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China Marketing Insights Monthly Newsletter [July 2022]

July 2022 Newsletter l OctoPlus Media

Hello,

Welcome to our July Newsletter.

People’s Daily Online Research Institute recently released its Annual Report on China’s Mobile Internet Development. This report mainly analyses the future development trends and provides a comprehensive summary of the characteristics and conditions of mobile internet development in 2021.

Is short-form video the right marketing platform for B2B Marketing? In this article, we analyse the current situation of B2B enterprise’s short video marketing in China and deep dive into five salient features of short video marketing. We further provide the top 5 video platform characteristics.

We deep-dive into two interest reports this month. First up is the 2022 post-6.18 analysis – in this report from QuestMobile, we highlighted several developments concerning the platform economy before 618, and also deep dive into the marketing insights and related platform strategies for 618 this year. Next, as we cross the middle of the year China has been through a sea of changes as it grappled with a serious coronavirus outbreak. Several industries are particularly popular in the first six months, let’s take a look at this report on New Consumption trends in China.

In the app of the month, we feature Snowball – it is the largest financial community in China, which has 37 million registered users. Snowball is an investor social media with one-stop platform ecology for information, communication, and transactions.

Sincerely,

Mia C. Chen

CEO & Co-Founder of OctoPlus Media

2022 China Mobile Network’s Internet Bluebook Report

According to the 2022 China Mobile Internet Development Report” by the People’s Daily Online Research Institute, there are five major trends in China’s mobile Internet development: industrial application of the Metaverse, anti-monopoly to maintain a healthy market environment, the universalization of mobile internet, 5G industry application, digital village, and e-government construction.

The 2022 Mobile Internet Bluebook’s main topic revolves around promoting digital transformation and driving production through the integrated development of the internet and the real economy. The transformed lifestyle and governance will then push forward China’s digital economy, digital society and e-government construction. The current topic analysed the future development trends and also provides a comprehensive summary of the characteristics and conditions of mobile internet development in 2021.

In the past two years, Huawei’s chip supply cut-off has impacted its market share significantly. As shown in the data released earlier by IDC, there is no sign of Huawei in the 2021 Top Five Global Smartphone Supplier’s Market whereas only Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo formed the top 5.

2022 China Mobile Network’s Internet Bluebook Report l OctoPlus Media
2022 China Mobile Network’s Internet Bluebook Report l OctoPlus Media

Besides the decline in global market share, according to the data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China’s smartphone market shipments in 2021 is roughly around 3.5 billion units, despite a YoY growth of 13.9%, there’s still no sign of Huawei in the top five smartphone shipments, but only Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, Apple and Honor, however, the good news is China domestic high-end smartphone still remained the top of the development. It shows that based on the impact of chip supply, Huawei’s decline in the market share has opened up development space for other smartphone enterprises.

The main driving force of China’s terminal sales market is 5G mobile phones, there are a total of 270 million 5G mobile phone shipments in 2021, a relative increase of 63.5%, which takes up 75.9% of mobile phone shipments in the same period. At the same time, the high-performance specification of 5G mobile phones, such as high-pixel cameras, high-resolution, and large-screen development trends are getting popular.

Due to the impact of the market share, Huawei has opened up a whole new competition, the much talked about Huawei operating system – HarmonyOS. It is a set of panoramic operating systems in the future IoT era to solve the fragmentation of hardware devices system deployment, it can locate mobile phones and link smart IoT devices, and solve all IoT hardware device’s problems. Currently, there are more than 1,800 hardware partners supporting 4,000 ecological devices, and the number of global developers of Huawei’s HMS application ecosystem has reached 5.1 million, they have also gathered more than 173,000 global applications with HMS Core open capabilities, soon it will be able to work with the server operating system OpenEuler, and achieve ecological interoperability to obtain wider connection, and the unified system will be able to meet various loading requirements.

As China companies begin to promote the localisation of mobile operating systems, Alibaba’s AliOS Things has started to support terminal devices connected to Alibaba Cloud Link through online upgrades and has been widely used in smart homes and smart cities, while TencentOS Tiny is developed by Tencent, a real-time operating system with multiple features, including low resource usage, low power consumption, security, reliability, and modularity, which has been widely used in many fields.

In addition, the “2022 China Mobile Internet Development Report” also introduced that China has established the OpenAtom Foundation in order to promote the development of the open-source OS, the OpenAtom Foundation was established in Beijing on June 2020 with the approval of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, it is a non-profit organization that promotes the development of the global open-source industry, and systematically builds information industry through co-construction, co-governance and sharing, and industrial open-source open framework, while building an international open-source community, and improve the efficiency of industry collaboration. Currently, the OpenAtom Foundation has the basic capabilities of the HarmonyOS donated by Huawei, this forms the Huawei Open Harmony open-source project. In addition, the foundation also has several open-source mobile smart terminal operating system projects such as TencentOS Tiny by Tencent, and Ali’s AliOS Things. The goal of the Open Harmony open-source project is to build an operating system framework and platform for intelligent terminal equipment in the era of the full scene, full connection, and full intelligence era, so as to promote the prosperity and development of the internet industry.

Although China has begun to enter the era of independent technological innovation, the development of the open-source industry is still in its infancy stage, despite China having a large number of open-source software, it still lacks leading projects with international influence. Open Harmony’s open-source projects will promote the possibility of sustainable development of China’s open-source ecosystem, it is of great significance to the development of China’s digital age and the information industry. As for product development, the OpenAtom Foundation will launch stable operating system community versions and commercial versions. In terms of technical paths, the foundation cooperates with leading operating system manufacturers to develop and cooperate to build an industrial ecology. At the same time, in order to create a fully open, safe, stable, high-performance and completely neutral operating system and ecology, the foundation also established the open-source operating system community – OpenCloud OS.

The “2022 China Mobile Internet Development Report” also emphasized that China companies are striving for the initiative in chip development and building key technologies to achieve self-reliance and self-improvement. In China’s smartphone SoC market, terminal sales in 2021 have increased by 3% YoY to 314 million units, while the first and second place in terminal sales is MediaTek’s 110 million units and Qualcomm’s 106 million units. Due to the impact of the ban, Hisilicon chips sales in 2021 have dropped by 68.6% YoY to only 30 million units. Compared with Huawei Hisilicon, Qualcomm and MediaTek’s market share in 2020, Huawei Hisilicon which withdraws from market share in 2021, will be replaced by MediaTek, Qualcomm and Apple market share. In 2020, UNISOC has produced 100,000 chips and has begun to emerge in the low-end mobile phone market, which has increased by 103 times YoY to 8.8 million units in 2021, mainly supplying brands such as Honor, China Telecom, DOOV, Nokia and Gionee.

It can be seen that the China smartphone enterprise market will face a structure reshuffling, and the current dominant structure is beginning to change. In order to avoid the recurrence of chip supply cuts, China companies have also begun to strive for the initiative in chip development to achieve independence and self-reliance. The OpenAtom Foundation will be committed to creating “open-source, co-construction of ecology”, focusing on industry ecological construction and talent training, and co-building, sharing and co-governing a more prosperous open-source ecology with partners.

For more details, please contact us.

2022 China E-commerce 618 Insights Report

The pandemic has affected the macroeconomic situation, 618 is the second largest and one of the very important shopping festivals in China, it is the key event for all e-commerce merchants to compete for traffic and obtain sales, thus the fierce competition in marketing strategies among brands and platforms for 618 this year. The following are marketing insights and related platform strategies compiled from the QuestMobile 2022 618 Insights Report:

To recap, there were several developments concerning the platform economy before 618:

  • China’s national policy regulates platform economic development, promotes and increases employment

  • Live broadcast e-commerce market promotes the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry

  • Major comprehensive e-commerce platforms and live-broadcast e-commerce platforms launched promotion policies and increased subsidies

  • WeChat advertising launched moments out-of-the-box advertisements to help brands launch new products

May 20 to June 18 is the key marketing cycle of 618, which can be divided into pre-sales period, auspicious start, special category period, and limited-time carnival promotion, many e-commerce platforms will run various pre-emptive actions such as early investment promotion, early payment time, and final payment time. The final payment date is when users pay a deposit during the pre-sale period and then pay the final payment within a specific time to get the promotional price. Below is an overview of the marketing rhythms of Taobao, Pinduoduo and JD.com:

  • Taobao and JD.com bring forward the payment deadline, so users experience a burst of traffic on the first wave of the payment deadline, mainly from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Compared with Pinduoduo, which did not arrange the final payment deadline, its user scale was staggered in the morning time.

  • The first wave of the last payment day encouraged users to purchase more products and cooperate with marketing activities more effectively. In addition, this strategy also encouraged cross-platform comparison and order, hence on May 31 the number of overlapping users among the three platforms was as high as 27.73 million.

  • Taobao and Pinduoduo e-commerce APPs have gained new audiences in the new first-tier cities and second-tier cities during the promotion period. Now Pinduoduo also has more comprehensive coverage of user age groups from the post-70s to the post-00s.

2022 China E-commerce 618 Insights Report l OctoPlus Media

618 Platform Marketing Strategy

The live-broadcast e-commerce platform mainly focuses on intra-domain content and traffic, and implements traffic strategies in stages:

  • Momentum: Scenario marketing that all e-commerce platforms will use (example: Tmall 618 Cloud Queue, JD.com Super Interactive City); use celebrity popularity to drive and launch promotions (example: Douyin’s top influencer live broadcast room, Tmall 618 Stars Night)

  • Redirect: Tmall and JD.com first used joint advertising, and then product category days or special events held on all platforms as category-redirect; lastly is to create brand lists and popular products such as “Tmall must-buy list”, “Douyin Top 100 Trending Items” and so on.

  • Conversion: Through pre-sale promotions such as pre-sale price drops, cross-store full discounts, daily red envelopes, etc. to attract users and increase their shopping desire, and strengthen brand membership benefits such as brand membership gifts, first purchase gifts and other activities to promote member conversion.

The comprehensive e-commerce platform mainly realizes the overall business revenue through upgrading the marketing platform, focusing on marketing resources, and utilising subsidies. However, joint advertising is the most crucial traffic competition during the pre-sale period, many brands ride on 618 promotion joint channels to increase exposure and enhance marketing effects, to reap the first wave of traffic in the big promotion.

618 Advertising Analysis

Overall,618 creative ads are placed before and after payment day and the focus of the placement is tilted to 6.18. During the promotion period, online social media advertising cost was the highest – 45.9%, followed by online video media – 39.4%, and the rest are news, online music, and digital reading media. According to the report, among various media types, the beauty care and home appliance industries prefer advertising on social media; food and beverage prefer online videos, and maternal and child products prefer to be in short videos.

2022 China E-commerce 618 Insights Report l OctoPlus Media

Besides that, new categories and main products are the main focus for brand owners, take the beauty industry as an example, nearly 90% of the investment resources are featuring facial skin care products, and the top advertisers are mainly internationally renowned brands. Domestic brands, on the other hand, are more inclined to focus on hot-selling products, such as reaching precise sub-groups through product functions/features, mainly targeting specific groups of audiences. The advertisement for personal care products focused on shampoo and hair care products, while the household appliances industry mainly focus on featuring refrigerators and air conditioners.

Content Marketing Strategy

The e-commerce platform creates teasers by creating content topics and increasing the market noise of the category, to attract brand stores/commodities to release new products or popular products, and then promote goods through the live broadcast room to drive conversion. The data shows that the top three occupied 618-related topic content interactions in 2022 include “#618ExpertsKeyPoints”, “#618Strategy”, and “#Douyin618GoodThingsFestival”. During big promotions, especially live broadcasts e-commerce companies continue to build momentum via live broadcasts to promote goods, supported by creating various theme days, task competitions and other platform activities to help traffic redirect and conversion. During the 618 periods, the top 3 categories of Douyin and Kuaishou platform category sales were skincare, casual snacks, and makeup.

2022 China E-commerce 618 Insights Report l OctoPlus Media

New Consumption trends in China – 2022 Mid-year report

As we cross the middle of the year China has been through a sea of changes as it grappled with a serious coronavirus outbreak. Several industries are particularly popular in the first six months, let’s take a look!

  • New-style tea beverage + coffee

The new-style tea beverage is a beverage using premium tea concentrations that are extracted by different methods as the raw material and mixed with fresh milk, imported cream, natural whipped cream, or various fresh fruits.

(Pictures from the internet: High-end tea brand – Nayuki tea)

Currently, the new-style tea beverage market has formed three major echelons: the representative of high-end tea brands are still Heytea and Nayuki tea, while the mid-market has gathered brands such as Sexy Tea, Shuyi Tealicious, A Little Tea, etc., and Mi Xue Bing Cheng is still dominating the low-end market in the industry.

Due to the fierce competition of new-style tea beverages, high-end tea beverage brands have each expanded their business and launched coffee beverages, the move sparked a coffee boom.

The rise of the coffee boom has accelerated the expansion of many coffee brands. In the current market, the coffee brand branches are dominated by local China leading brands such as Luckin Coffee and Manner, and other small chain brands include Tini Chellona, SOBUFF, FELICITY ORIGIN and so on.

China’s coffee market is growing rapidly, the market scale is large but the chain rate is low, there is still plenty of room for standardized coffee to improve its penetration rate.

  • Prefabricated dishes

Prefabricated dishes are finished or semi-finished products that use agricultural, livestock, poultry, and aquatic products as the main raw materials and are pre-processed in factories and stored in a frozen, refrigerated, vacuum, or normal temperature. It can be heated up or consumed directly.

New Consumption trends in China – 2022 Mid-year report l OctoPlus Media

(Pictures from the internet: Prefabricated dishes)

In the first half of 2022, due to the epidemic in China, almost all professionals started to work from home and often cooked, and this accelerated the development of pre-made dishes. The development of prefabricated dishes is mainly in first-tier, second-tier cities, and new first-tier cities because consumers there mostly have higher work pressure and frequently work overtime, they would have limited time to cook hence prefabricated dishes would fulfil their needs by being the fastest and easiest way to prepare a meal.

Although the current profitable space is very little, however in the future there should be more capital involved in this emerging industry, hoping to make a fortune from this.

  • Functional skincare products

Functional skincare products are products that focus on problematic skin, that added sufficient active ingredients with certain pharmacological effects, and can effectively treat certain skin diseases.

New Consumption trends in China – 2022 Mid-year report l OctoPlus Media

(Pictures from the internet: Functional skincare products)

Functional skincare products are becoming much more popular among young people, hence more and more new China brands, such as Cka beauty, PMPM, Young Doctors, YOUNGMAY, KOSLIV, HEPROA, etc. launched functional skin care products to cater to the market.

Functional skincare meets the needs of different segmented groups and is gradually forming the user’s mind. This field has high potential in terms of penetration rate and growth trend.

  • Pet supplies

The sophistication of young people today is reflected in all aspects, from eating, clothing, fashion style, and exquisite parenting style, to pets at home. Exquisite pet care is first reflected in the biggest rigid-need category “food”. Nowadays, consumers will care more about the quality of products when purchasing pet food, they would prefer natural and organic ingredients.

New Consumption trends in China – 2022 Mid-year report l OctoPlus Media

(Pictures from the internet: Pet supplies)

Pet food is the most consumed product and once cats and dogs are used to eating one brand or product, they would not eat other products anymore. In recent years, among the top ten cat food brands in China’s market share, imported brands take up 15.5% of the market share in 2021, among which ultra-high-end brands are very popular. This indicates that local pet food brands still have the opportunity to achieve domestic substitution.

  • Camping

Under the influence of the epidemic, China has set off a camping boom. Unlike traditional camping in the wild, people now value humanised and sophisticated camping.

New Consumption trends in China – 2022 Mid-year report l OctoPlus Media

(Pictures from the internet: Refined Camping)

Therefore, besides the traditional camping equipment (tents, canopies, sleeping bags, etc.), the commodities that will be used in the camping (drinking appliances, household fabrics, 3C digital peripherals, etc.) are also in great demand. According to Analysys’ report, it is estimated that the scale of China’s camping market will reach 52.8 billion yuan in 2022.

Currently, most of the domestic outdoor equipment is in the process of climbing from low-end OEM to high-end design, and it is very competitive. Now consumers mainly look at the quality and practicability of products. With the rise of domestic substitution, domestic brands with R&D and design capabilities will have greater opportunities.

To learn more, please contact us.

China B2B Marketing – Is Short Video applicable to Enterprises?

In China’s internet environment, the short video refers to video content that is less than 5 minutes long and spread through new media platforms such as social media, search engines, and professional short video platforms. According to the report, the number of short video users in 2021 was 934 million, showing an increase of 6.99% compared with 2020, and accounting for 90.5% of the total netizens.

Today, the mature business model of short video + e-commerce has brought considerable income to B2C customers. On Douyin, the number of short videos with the promotion of goods during Q1 and Q3 in 2021 has increased by 553%, and the video marketing value has increased by as much as 249%.

Is short video marketing necessary for the B2B industry where enterprises are the main customer?

For B2B enterprises, although the business process is long and complex, it is still “connecting with people” in nature. Short videos are the initial marketing touchpoints, just like content marketing, official websites, conferences, live-broadcast, WeChat Enterprise, and WeChat official accounts. Short video marketing can be used as the first step for B2B enterprises to acquire potential customers. The overall conversion from marketing to service requires not only attracting potential customers through high-quality content, but also subsequent collaborative operations by more cross-department teams.

Current situation and analysis of B2B enterprise’s short video marketing in China

The “B2B Enterprise Short Video Operation White Paper” released by JINGdigital, investigates the short video marketing of 100 B2B enterprises, including 41 large B2B enterprises (the top 2,000 companies on the Forbes list) and 59 small and medium-size B2B enterprises.

#1 Short video content is still in the blue ocean stage in B2B marketing

  • According to the report, less than half of B2B enterprises have officially launched short video operations; the remaining companies have not yet started to take any action on short video operations

  • Large enterprises pay more attention to short video marketing, accounting for a higher proportion

  • Only 17% of B2B enterprises have three or more platforms to distribute video content

#2 WeChat and Douyin are the home of short video marketing for B2B companies

China B2B Marketing l OctoPlus Media
  • According to the research report, platforms most used in the operation of short videos are WeChat Channels and Douyin, whether it is a large enterprise or small and medium-sized enterprise

#3 Only 27% of B2B enterprises are mature operators

  • Enterprises that operate short video accounts in a refined manner, with diversified content, stable publishing, and adapting to different platform features to adjust content and account positioning

  • Most B2B enterprises still operate short video accounts in an “extension” manner, with a small number of videos, no matrix, single content and only one platform.

#4 Video content and publishing frequency

  • Nearly half (47.5%) of B2B enterprises publish content related to PR, including corporate culture, introduction, public welfare, and awards

  • Nearly half (42.5%) of B2B enterprises publish less than 3 short videos per month, 35% publish 3 to 5 short videos per month; only 5% publish more than 5 short videos per month on average; the remaining number publishing is 0, including only creating an account, stop immediately after starting, and private account

#5 How B2B enterprises can drive traffic through video

  • More than half of B2B enterprises setup Enterprise WeChat QR codes on the video screen to attract traffic, and only a few enterprises put their contact information on the video screen or in the comment area; 45% of the enterprises still did not take any action to attract traffic

  • Less than 10% of B2B enterprises set up malls in WeChat video accounts

China’s top 5 short video platforms, how should B2B enterprises take advantage of the top 5 short video platforms based on platform characteristics?
China B2B Marketing l OctoPlus Media
  • WeChat Channels (WeChat Video Account)

User volume: 300 million+ DAU

Platform tonality: Private traffic to public traffic, strong social attributes

Recommendation mechanism:

1. Decentralized social recommendation + algorithm recommendation

2. High weightage of social relationship

3. Like rate > comment rate > repost rate

User nature: Based on WeChat users’ likes, sharing, and other behaviours, mainly WeChat friends, high-quality content is further pushed to the non-friend user

B2B enterprise benefit model: Cultivating potential customers, acquiring customers through live-broadcast (retaining capital or attracting traffic), acquiring customers through video-based intervention content, and monetizing e-commerce

  • Douyin

User volume: 340 million+ DAU

Platform tonality: Content quality is king, heavy operation intervention, strong media attributes

Recommendation mechanism:

1. High content quality weightage, low social relationship weightage

2. Operational intervention has a large impact

3. Like rate > comment rate > repost rate

User nature: The proportion of users in first- and second-tier cities is higher

B2B enterprise benefit model: Public traffic acquisition (consultation appointment, contact, etc.); monetizing e-commerce

WeChat or Douyin?

  • Short video marketing is still in the “blue ocean marketing” stage in China’s B2B industry.

  • WeChat and Douyin have become the main avenue for short video marketing.

  • For enterprises that have just started short video marketing, since the proportion of enterprises with WeChat short video as their core platform and the average video likes are higher than Douyin, B2B enterprises can first focus on the WeChat video account and gradually think about the expansion to Douyin.

  • The recommendation mechanism of the WeChat video account’s emphasis on social relations and the social convenience of WeChat ecology can strengthen the communication between the video account and the WeChat official account, and between the Enterprise WeChat, enhancing the focus on the touch point within the rich WeChat video account homepage and play page.

  • The distribution mechanism of Douyin pays more attention to the content quality, compared with the comment rate, and repost rate, the interaction rate of the video has the greatest impact on the content score. Therefore, enterprises need to ensure the professionalism of the content to satisfy Douyin users’ interest in video and story preferences.

If you are a B2B enterprise looking to start your short video marketing strategy, please contact us. We have marketing strategies customized according to the characteristics of different platforms and provide comprehensive marketing solutions to help you from marketing to service to conversion.

App of the month – Snowball

Snowball l OctoPlus Media

Snowball is an investor community and registered trademark launched by Beijing Snowball Information Technology Co., Ltd., established in 2010. Snowball is an investor social media with one-stop platform ecology for information, communication and transactions.

Snowball is the largest financial community in China, with 160 million China stock investors, and every 4.5 stock investors have one Snowball user, with an investment condition connecting online and offline users to their investment lives. Snowball has 37 million registered users, 220k posts per day, 17 app open times per day and 69 minutes of daily browsing.

Snowball users can follow stocks and funds codes, view real-time stock quotes, follow various investor insights and communication, create and share personal investment portfolios, open stock accounts, fund trading accounts, and buy and sell stocks and funds.

Snowball User Analysis

Snowball App l OctoPlus Media
  • 70% of Snowball users are male and 40% are around 30 years old
  • 75% of users have a bachelor’s degree
  • The consumption power is above the middle class of personal annual income, diversified consumption prioritizes quality and style
  • Snowball users prefer IT & 3C products, travel, home appliances, paid knowledge content, sports and fitness, and automobile-based consumer goods categories

Snowball high-end brand marketing options:

  • Brand exposure: Traffic reach
  • Brand recognition: Platform linkage resonance
  • Brand “product promotion”: Penetrating the value of circle prospecting

Snowball Advertising Model

 

Snowball ads are divided into the following products:

  • Exposure category: Open screen, Focus ad, Search display advertising
  • Precise category: In-feed ad, Push notification
  • Customized category: Pop-up window, Easter egg, Brand area, Brand page
  • Soft resource: Snowball apps main ID, Snowball network resource

Exposure category: Open screen, Focus ad, Search display advertising

Precise category: In-feed ad, Push notification

Snowball Ads l OctoPlus Media

Customized category: Pop-up window, Easter egg, Brand area, Brand page

Snowball Ads l OctoPlus Media

Soft resources: Snowball apps main ID, Snowball network resource

Snowball Ads l OctoPlus Media

Snowball Brand Cooperation Case

 
Snowball x Maserati: China Concept Stock Summit

Participants are star corporate leaders (CEO / senior executives), precise investors, diversified interactive forms, and offline social networking scenarios that high-end brands are keen on.

For more Snowball advertising inquiries, please contact us!

– End of the Newsletter –

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