Live video streaming is very popular in China, particularly amongst younger internet users. Its popularity is also rapidly growing, which could present some fantastic opportunities for companies who are digital marketing in China.

Live streaming is just that – live. It delivers content in real time, and provides people with opportunities for instant communications and interactive experiences. Some commentators are saying that live streaming’s popularity may be at least partly down to people’s desire for connection in light of China’s one-child policy, and the fact that many younger people are living away from their families for work.

Examples of the use of live video streaming

A number of big brands are successfully using live streaming to engage with their customers. Here are a few examples:

  • Fashion and beauty brands – during New York Fashion Week the Coach brand used two popular Chinese celebrities to visit their showroom and engage with viewers, resulting in about seven million interactions.
  • Food companies – Oreo used two popular young singers to ‘goofball’ on live video as a promotion for a new flavour, setting a sales record for Oreos, according to Tmall.
  • Sportswear – Adidas used a graffiti artist to draw a sneaker on live video, changing the design in line with feedback from the audience.
  • Social media – live streaming can also be done through Chinese social media apps, such as WeChat, Weibo and Youku Tudou. Weibo in particular made a rather dramatic ‘comeback’ in 2016 after expansion of its video services, according to eMarketer.

It’s not just big brands either – even ‘regular’ folks have been known to make an income through live streaming, providing they have the ability to entertain or make people laugh. Videos can be monetised through advertising and / or when viewers pay for virtual gifts to their hosts that can be exchanged for cash.

Tips for marketers

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re getting started with live streaming.

  • Define first what it is you want to achieve through live video streaming. Setting some measurable goals enables you to determine the success of your efforts.
  • As for all Chinese digital marketing, get Chinese language speakers on board to assist you.
  • Check out local apps such as Meipai and Douyu TV as well as live streaming services through Taobao, Tmall, WeChat and Weibo.
  • Make sure your content is appropriate for a Chinese audience, particularly when it comes to humour.
  • Comply with government regulations. These may include obtaining an audio-visual publication licence, and abiding by censorship rules. In recent times the government in China has cracked down on the use of content considered pornographic or violent.
  • Consider engaging KOLs (key opinion leaders) to present your live content. See our previous post for tips on how to engage KOLs in China.

Get expert help

Marketing in China is very different from marketing in Australia or even other parts of Asia. Get in contact with our bilingual marketing team if you need some expert help for live video streaming in China or for any other aspect of Chinese digital marketing.  

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