Mark Tanner
23 January 2013 0 Comments

Weibo seems to come up in one form or another in most of our China Skinny Weekly’s, and this week is no exception. Below you’ll find articles about how western universities are using Weibo to attract Chinese students, and on the flip side, how Weibo bloggers can do serious damage to your brand if your products aren’t up to scratch, or you don’t respond quickly enough to negative buzz on the service. Weibo is also influencing things out of our control, such as increasing awareness of fake wine – something that’s hurting brands selling the real thing. Overall, it should emphasize the importance of a solid social media and digital strategy in China – something we would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you. As always, we hope you find the articles below helpful. Enjoy!

Chinese consumers Chinese Consumers

Eroding Chinese Consumers’ Trust Unwise: Although Chinese consumers generally trust western brands more than the local ones, it’s not unconditional – social media such as Weibo won’t let you get away with abusing it and now the authorities are clamping down on foreign companies.

Meet China’s Ever ‘Savvy’ Consumer, Circa 2020: They’re shrewd, making more aspirational purchases, and are increasingly brand loyal as they become richer. eCommerce is picked to be 15% of Chinese retail by 2020 – 40% of electronic sales and 10% of necessities (up from 1% now).

Beyond China’s Biggest Cities, A Complex Boom for Brands Is Seen to Roll On: Well written, in depth article on China’s lower-tier city consumers – many of those who still need to be sold the benefits of paying a premium for a non-fake brand. And even if you’re focusing on the smaller tier cities, don’t underestimate the influence of China’s key opinion leaders, many who live in China’s bigger cities.

Trade with China: An Opportunity, Not Something to Fear: A short blog post, but further reinforcement that China’s unfortunate product scandals present plenty of opportunities for western exporters charging a premium.

Chinese branding Branding

Brands Fall Short on Weibo: Minimizing negative buzz on Weibo works best if you respond to it within 8 hours, according to Ogilvy study.

Why the Chinese Love Logos: And it’s not just about showing off.

Winners of 2012-2013 Consumer Electronics Top 10 Brands from China: China’s top-10 consumer brands announced in Vegas. China accounts for 13% of global R&D, yet more focus is needed for innovation, organization management and incorporation of new technologies

Chinese food and beverage Food & Beverage

Fears of Fake Wines in China: Fake wines are the biggest barrier to China’s 19m wine drinkers buying an expensive bottle- 44% of them are serious concerned.

Chinese Internet Internet & Mobile

Report: China Now Has 564 Million Internet Users, More Than Half are on Weibo: China 2012: A cool 564 million Internet users, 420m mobile Internet (200m on 3G) & 309m active microbloggers – that’s 54% active – 2/3 tweeting from their mobile. They’re spending 20.5 hours a week online (up from 18.7hrs in 2011). Mobile web usuage grew from 69.3% to 74.5%. 242 million are online shoppers.

Why China Loves Apple: Not quite a Lamborghini, but still prestigious… why Apple is so popular in China, but just the hardware.

The Dos and Don’ts of Building and Marketing Your Mobile Site in China: 9 Tips on building & marketing a mobile site in China for the 420m mobile Internet users. Our view.

Chinese education Education

Universities Increasingly Use Weibo Social Media to Reach China Students: Western Universities are getting on the Weibo bus to attract Chinese students: 80% of Chinese University students use Weibo, with 42% using it daily. 58% of UK Universities have a Weibo presence, although just 5 have more than 5K followers. Just over 60 US Universities have a presence.

Chinese entertainment Entertainment

China Becomes World’s No 2 Movie Market: China officially became the world’s 2nd largest movie market in 2012, growing 30% from 2011. 14 more Foreign films were allowed into China last year, taking the total to 34 versus 893 domestic flicks. Nonetheless, the 3.7% foreign films accounted for 51% of income.

Chinese auto Auto

Jaguar Land Rover to Add 800 Jobs: China passes the UK to be the top market for Jaguar Land Rover following a 70% increase in sales in the Republic. ‘I think what the Chinese consumers are after are true British brands with real integrity,’ JLR Global Brand Manager.

Chinese luxury Luxury Goods

China’s Luxury Consumption Hits $46 Billion: $3 out of every $5 Chinese spent on luxury goods is outside of China as high luxury taxes and the prestige of buying abroad keeps the return flights weighed down with luggage

That’s the skinny for the week!

If you’ve missed earlier news or need to learn more, there’s a library of information about Chinese consumers in prior China Skinny Weeklys right here. You can have this delivered to your inbox each week by subscribing for email updates, or if social media is more your thing, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS feed.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for future articles, please let us know.