This week’s news and trends in China:
Chinese Regulators Ban ‘Effeminate’ Men From TV as Part of Sweeping Entertainment Reforms: Beijing has told broadcasters in China that they must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics.” They should avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” and admiration of wealth and celebrity.
Zhao Wei is a Huge Star, But There’s Barely a Trace of Her Online. Here’s Why: China is carrying out a sweeping crackdown on a number of industries, including the entertainment business.
Just 15% of China’s 2020 Small Town Undergrads Chose to Work in First-Tier Cities: Just 15% of Chinese college students from ‘small towns’ who graduated last year were working in first-tier cities six months after graduation. That compared with 18% in 2019 and 21% in 2016. The decline was attributed to high living costs in first-tier cities, and lower requirements for hukous (local residency permits) in other cities, coupled with their increased attractiveness.
China’s Latest Crackdown Targets Its Entertainment Industry. What Investors Need to Know: Weibo has said publicly some fan groups had become “irrational” and “unhealthy” and that it would devise a “new scoring mechanism to curb fan fundraising, encourage fans to chase stars rationally, and encourage stars to interact with fans through charity.” Leading video-streaming platform iQiyi will cease airing its super popular idol talent shows, which often require viewers to purchase products in order to vote for their contestants of choice.
China Internet Report 2021: Following a period of rapid growth and innovation, the Chinese internet sector has entered a new phase of development with both push and pull factors driving internet companies to evolve, including tightening regulations, an increasingly saturated domestic market with changing demographics, and geopolitical tensions. Learn how these factors are influencing companies to look outside their established markets, pivot business models, focus on new customer segments, and adapt to shifting dynamics to remain competitive.
China Threatens to Ban E-Commerce Companies That Flout IP Laws: Ecommerce platforms will be restricted from online business operations or even have their licenses revoked if they fail to deal with serious violations of IP rights by vendors on their platforms, according to a draft revision of China’s ecommerce law.
ByteDance Takes First Step into Virtual Reality with Latest Acquisition: Douyin and Tiktok parent ByteDance has acquired China’s Pico, the third-largest virtual reality headset maker globally in the first quarter of 2021. The acquisition signifies further diversification of its business and potential integration of VR with its existing services.
Why Meituan Remains Wedded to Community Group Buying Despite Mounting Losses and Rising Regulatory Heat: Tech giant Meituan clearly believes in the community group buying trend, throwing billions of dollars at the category.
Tencent’s Messaging Platform Blocks LGBTQ Search Terms: Messaging platform QQ, home to over half a billion users, now blocks search terms like “gay” or “LGBTQ.” Search attempts come back with a notice: “Use the Internet in a civil manner. Say no to harmful information,” the same notice users get when searching for pornographic content.
‘Very Optimistic’: Estée Lauder CEO Expecting Double-Digit Growth for China in 2022: Estée Lauder’s Shanghai innovation centre is expected to open in the second half of the year, focusing on product design, formulation, consumer insight and trend analytics for Chinese and Asian consumers. These are all services offered by China Skinny’s Skincare and Beauty Trackers, at a fraction of the cost.
The Four Fashion Personas of China’s Gen Z: Gen Z believes that to qualify as true luxury, a brand needs more than high price points, heritage and craftsmanship. It must also convey an elevated sense of aesthetics, with unique qualities and character. Male Gen Z shoppers are outspending women by 20% on fashion and luxury goods. Many Gen Z are critical of celebrities and influencers and the culture that surrounds them.
H&M Fined for Misleading Chinese Consumers: Still hurting from the Xinjiang cotton incident, H&M has been fined ¥260,000 ($40K) for “misleading consumers” in its advertising. The firm reportedly duped its customers with advertising that claimed that the featured products were only available in China. Authorities have confiscated “illicit earnings from selling substandard products” worth ¥30,000 ($4.6K).
Prada Takes the Lead on China’s Explosive Winter Sports Market: Prada has launched their “Prada On Ice” collection in response to the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. In addition to a range of sports gear from skis to snowboards to snowshoes, the collection also features high-performance accessories, all with Prada’s distinctive style, including ski goggles, ski boot bags, and sleeping bags.
How Luxury Brands’ Customer Services are Going ‘Phygital’ in China: Taobao Life is an immersive 3D world where users can explore with their own unique avatars. Eight brands including Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Versace created 3D models of their garments and accessories for avatars to wear in Taobao Life. Participating brands, on average, each reached over 5 million new users on Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms during the four-day campaign. Jewellery & accessories was the fastest-growing category on Tmall Luxury Pavilion during Qixi. Luxury brands also used livestreaming for invite-only, private showcases for prospective customers. The online streams were designed to replicate the same exclusive, tailored shopping experience in a brick-and-mortar store.