Tag Archives: media

EXCLUSIVE: Facebook & Twitter approved in China within Shanghai free-trade zone?

Facebook and Twitter have been banned in mainland China since 2009. Those American services influence people and could play important roles in political movements. In recent years, the government of China is concerned about the impact of new media on social stability.

New media like Facebook and Twitter but also US newspaper website of The New York Times are considered politically sensitive sites by the Chinese government.

Recently, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg met Cai Mingzhao, the head of the State Council Information Office in Beijing.

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Top Chinese leaders including Premier Li Keqiang are keen to make the free-trade zones a key proving ground for significant financial and economic reforms.

According to South China Morning Post, the government of China would have made the landmark decision to lift a ban on Internet access to American websites within the Shanghai Free-trade Zone. The reasons of the move would be explained by the willingness to let foreigners live, work and feel like at home but also attract more foreign investments.

The free-trade zone would also welcome bids from foreign telecommunications companies for licenses to provide Internet services within the new special economic zone.

As a reminder, end of August, the Chinese State Council, approved the launch of the free-trade zone in Shanghai, which spans 28.78 square kilometers in the city’s Pudong New Area, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area.

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The Promotion of a Foreign Brand in China must include Chinese Social Media

Getting to grips with social media in China means learning new platforms and methods of communication. But it’s a good way to build a brand, because the Chinese have a high level of trust in the Internet.

A foreign brand wishing to successfully launch its own products in China should absolutely benefit from the great potential offered by the Chinese social media.

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According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), in 2012 the Chinese regularly using the internet were 564 million (42% of the population), with a 10% increase in comparison with the previous year. The Chinese Ministry for Industry and Information Technology has estimated that within 2015 there will be over 800 million Chinese users on the internet, i.e. the total of the inhabitants of the United States plus the European continent.

Why the Use of Social Media in China is more important than anywhere

Social media and search engine optimization is different in China. The same presence of social media marketing than the rest of the world won’t work. Having a social media presence is essential: a social media presence in China is a basic marker of legitimacy that reassures the consumer, when needed, that the brand is real and established. In China, online sources of information play a much larger role for consumers in China than they do in many more established markets.

Social Media in China are the most influential and interesting media for Chinese consumers, who believe what they see on the internet far more than they do in a newspaper, magazine, radio or television.

A Need for a Specific Marketing Strategy for China

Social media in China have a feature that is unique in the world: they are different from other countries. Global social networks like Facebook and Twitter are blocked and can only be accessed through VPN technology.

Even though Chinese users don’t have access to all American social media, they have at their disposal at least a dozen of virtual networks made in China and quite innovative compared to the United States.

Many foreigners are still making the mistake of licensing contents in English and not in Chinese. It is enough to do a search on Baidu (or Qihoo) or on Soku (main video search engine) to realize how ineffective is a strategy that does not aim directly at the use of Mandarin.

A strategic figure for an efficient promotion is the local community manager, a Chinese person expert in social networks who has the object to make the uploaded contents dynamic: she/he establishes relationships, creates debates, moderates forums, acquires information, and delivers contents from the official accounts opened on all social media.

In China the social networks are mostly … Chinese

Compared to many countries, Chinese Internet users mostly communicate with national services and not American services like most of the rest of the world.

“QZone” is a very popular social net created in 2005 by Tencent Holdings, the firm of the most popular program for instant messaging in China: QQ. the service allows  users to use avatars, write blogs, keep a diary, send photos and listen to music. At present over 600 million accounts are active.

“SinaWeibo” known as “Weibo” is the major Chinese website of micro-blogging, a kind of hybrid between Twitter and Facebook. With around 500 million accounts, 2 million of daily issues and 100 million of messages each day, it is the most visited social network in China after QZone (including QQ). On Weibo a public opinion has formed over time, which, having no other platforms where to express itself, brings its requests onto the Internet concerning themes such as TV shows, entertainment but also issues like pollution, and food safety, often with results.

WeChat (called Weixin in China) is lately one of the most successful platforms. It is a mobile application of Tencent, launched at the beginning of 2011 and it is the first web application created for the Chinese market, but available in English since 2012. Presently, it has reached over 400 million registered accounts, and internationally it has 100 million users (of which a few millions are Chinese overseas and including mostly Malaysia and India). Competitor Sina launched a similar application called “Wemeet” (Weimi) and China Telecom with Netease “Yixin”.

Renren is a social network created in 2005 with a style similar to that of Facebook. Currently it has more than 200 million accounts and it is visited mostly by university students and people under 30 living in the first- and second-level.

It is also worth mentioning other social networks like  Pengyou (150 million accounts), Kaixin001 (100 million accounts), Douban (100 million accounts) and DianDian (5 million users).

In China there are also different types of video sharing websites (Youtube is blocked).

The most important one is Youku.com with 30 million single visitors each day (second in the world only to Youtube.com), visited in particular by young people and graduates living in the first- and second-level cities. The second most popular video sharing website is Tudou.com, which merged with Youku in March 2012, creating Youku Tudou Inc. At present Tudou.com has currently 18 million single daily visits and about 100 thousand videos are uploaded every day.

The third most popular one is 56.com with 10 million single visitors each day.

What type of Social Media should you use?

A good example with wines from Provence

We heard about the strategy of wines from Provence: it is a good example.

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Chat Mobile App: Whatsapp, Line, and WeChat in the World

Whatsapp is still leading the world of free messaging being the first downloaded application in 10 countries on Google Play (Google store for applications). The application  is within rank #1 and rank#10 in 28 countries on July 27th.

Whatsapp has been challenged for about a year mostly by Tencent with WeChat, and Line Corporation with Line.

Line and WeChat fit very well the needs of Asian users. Tencent is using stars and media to increase the number of users worldwide: social media like Twitter, Facebook has been heavily used for months but for aggressively since March 2013.

On July 27th, the Japanese application called Line was the most downloaded application on Google Play in Argentina and Chile. Whatsapp just behind ranked #2.

On July 27th, the Chinese application called WeChat was the most downloaded application on Google Play in Italy. Whatsapp just behind ranked #2. Lionel Messi, famous soccer player of FC Barcelona, signed an agreement to promote WeChat. The effect on Italian fans was very quick.

Below an advertising in Hong-Kong were people still prefer American social media like Facebook and Whatsapp than WeChat.

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e-Commerce Firm + Social Media Firm = Gold or Why Alibaba strategy with SinaWeibo is right

Companies like Amazon and Alibaba don’t control all the steps of the consumer purchasing process. They will never do.

@value2020 American & Chinese eCommerce – October 2012 – https://value2020.wordpress.com/

@value2020 American & Chinese eCommerce – October 2012 – https://value2020.wordpress.com/

However, firms can influence the consumer behavior.

Where are people more personal on the Internet?

Mainly on social media.

After identifying a need, a consumer searches for information. External research is conducted when a person has not enough knowledge about a product or service, which then leads her/him to seek more information, especially when a person’s previous experience is limited or deemed inefficient.

We distinguished 3 types of sources:
-personal sources: e.g. word of mouth from colleagues, friends or family
-public sources: e.g. online forums, consumer reports
-marketer dominated sources: e.g. corporate and brand websites, sales persons, advertising

The Influence of Social Media

Social Media has a strong influence collecting and sharing tastes, interests, opinions on products and services. We already explained how important it was for firms like Facebook back in 2012. Social media gathers all types of sources the consumer needs.

If the e-Commerce firm is involved in a social media, the firm is more likely to influence the purchasing decision purchase and get the revenue from the consumer.

Why not a partnership Amazon-Facebook?
Why not a partnership 360buy-WeChat?

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TV Commercial Aiming to Boost Interest for WeChat in India

Whatsapp and Facebook are very strong in India.

WeChat has already thousands of users. However, India is still less developed economically than China and many people cannot afford to buy a smartphone. Tencent would like to get more and the WeChat team developed a special version under Java for features phones.

Tencent decided to launch TV commercial to expand the user base there. Click below to see it:

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Tencent is showing to the world the firm is able to market their products in international markets. The commercial is featuring Indian stars in Bollywood style singing while they are away from each other and keeping contact thanks to WeChat. We were impressed by how well it fits the majority of Indian people.