China Marketing Success in China

Highlights from China Chat Conference 2017

China Chat is the meeting point for all WeChat and China Online Social Marketing curious. During two days, experts and top industry speakers shared their inputs and best practices of the year. Organized by ChinaChannel and Walk the Chat, it gathers more than 500 experts, eager to learn, meet and share. Being immersed in the Chinese digital environment for a year, we assisted to some of the conferences. Here is what draw our attention.

WeChat Key Trends 2017 – H2

Matthew Brennan, from ChinaChannel underlined the increase of WeChat payment. Catching up on Alipay, taking 40% of the Third-party mobile payment market in China (2017, Q1).  Originally a messaging app, WeChat is now a direct competitor Alipay, a pure payment app. Also, we heard about WeChat Ads growth with a quote of Youzan‘s CEO, Baya, (largest WeChat shop platform in China) stating “Within 18 months, Tencent ads revenue shall surpass Baidu”, July 2017.

The First 48 Hours – The Most Critical Time to Create Follower Value

Joseph Leveque, from 31ten, started his presentation by highlighting two main issues on WeChat:

  1. We are flooded by WeChat Official Account pushes. There is an increase of 250% of Official Account from 8M to 20M in 2 years, whereas the number of WeChat Monthly Active Users increased by only 70%, 550M to 938M. WeChat users are too solicited, having the consequence of plummeting the reading rates.
  2. The second issue is that 50% of Official Accounts have a stagnating or decreasing number of followers. This fact explained by the non-relevant content delivery.

The solution to these issues that Joseph proposes is to leverage the 48 hours “golden window” that WeChat offers us to send 1 to 1 unlimited messages. Enabling brands to capture as much information as possible and therefore build a valuable user journey.

He also highlighted that most brands under-utilize their “golden window”. Then he gave the best practice to leverage this “golden window”:

“Keep in mind be contextually relevant + intuitive + rewarding”

WeChat Driven Innovations in Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition

Beecher Ashley-Brown, from Ajinga, explained how to use WeChat for employer branding and talent acquisition. Stating to introduce the subjects that 78% of companies don’t have sufficient talent to drive business growth. He then highlighted that 68% have included a Job button into their company WeChat Official Account. Then Beecher gave us the best practices for WeChat recruiting. From treating your candidates like consumers to gamify with rewards recruiting referral programs, he ended by showing some results of Starbucks recruitment campaign, of which 30% happened on WeChat.

10 Rules of WeChat Marketing

Thomas Graziani, from WalktheChat, exposed us the 10 rules of WeChat marketing. He stated that WeChat marketing is for every brand and industry but must not be the number #1 focus. Research on how well the brand is doing between WeChat and Tmall can help you in this task of choosing. Also, you must always consider the characteristics of the platform, format, edition, and purpose of it. Furthermore, he highlighted that WeChat advertising has potential but is not as powerful as Facebook Ads. He concluded by saying that marketers should look into other additional platforms to generate followers.

5 mistakes that breaks Brands on Chinese Social Media (WeChat – Sina Weibo – QQ – Youku)

Ashley Dudarenok, from Chozan, gave us a quick pick on 5 mistakes that break brands on Chinese social media. Starting by showing that Chinese and Western social media aren’t used for the same purpose, she stressed the fact the social media account should be treated as a business branch. She then exposed typical social media crisis in China, such as PR crisis mishandling, fake results to meet KPIs purchased by partners/KOLs and not responding in time to new regulations on social media.


China Chat Shanghai

Thanks to the speakers and people we met, this conference is a yearly meeting not to miss in China.

Graduating from our MBA Digital Marketing & Business, ESSCA-EFAP, in a few months, this conference was a great opportunity to realize what we learned and what is still to learn. Special greetings to Maximilian Rech and the China Chat team.


Authors: Lauranne Poncin & Charlie Bussat

Apps China eCommerce Life in China Marketing MBADMB Mobile

Chinese Millennials on their mobile

Millennials are the most important part of the population to follow and target nowadays. They represent young people aged from 16 to 35 years old. We can subdivide them into two groups to better target them: the smartphone generation (16-25 yo) and the internet generation (26-35 yo).

Chinese Millennials

In China, Millennials are particularly important to understand because they define the future trends of every markets. We count 415 Million Millennials, which represents 31% of the Chinese population. There are fewer Millennials than previous generations due to China’s one-child policy. Consequently, they have a higher education than their parents. They are more satisfied from a materialistic point of view, and are more in the center of their family. This environment makes Millennials individualistic and self-centric.

Chinese Millennials are digital natives. With the development of Internet, they have access to data easily. They are experimenters and more risk-taking. This generation is mobile-first. Chinese Millennials use more the mobile, than laptops or tablets.


92% of internet users in China are Millennials and 90% of them own a smartphone. The mobile usage is increasing and brands have to adapt to this new consuming behavior.

Despite seeing all Chinese Millennials using their smartphone in any situation (in the subway, in the street, at the restaurant…), the data usage in China is surprisingly low compared to other Asian countries. In China, the average mobile user consumed 0,12GB of data per month in 2014. This low rate still enables Millennials to spend almost 30 hours a week on their smartphone. Notice that it is more than a full day!

What do Chinese Millennials do on their mobile ?

Communicate and share

Chinese people like to share their activities to their family and friends. The Millennials generation tends to have a strong community mindset and has at their its disposal many tools to communicate. Chinese Millennials, as other Millennials in the world, have access to internet since their earliest age so they are familiar to the new means of communication. The mobile in China is more used to chat and share on the social networks than to call someone. Chinese Millennials don’t have access to Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. In China, the most used used is WeChat, you can use it to communicate, social media and even pay.

For more information on WeChat, you can read WECHAT: From the Messaging App to the Super App


Millennials sharing


Chinese Millennials represent 73% of the online Chinese shoppers, therefore they are the main target for e-commerce. Millennials are digital natives and mobile-first so it is easy for them to navigate and buy online. The development of e-commerce websites, especially in China, has enabled young people to access products and brands easier than before. In 2 clics, they can purchase and be delivered. Then, they feel free and independent from their parents. Millennials purchase online at home or even at work, it is considered as a leisure activity.

retail ecommerce chinese millennials

This generation also really likes to order food. Many apps exist to do so in China, for example Dianping, Sherpa and even McDonald’s. This way of living is part of the Chinese Millennials’ culture, which is the zhai culture. They like to stay at home. In this environment, they can easily shop or communicate on their mobile.

Gaming and Video consuming

Today, the most downloaded free app in China is a Chinese video game, “Honour of Kings”. Millennials highly contributed to this success as they are daily playing video games. 40% of Chinese Millennials are playing more than 1 hour a day. This is one the most important activity during Chinese Millennials’ leisure time. Video games create big communities, and people can share their rates.  This community mindset qualifies this generation.

Chinese Millennials also like to watch different kinds of videos (TV shows, TV Drama and movies). They are willing to consume this media on mobile, as it is the most used device. Some apps enables them to watch videos on mobile: Youku (equivalent to Youtube), or iQIYI.



Chinese Millennials are changing the whole face of China. This mobile-first generation has a new way of life and consuming behavior, which is continuously evolving. Brands are already adapting their strategy to the mobile generation. They create apps, responsive websites on mobile and vertical videos for ads. They still have to follow this surprising and disruptive generation.


China Digital Business Life in China Lifestyle Marketing MBADMB Mobile

Happy Chinese New Year 2017! – 新年快乐

Chinese New Year 2017, also called Spring Festival, has began and festivities are happening now!

We all know that China is a country full of innovation and progress, but despite globalization and fast changing, Chinese New Year remains a holiday full of traditions. Nowadays, Chinese people respect these traditions, while adapting them to their way of life, using the new ways of transportation and to communicate. 

The Spring Festival in China last five days and the two most important ones are: Chinese New Year’s Eve, which is the day for family reunion and Chinese New Year’s Day, which is the day of family visits and greetings. The date changes every year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. 2017, the year of the Rooster, Chinese New Year’s Day is on Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

The biggest migration


People who moved away from home for work or studies, are all coming back to their home city for this special occasion. The main point is to be reunited with their loved ones to celebrate the new year.

Spring festival is the biggest migration of the year in China. People are mostly moving from big cities to their hometowns in the countrysides of China.

200 million Mainland Chinese travel long distances during these holidays, and it is estimated that 3 billions trips will be made.


Migration map, by Baidu, 2015Migration map, by Baidu, 2016



6 million mainlanders will choose to travel outside China during the Spring Festival.

People travelling abroad during Chinese New Year is expected to increase by 9,8% compared to the same period last year. The main travelers’ destinations are NorthEast and SouthEast Asia. Europe is expected to be the first long-haul journey, with a growth of 68,5% over the same period last year.



Chinese New Year is a very special time of the year and Chinese people respect the traditions.

  • They clean the house before the festival, because they can’t do it until five days after Chinese New Year’s Day
  • The home is full of decoration. Flowers are hugely popular, the same as the characters, which have to be placed in a special order in the house in order to give good luck
  • Chinese people usually cut their hair before CNY’Day, because they can’t do it in the first month of the year
  • The food is one of the main important thing during Spring Festival. Families buy a lot of food before the celebration day. Some food are considered to give good luck (fish, noodles)

Digital Chinese New Year

Red envelopes

Red Pockets or “Hongbao” are part of the tradition of Chinese New Year. They are filled with money and usually given to the children from the elders. The digital took part of this tradition and people now share these envelopes trough their mobile, by Wechat. During the Chinese New Year 2016 period, the average number of WeChat Red Pockets sent and received individually was 20. In 2016, WeChat registered 8 billion transactions during this period! Will the number increase this year..?

WeChat campaigns

Brands are also adapting their marketing strategy to the Chinese market at this important time of the year. They offer “gifts” and promotion to the WeChat users. One of the best example is the brand Burberry, which launched the campaign “A Lunar New Year” and enabled users to “unwrap” gifts on the app.

Burberry WeChat, CNY campaign, 2016

Burberry Chinese New Year campaign, on WeChat, 2016

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China during which all traditions are respected. In the same time, new technologies and digitalization impact consumer experience and brands have to adapt to them.