China Online

The Chinese Market

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Building relationships in China are something in which companies need to develop gradually and carefully as there are very many cultural, legal and operational differences between Chinese and Western business.
In order to form the basis of good working relations, it is important to develop the proper interface at the start with your potential consumers and user groups.

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To work effectively in China, to target a market there or look to trade with the country it is absolutely essential to localise yourself. If not, you will not be taken seriously in the PRC.Localisation of your website and information is essential for any business to work at all in China, but also vital to look professional; demonstrating your embrace of the country and culture, and provision of key, quality information.

It is vital in China that to enable websites to function properly, get picked up on searches and optimised correctly that they have constant content added regularly.

Many businesses in the ‘West’ have translated pages on their own websites in several languages including Mandarin for China. However, unless you conduct SEO and social media activity in China and have constant content being added you will not be found. It is a complete waste of time.

Search engines such as Google are unstable and social media like Facebook and Twitter do not work in China – they are banned. All online operations in China are entirely different and the Meridian team is experienced in all of this.

To be found successfully on search engines (BaiDu - the Google equivalent) in China, it is essential to have regular and updated news and relevant content being produced and added to the site. Free information content enables your site to rise faster up search rankings than commercial sites.

Chinese city dwellers spend 70% of their leisure time online, compared to 30% in the UK.

CHINA SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING - Why should you use Social Media Marketing in China?

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Research by Mckinsey China reports that social media has a greater influence on purchasing decisions for consumers in China than for those anywhere else in the world. “Chinese consumers say they are more likely to consider buying a product if they see it mentioned on a social-media site and more likely to purchase a product or service if a friend or acquaintance recommends it on a social-media site.”

Recommendations from others are hugely important and influential in China because there is a fundamental lack of trust in all institutions, companies and organisations. The Chinese are extremely suspicious of advertising, marketing and even news items.

They rely far more on opinions of friends and family and now, those who share information on social media.

For your business, engaging with the rapidly developing and ever-more affluent Chinese social media audience is vitally important. As they use social media as a source of information for their buying decisions it is imperative that you present your business through this channel. However, the Chinese social-media environment is highly complex and requires expertise to guide you.


Bai Du - the Google of China

Google itself is unstable in China, where by far the most widely used search engine is Bai Du. It has 80% of the market.

Baidu is more than a search engine. It has evolved into a large Internet ecosystem with many services and products, including: search, PPC advertising, web mapping application, news search, image search, video search, question-and-answer, web analytics, web browser, and web-based encyclopedia.

The key to building your websites profile is to build content onto your site regularly from the beginning and keep adding to it as regularly as possible such as once a week.

This is liked by the search engines and will get you prominent, and can keep you there. The most well known social media platforms in the West - Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are all unavailable in China as they are blocked by Chinese Government internet censorship.The following are social platforms which can be used as part of your social media campaign:
WeChat: the new 'monster' of China. Simply, everyone is on it from Company Chairmen to students. Essential to use for all forms of communication with China. See section on this site - How to Develop Your Market in China
Renren: similar to Facebook (over 150 million users). Vital for a social media presence.
Kaixin001: a competitor to Renren, allows uploads of photos, write blogs and download apps. Members are mainly the young professionals.
Sina Weibo: Like Twitter, very popular micro blogging service, excess of 250 million users (60% of the microblogging market with 25 million messages sent daily). More ability than twitter as users can upload photos and share other media.
Tencent Weibo: Similar to Sina Weibo.
Youku.com: A Youtube style platform. Uploads videos, and has a library of films, TV, etc.

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