Trends for 2019

Jan 16, 2019

What will be the emerging Chinese digital trends of 2019?

Last year, 2018, was the year that Chinese social media apps Douyin and Xiaohongshu (XHS), or TikTok and Little Red Book (Red) as they are known in the West, skyrocketed in both users numbers and revenue. It was a good year for these apps and the marketers who used these channels. However, the question looming is which platforms will be the big winners of 2019.

Looking ahead into the New Year online marketers are already looking for the next thing. Based on Chinese consumer trends there are a variety of sectors poised to grow and with luck could be the next great channel for Chinese marketers.  

Wesing - 全民K歌

Wesing is an online karaoke app with strong social functions. One of the most popular video formats on TikTok has been its lip sync videos. Wesing, the Tencent owned app takes it a step further with actual singing.

Reports show the off-line karaoke industry is declining with karaoke bars closing at historic speeds. The pastime remains popular though, and with a decline in live venues, people are looking online to belt one out and connect. If this sounds odd, remember live video streaming was also once thought of as strange. While the platform is new, a savvy marketer could find headway with this app in 2019.

QQ and QZone - QQ和QQ空间

QQ the popular messaging service and app from Tencent has been a cornerstone of online China since its inception. However, with that age, the company was experiencing stagnation in growth among especially among millennials.

Consumer trends, however, say the penguin is making a come back with Chinese Gen Z. With some tailoring, previous approaches on the platform could lead to success with China’s most affluent generation yet.

FaceU - 激萌

If you’re familiar with popular Chinese apps, you might know about or use Meitu, the “Instagram” of China. FaceU is a stronger selfie shooting and editing app. It also comes with a distinct brand proposition that is cuteness.

There’s not much more to say here without using a poor analogue about a cuter, younger sister but the numbers point to good growth and a bright future for this app. I imagine the platform will only grow as the front-facing cameras on phones improve.

Himalaya - 喜马拉雅FM

Not every trend in the West catches on in China. Himalaya, however, is confirmation of the growing popularity of Podcasts around the world.

Himalaya is a Podcast + Radio + Online Community. It focuses on helping users to fill bits of spare time, such as queuing, driving or waiting for the bus, with snappy, meaningful content.
This makes it a perfect fit for education or any other information services.

Marketing experts in 2018 had a lot to say about Podcasts as a marketing channel, and most everything was positive. Himalaya would be the best starting point for diving into this diverse world in China.

Which platforms will be the big winners of 2019?

This year, I think consumers in China will start to increasingly explore content consumption choices in a more vertical manner, more in-depth. That’s why Keep has been dominating the sports and health area, and XHS is dominating high-end online shopping. Brands entering China need more insights into their customers as well as the correct choice of channels if they are hoping for a successful launch, something we at PingPong Digital are always exploring, we strive to work with the best channels for our clients, that will yield the best results.

Zach Coyl

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