Which are the 5 main Chinese digital platforms in 2020?

Bingge Liu


Digital and hyper-dynamic are always the keywords to describe China market, where businesses have to build owned media channels to communicate with customers in a way that is more efficient and effective, yet the decision regarding which platform to choose is quite tricky, considering the complexity of digital media matrix of China digital world.

To help businesses define more fitting and advantageous channels and build strategy for them, introduction and tips on 5 digital platforms with most traffics are revealed below.

1. Douyin (Tik tok)

Douyin, the short-video social platform developed by Bytedance, has become one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Till the end of 2019, 800 million MAU in China and 1.5 billion worldwide have been

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Leo Burnett, pioneer American advertising executive, once stressed “finding the inherent drama in the product” as the way to advertise it, where there Douyin is the best tool to present a product. Therefore, a business account in Douyin should exploit the link between customer’ daily life and its product, design a dramatic scene to present their relationship and release the magic of the product.

Taken Haidilao as the example, which is one of the most popular hotpot restaurant in China. When searching the brand in Douyin, a number of different ways to eat hotpot creatively would be shown on screen, reminding users how funny and pleasant the experience could be when dining in Haidilao.

2. WeChat

WeChat, the multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment super-app developed by Tencent, has now gained 1.1 billion MAU in total. It almost an essential when building owned media channel for western brands to enter the market. 

Before making a move, a business must understand that a WeChat account nowadays serves as a business’s website in China. Within WeChat ecosystem, it is possible for a business to present brand image, build sales channel, communicate with end- and business customers as well as conduct marketing activities. The synergy of multiple digital assets on WeChat, namely WeChat Mini Program, WeChat Official Account and WeChat Channels, supported by other activities such as community management and advertisement investment will help a business to make the most of the platform and benefit from it.

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3. Weibo

Weibo is a microblogging platform developed by Sina with more than 400 million MAU. Comparing to Douyin and WeChat, Weibo is more of a public media for news releasing. Therefore, Weibo account should take up the role of the official spokesperson of a business, and make its voice heard in time for the major events, the release of new products, various marketing activities, and follow up social events and topics to issue standpoint and express attitude.

4. Little Red Book

Different from a user base that is well-balanced in gender, age groups and location, 86.1% being females, 83.7% under 35 years old and 62.5% living in 1st- and 2nd- tier cities are Little Red Book’s user profile. It could be considered as a channel option if the target customers of a business is young females with sufficient incomes

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5. Bilibili

Also having a unique user base, Bilibili is a video sharing platform with 82% users being Generation Z. It used to be considered as Chinese Youtube, yet more seems to be a one-stop entertainment solution combining UCG and PUG videos, mobile games, live-streaming, short-video and documentaries. For a business that has a high capacity of outputting high-quality content for Generation Z, Bilibili should be top 1 on the list.

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Building owned media channel matrix has never been an easy work. It requires enterprises to choose the right platforms, set up different roles for each of them, and generate tailored content accordingly. Systematic planning, continuous investment and a competent operation team are stand in need.

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