PPD Chinese Digital Marketing Insights

Feb 26, 2021

PPD Chinese Digital Marketing insights is a round-up of the most notable news and updates in the Chinese digital marketing industry, proudly presented by PingPing Digital

February has been a busy month for China as the country celebrates the 2021 Chinese New Year of Ox.

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the CNY celebration has taken a digital turn. 

Here, we compiled a list of five most notable trends and updates from the digital marketing world in China this month:

A Chinese New Year in the format of short video

The leading short video platform Douyin spearheaded this year’s Chinese New Year's digitalisation, with an extensive partnership with traditional media, to stream as many as 23 festive CNY galas, produced by local TV stations, to its hundreds of millions of users. 

By Feb 19th, the total number of playbacks of CNY-related content reached 1.85 billion, generating over 47 million engagements.

Watching CNY galas, which bear some resemblance to the Super Bowl halftime show, after the CNY Eve dinner with family, has been a tradition of Chinese people all over the country since the mid-80s. Now, short video platforms are revolutionising the way the Chinese internet generation enjoys the show. 

Chinese film industry benefits from travel restriction & short video marketing

CNY Movies is a term referring to films released during the seven-day CNY holiday. Traditionally, the box office's powerhouses, the CNY Movies this year, have yet again broken the record with an eye-popping total ticket sales of 7.8 billion RMB (approximately 1.21 billion USD) in the first seven days of the Chinese New Year of Ox. 

Although travel restrictions resulted in limited local entertainment options, a primary contributing factor behind the success was that production companies are now well versed in marketing films with short videos. 

Hi, Mom, a tear-jerking tale of death and parenthood alone generated over 420 million RMB in the box-office. Its massive success is believed to be its ambitious and creative promotion on short video platforms, like Douyin, utilising the celebrities’ influence to engage directly with the viewers. 

Zhang Xiaofei and Jia Ling, leading actresses in Hi, Mom, are both on Douyin. Zhang Xiaofei released over 20 promotional short videos and amassed 23 million likes and 6.5 million followers during the window. 

The Chinese government endorses Bilibili

Bilibili, a video-sharing platform with a mostly Chinese Gen Z audience, has impressed the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson of the ministry, opened an official video account on Bilibili. The act is a clear sign of the Chinese government’s new strategy to reach a younger audience. 

According to Bilibili’s financial report, released this month, the site has seen high-speed growth last year due to the pandemic. In Q4 2020, the Monthly Active Users grew a jaw-dropping 55% to 202 million. As a result, Bilibili saw exponential growth in advertising revenue, raking in a whopping 722.4 million RMB in Q4 2020, a 168% increase compared to 2019. 

Marketing on Bilibili is now a must for brands. 

New app, Yuanfudao leads the online education market’s surge.

Yuan Fudao, a live tutoring app startup, completed two more rounds of funding totalling 2.2 billion USD, and is now evaluated at 15.5 billion USD. The much-boosted valuation has helped Yuan Fudao to rank the top of all edu-tech unicorns in the world. 

The app has adopted a “live-streaming plus interaction” tutoring style, fused with advanced AI technology, to offer students an engaging and customised learning experience. 

How do brands respond to this year’s Lantern Festival?

Today is the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Per Chinese custom, a few tangyuan (rice ball with sesame paste stuffing) must be enjoyed as a gesture to wish a lucky year ahead.

Here are some excellent illustrative creatives from brands that are aiming at a festive crowd.