What’s Driving Coca-Cola’s Growth in China?: Coca Cola came from nowhere to take out the fastest growing FMCG brand in China in Consumer Reach Points this year according to Kantar. Coca Cola picked up significantly more consumers who were allured by sugar-free cokes and newly launched Coke Fibre Plus products. Smaller packages of conventional Coke generated enough growth to offset the decline of bigger packages.
In Depth: The Fake Engagement Powering China’s Internet: Nearly a third of China’s internet traffic in 2018 was rated “abnormal,” resulting in losses to advertisers of more than ¥26 billion ($3.75 billion).
Why was Little Red Book Pulled from China’s App Stores?: Popular app Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) was pulled from Android app stores due to Government intervention resulting from complaints about the platform facilitating the sale of restricted, forbidden, and fake products. These products include tobacco, e-cigarette products, and medicinal products such as skin-injection kits from third-party sellers on the platform. Little Red Book has struggled to monitor its three billion pieces of content, 70% of which is user-generated.
China’s Top Live Streamer Viya Sells NZ$30 Million ($19 Million) Worth of New Zealand Product in Hours: KOL Viya livestreamed from Auckland to almost 10 million Chinese viewers on Taobao, who collectively spent ¥134 million ($19 million) in four and a half hours. The livestream featured an alpaca, haka and more than 40 New Zealand and Australian honey, dairy, skin care, duvets and cereal brands. Last year Viya generated sales of $2.7 billion from her live streams on Taobao.
Is WeChat’s Growth Over?: Although Tencent’s WeChat users grew 3.2% between December 2018 to June 2019, it wasn’t enough to compensate for the 8.4% drop in usage over the six months – from 35.4 to 32.4 hours/month. The bright spot was time spent on WeChat Mini Programs, which grew 23.3% to 64 minutes a month. Mini Programs had 746 million monthly active users. Tencent still dominates time spend online in China, however it total share of time spent dropped 3.6 percentage points to 42.3% for the year ending June 2019, mainly due to competition from ByteDance’s Douyin and Toutiao which grew from 10.3% to 11.7% and the rise of diverse apps, which grew from 26.3% to 29.7%. Baidu dropped from 7.5% to 6.3% and Alibaba held firm on 10.1%.
Alibaba to Buy Kaola Unit From NetEase for $2 Billion: Widespread reports claim Alibaba is paying $2 billion for NetEase’s cross border ecommerce platform Kaola to merge with the Tmall Global platform, although a Tencent news article (in Chinese) yesterday afternoon claimed NetEase CEO Ding Lei vetoed the transaction. In 2018, Kaola accounted for 27.5% of China’s cross border market, ahead of Tmall Global on 25%. The comes off the back of Alibaba’s 42% increase in revenue for Q2 suggesting Chinese consumers are still spending. 674 million annual active customers now use its retail marketplaces, 20 million more than a year ago. JD also had a strong quarter with revenue up 22% and annual active customers growing almost 11 million to 321.3 million.