China has the largest internet population in the world, with a staggering 731 million citizens being online.
However, the Chinese digital landscape is vastly different from anywhere else in the world, as the country has its own set of search engines, social networks and ecommerce sites.
This can make it a challenging country to enter for foreign businesses who are unfamiliar with the market.
Here are three things you need to be aware of if you want to succeed at digital marketing in China.
1. Social media
Many of the top social networks in the West are banned in China, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. In their place, local alternatives have flourished. The top social networks in China are WeChat, Weibo and QQ QZone. WeChat is a hugely popular all-in-one lifestyle app that offers a wide range of services such as social networking, shopping, taxi hailing and ticket booking. Weibo is like a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, and offers real-time microblogging. QQ QZone is very similar to Facebook.
China is the world’s biggest ecommerce market. However, Western giants such as Amazon have very little presence there. Instead, the Chinese ecommerce landscape is dominated by the local sites Tmall and JD. Together, these two sites account for 84% of all online shopping in the country. If you want to sell your products in China, you need to be on these websites. It is also advisable to implement a real-time online chatting tool and include multiple photos of your product on the product page.
3. Online payment methods
In the West, most online shoppers like to buy using PayPal or a debit or credit card. This is not the case in China. The most popular online payment methods in China are Alipay and Tencent Pay, which account for 54% and 37% of all online payments respectively.
I hope this has given you a useful introduction to digital marketing in China. For more in-depth information, read our free guide below.
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