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China Marketing Insights Monthly Newsletter [December 2020]


Welcome to our Final Newsletter for 2020!

What a year it has been! …..

Fortunately, this crisis also helped us to get more focused and mature some of our unique solutions to the market. In normal times, with a deluge of campaigns & clients, this would have certainly taken a back seat. Our solutions have gone through constant iteration together with some early-adopting clients and we now have a matured suite of solutions that will pretty much cover all necessities of China marketing. From basic search & programmatic advertising to data-rich data bank to latest innovation in private traffic to complete end-to-end e-commerce solution, we have you covered for all digital marketing activities. Read more about our 2020 year in review. 

In this newsletter, we cover a few rules & policy that is being implemented by the Chinese government. First up is the new rules for data collection with Chinese apps & how it impacts marketing. Next is a new notice about cross-border e-commerce applications. In our media update, Tencent has launched a new private traffic tool to further help advertisers make full use of the latest closed-loop marketing strategy.

In our insight report for the month, we look at the Baidu B2B report and our showcase on how we are helping B2B clients maximize their advertising options.

We round up this newsletter with App of the month featuring 12306.

From all of us here at OctoPlus Media, wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas & a Very Happy New Year! May 2021 be a lot more sane & prosperous!!  


Mia C. Chen

CEO & Co-Founder of OctoPlus Media

OctoPlus Media 2020 Year In Review

2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. Our cross border tourists marketing line was under a bit hit at the beginning of the year, however luckily we bounced back pretty quickly and fought a good fight together with our key clients and partners.

A few key highlights & solutions:

Live-Streaming Services

○ From the beginning of 2020, we leveraged our past 2 years’ Taobao livestreaming experience to help WeChat Cross border Team, Douyin Cross border Team successfully pulled off some landmark case studies in cross boder livestreaming. Such as:

○ OctoPlus Livestreaming Incubator: Your own brand livestreaming studio in Shenzhen. By providing a one-stop live broadcast solution, from inviting high-quality KOLs, planning exclusive brand content, providing exclusive live broadcast rooms, high-quality equipment and production team, excellent live broadcast assistants and services to improve the cost-effectiveness of live broadcast activities, thereby accelerating the promotion of brands. See case studies of Meadjohnson Livestream Series with OctoPlus Incubator.

○ Government and big offline to online forum livestreaming. See SmartHK example.

○ Webinar Livestreams. See examples from 10+ HKTDC Webinars completed, strategized and hosted by us; Online webinars for Hong Kong University of Science and Technology University

China Data Bank

○ China Data Bank™ is an UnDMP – a new class of data solutions that is focused on providing the right data solutions to all advertisers and without the overhead of complex data requirements stipulated by China Government.

○ China Data DSP & Trading Desk – Our flagship solution for all programmatic options in China. Our proprietary DSP connects to major exchanges and our solution has access to over 30 private biddable platforms.

China WeSales

○ ChinaWeSales is a complete end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands that are trying to enter China with no prior sales or setup.

○ CDF (China Duty-Free) and LDF (Lotte Duty-Free) will connect with overseas brands to conduct a series of marketing campaigns and live streaming activities with the largest Duty-Free stores in China and South Korea with our services. With this, the travel retail brands can transform previous offline into online e-commerce campaigns. We have multiple solutions to market products directly to Chinese consumers regardless of whether they are in duty-free shops in China or Korea. 

○ The complete solutions for CDF and LDF’s Cross-border WeChat mini program are provided by The Big Three alliances (OctoPlus Media, Trello under Ymatou, Hipopay), a one-stop cross-border solution specialist. We have built this cross-border e-commerce solution into a mature WeSales (WeChat Mini program SaaS) system, which is specially designed for medium-sized and large enterprises wanting to sell to China.

China Private Traffic

 China Private Traffic is a marketing method where communication with customers is funnelled into private pools where brands can have complete control without any costs to 3rd party platforms.

What is in store for 2021?

I am very proud of our achievements within such a short period. Our cutting edge solution, full transparency & commitment to provide that using a verified 3rd party services makes it a unique value proposition that will be hard to beat.

Entering 2021, we are ready for more innovations:

  • We are dedicated to make better use of livestreaming technology to help brand accelerate.
  • Douyin short video will continue to be a great hit in 2021. We have recruited more creative talents to get ready for the short video outburst to come.
  • OctoPlus will participate in Douyin “Big Heath” MCN. We will sign multiple hospital and medical organizations to incubate a line of professional doctobers to be come the KOL on Douyin. This will be a very big and amazing initiative in 2021.
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish. There are always more to come in 2021!

From all of us here, Wishing you all a very Blessed Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Baidu B2B Report

Baidu is the dominant Chinese internet search engine company, it was founded in Beijing on January 1, 2000. Baidu is one of China’s three Internet giants, (BAT). As of December 2020, Baidu ranked fourth in Alexa and second in China, with the world’s second-largest search engine market share.

Baidu SEM – Keyword Search

Baidu keyword search service covers 95% of Chinese netizens and is the largest Chinese search engine.

The following are the characteristics of Baidu SEM:

  • Support display on PC and mobile
  • The search results are displayed on the first page to reach potential users quickly
  • Support multiple styles – text, image, image group, lists, videos, download formats
  • AD placement – the first page on the computer, marked with “Ads”, the bottom of search results on the computer, etc
  • Payment mechanism – pay according to performance keywords
  • Paid model – CPC (Cost Per Click)
Baidu Search Promotion

Uses search keywords and built-in AI system matching to connect advertisers with users

Baidu Brand Zone

Baidu brand zone is located at the top of Baidu search results, with the first screen display position and comprehensively promotes and displays corporate brand information in various advertising forms such as text, pictures and videos. It enables users to have a better understanding of the brand’s official website, and obtain the required corporate information. This is an innovative brand promotion model that enhances the efficiency of corporate brand identity.

  • Various styles – normal, advanced and customized
  • Advertising is on the first screen of a search result on PC and Mobile.
  • Payment mechanism – CPT (Cost per time, minimum 1 month)

Advantages of Baidu Brand Zone

  • Prime placement on the first page
  • Strengthen the overall brand image and consumer trust
  • An important channel for brands to communicate with consumers
  • Better branding
  • Better interaction with brand users through the corresponding information of various product catalogues
Baidu Infeed ads

Baidu infeed ads is the type of advertisement interspersed with information traffic such as Baidu app, Baidu Tieba and Haokan videos, etc. It has a large amount of high-quality content and media resources, covering the entire network of users. Baidu infeed ads carry hundreds of millions of traffic and continuously optimises its product and comprehensively improves promotional results.


  • Low interference to users
  • AI-powered algorithms
  • Multidimensional directional locking
  • Bid & creative double guarantee
Baidu B2B industry demand analysis

Online demand within the B2B industry exceeded in 2020 compared to the same time last year.

Online demand was generally stable in 2019, and there was a significant increase after the 2020 Spring Festival. Between April and May 2020, compared to the same period last year, the increase was 8% and 10% respectively.

B2B industry demand is concentrated on mobile at approximately 70% with a higher concentration on weekends whilst PC demand is higher on weekdays.

Market opportunity analysis
  • Overall opportunities:
  1. Online demand in the B2B industry is on a steady rise, providing exponential growth opportunities.
  2. The B2B industry demands are primarily on mobile devices, thus giving it priority for further developments.
  3. The demand for PC traffic primarily peaks on weekdays compared to mobile. Understanding this information is crucial for communication with consumers.
  • Category opportunities
  1. B2B industry TOP 10 categories: machinery, building materials and home improvement, plumbing and electrical, electronic instrument, metallurgical steel, chemical energy, security lighting, hardware tools, auto distribution and food and agriculture.
  • Geographical opportunity
  1. B2B demand boom accounts for half of Eastern China, with Guangdong Province dominating in Southern China.
  2. Disimilar industries reflect certain differences in regional demands, but in-depth exploration of regional opportunities is key.

Rules for China Apps

Mobile applications have been widely used in recent years and have played an important role in society. However, it is common for Apps to collect personal data of users beyond the necessary parameters. In the event of non consent by users, app installation and usage will not be allowed.. At present, the population of Chinese netizens has reached 940 million, and the protection of personal information has become the primary concern of users. To regulate the personal information collection behaviour of apps, public opinion was seeked and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), proposed that 38 common type of apps, such as map navigation, online car-hailing, and instant messaging, are allowed to collect necessary personal information. Apps such as live streaming, short video, etc. are only allowed to obtain basic functions excluding personal data. For example:

  1. Map navigation:
  • Basic functional services: Positioning and navigation.
  • Necessary personal information: Location information
  1. Browser category:
  • Basic function service: Web browsing history
  • Necessary personal information: Basic functional services can be used without personal information
  1. Beauty Camera category:
  • Basic functional services: Photography, beauty, filters, etc.
  • Necessary personal information: Basic functional services can be used without personal information

Full list

This measure protects personal information, but it also illustrates the importance of data. It is challenging for brand owners to use basic data of the media platforms to accurately target user groups as such information will eventually be worthless.

So how do you leverage unique & hard to come by data to offer a complete suite of solutions to enable you to succeed in China? Contact us!

China Railway High-Speed 12306

12306 is a mobile ticketing purchase APP launched by China Railway, which stores user and booking information.

12306 does not only provide railway information but offers a variety of new media channels. The annual passenger volume of China’s railways exceeds 3.5 billion. Currently, the registered users of 12306 is estimated at 500 million and the volume increases by over 400,000 each month.

The app does not only provide news release, public service, and other functions, but has other advantages such as communication tool, content provider and segmentation of audience groups. One of the most unique advertising method is “Trip SMS”. It is a trip reminder service (including booking confirmation information) sent out via the app to passengers with confirmed bookings. This provides marketing opportunities for brands.

“Trip SMS” – Unique Advertising Method

“Trip SMS” is pushed in the form of MMS, containing pictures, texts, videos, and links. It enriches display advertising content and provides audience targeting capability. There are seven available advertising options: departure station, arrival station, gender, age group, seat allocation, route number and delivery date.

China high-speed railway has 500 million registered users.
  • Coverage of high-speed rail Over 35,000 km
  • Annual passenger volume – Railways: 3.5 billion passengers; High-speed rail: 2.5 billion passengers
  • Online ticket sales – 88.7% of total railway ticket sales
  • Daily ticket sales – 15 million
  • Annual ticket sales – 3.1 billion

12306 “Trip SMS” function has over 350 million passenger traffic and ticket purchase data each year, making it the third most valuable traffic portal in China after Taobao and WeChat. The data is led by the China government providing credibility, trust, high conversion rate and ROI.

New Cross-border e-commerce regulations in China

China issued a notice on the relevant cross-border e-commerce system recently, requiring that the behavior of cross-border e-commerce operators be regulated and information protection and data security management system should be established. Strengthen the normative guidance for the development and application of new technologies such as big data, cloud computing and AI, etc.

You can find the complete notice (in Chinese) – here.


The management system of cross-border e-commerce still needs to be improved

In recent years, cross-border e-commerce has maintained rapid growth. The Chinese government attaches great importance to and vigorously supports the development of relevant businesses. But in the process of development, the management system, the legal system, the return and exchange system still need to continue to improve.

  • Legal system – There are no specific laws and regulations in the field of cross-border e-commerce in China, and the legal definition and responsibility division of cross-border e-commerce is not clear. Many brands are afraid of the risks of policies and regulations and dare not invest heavily.
  • Management system – access to export tax rebates, product quality and safety in the enterprise, identity information sharing, foreign exchange receipt and payment management, and other related to import and export regulations.
  • Exchange and return system – Although the supervision scheme on the return of cross-border e-commerce export commodities has been implemented in 2020, there is still much room for improvement in the field of cross-border e-commerce export. The difficulty of returning and exchanging goods directly reflects the difficulties of cross-border e-commerce platforms in implementing the return system.

In recent years, China’s cross-border e-commerce has developed rapidly. In 2019, the scale of China’s cross-border e-commerce market reached 1.05 billion RMB, an increase of 16.66% from the 900 million yuan in 2018. In terms of the structure of imports and exports, cross-border e-commerce exports accounted for 76.5% in 2019, and imports accounted for 23.5%.

Cross-border e-commerce has increasingly higher requirements for capital, technology and services, and the industry threshold and operational difficulty have increased a lot. Coupled with the new rules that China has just implemented, it will be even more difficult for brand owners. To this end, we have customized CWS services specifically for customers, CWS (ChinaWeSales) is a complete end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands that are trying to enter China with no prior sales or setup. Together with our partners, we provide technical mini-program creation & maintenance, logistic solution and payment processing.

Know more

Tencent Launched a new version of Private traffic tool

Most of the current private traffic operations are based on Tencent’s various products (especially WeChat), but due to the privacy of social networks, it is difficult for outsiders to obtain such data. Therefore, companies cannot accurately analyze, build user profiles, track the user fission and conversion of various contacts, let alone optimize operations.

The private traffic tool “Tencent Youshu” launched by Tencent has greatly solved this problem. Through this tools, it is possible to obtain private data such as official accounts, mini-programs, communities, corporate WeChat, etc., to analyze the closed loop of users in the WeChat ecosystem from browsing, click and purchase to transaction conversion, and understand user consumption behavior and life cycle.

Three core functions of “Tencent Youshu” – Full contact analysis, marketing effect tracking, and user asset management.

  1. Full contact analysis – Track the specific source and destination of traffic, check the operating status and conversion rate of each contact, integrate long-term tracking of different scenarios, including data tracking such as WeChat official channels and custom channels; Among them, “Official Account Analysis” can accurately analyze the fan operation and conversion effects of WeChat Official Accounts; “Live Analysis” can view operational data and live delivery data, including real-time analysis and live-streaming review.

2. Marketing effect tracking – Mainly through the multi-level ROI attribution model, it can track the marketing effect from different angles such as instant, short-term, long-term, fission, etc., to measure the marketing value.

3. User asset management – Outline a full range of user profile by obtaining user group attributes, behaviors, and contact labels, and manage the user life cycle.

Learn more about Private traffic.

– End of the Newsletter –

A Joint Collaborative Initiative By OctoPlus Media & China Trading Desk

OctoPlus Media Global Limited

Hong Kong | Shen Zhen | Guang Zhou | Singapore


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It’s a team with one single shared goal, which is our client’s success. 

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 Email bd@octoplusmedia.com

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