has been hit with a $23.6 million dollar fine in China for setting minimum resale prices on cars in Chongqing. It comes at a time when sales plunged 36% in the first three months of 2019 due to tariffs.
Louis Vuitton Now Sees ‘Unheard Of’ Growth in China: LVMH is experiencing “unheard of growth rates” in China as consumers in the key luxury market have been buying more handbags and watches at home instead of abroad in recent months. As the US-China trade war rages, Beijing has been reducing import tariffs on many European products in a bid to boost domestic consumption and discourage daigou.