Category

Vendors in China shipped 190 million smartphones in 2019 H1, representing a decline of 6% over the same period last year, and Huawei continues to lead the smartphone market with a sales increase of 18.1% year-on-year, securing 34.3% of market share.

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Due to the high market penetration of smartphones, shipments have declined for 6 consecutive quarters. In spite of this, China remains the largest smartphone market in the world. Unlike Huawei, Xiaomi sales fell by 20% during the same period. In the saturated domestic smartphone market, winning over existing users and providing them a good reason for a device update is crucial, with lower-tier markets and growing penetration being another source of business growth. With smartphones being the key Internet access point for most Chinese users, brands need to see this device as a bridge between virtual and real worlds and understand how they can create seamless, meaningful experiences that will help them grow their brand engagement and eventually their business. click for more…

 

Consumer

Although 80% of WeChat users use Official Accounts, 73% of users follow less than 20 Official Accounts (OA), out of which 24% followed less than 10 and nearly 50% only between 10 and 20, according to data from QuestMobile.

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Official Accounts are one of the key features WeChat offers to Chinese users. More than half of users actually spend 10-30 minutes every day browsing OA. How people select OA to follow can be influenced by many factors. This can be a personal relationship (recommendations from acquaintances), followed by interests and hobbies such as movies, culture, celebrity and games as the main influencing factors. Compared with general WeChat users, OA users are younger with higher online consumption capacity and mainly in upper-tier (tier 1 & 2) cities. Brands need to consider how to attract audiences from lower-tier markets as well as more senior consumers who have significant disposable income. Engaging and entertaining brand content can attract audiences to an OA and will allow brands to collect valuable data on their followers. Adding an eCommerce feature through a WeChat Mini Program can also add an opportunity for sales conversion of the account followers. click for more…

 

Culture

The men’s beauty market in China saw nearly 7% growth in 2018, reaching nearly USD 2 billion, and many feel the popularity of young, attractive men whose beauty standard is on par with women’s (“little fresh meat”) is a testament to the power of the female consumer.

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Using “little fresh meat” in advertising and brand communications has become common for a large number of brands because those young male celebrities can deliver high social engagement across a wide range of categories in China. Male consumers are also aware of this and as a result, they are starting to upgrade their grooming habits to adapt to this evident change. As always, the key ingredient to success in the utilization of “little fresh meat” (LFM), is campaign execution. Brands need to emphasize the LFM personality and story to convey authenticity. Instead of just focusing on their pretty faces, bringing more cultural and artistic content when featuring them should help recruit consumers beyond just fans of LFM personalities. While LFMs are now challenging traditional masculinity concepts and can appeal to brands with progressive attributes, how these celebrity assets are contributing to the goals of brand strategy is something that needs to be thought about first, followed by the tone and personality these celebrities are known for. click for more…

 

Media

The number of WeChat Mini Programs with more than 1 million monthly active users (MAU) doubled year on year to 883. Meanwhile, the percentage of utility tools increased to 12.3% from 7.7% in June 2018 and video-streaming increased to 5.1% from 1.6%.

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Even though other categories are growing, gaming (37%) is still the biggest one in the WeChat Mini Program ecosystem, followed by eCommerce (21%). The key reason is that games have a strong monetization capability, making it a very profitable category. However, other ecosystems have also noticed its success and launched their own responses to WeChat Mini Programs, including AliPay, Baidu and ByteDance. Alipay’s Mini Programs focus on daily services and Baidu’s are in the search-related categories, thus not competing with WeChat directly in this aspect. However, Bytedance’s Mini programs do directly compete with WeChat in entertainment categories and are now expanding to eCommerce.  Due to this, consumers tend to engage differently depending on which ecosystem they are in, and this is why brands need to think what their marketing and business objectives are for the Mini Programs they plan to develop in different ecosystems, and contexts should ensure flawless execution to achieve them. click for more…

 

Have a great weekend!