The Chinese Consumer Follows Many Trends But Consumes Content Differently
The Chinese consumer is aware of trends all over the world despite the unavailability of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By trends, we mean fashion, technology, beauty, health, property, travel and many other sectors that they access online. According to mainstream media, all we know about the Chinese are their famous cuisine and of course in recent times their wealthy lifestyle (Thanks to Crazy Rich Asians).
Most Westerners assume that Hong Kong represents most of the Chinese population but in reality, those from mainland China are completely different from their Hongkong and Taiwanese brothers. Who then are your Chinese consumers? Do they think like us? What are their browsing patterns?
Difference Between A Chinese and HongKonger
For the sake of this article, we shall keep the economic and political differences aside and only focus on the behavioural difference. Hongkongers have a history of being ruled by Great Britain for years, while Mainland China has had a communist rule all along. Hongkongers have a more globalised approach towards consuming content while the Chinese from Mainland China follow a different pattern. The Taiwanese have a different story altogether With China being home to a huge number of minority groups, perhaps the biggest difference between the two cultures is apparent in their ethnic minorities. The indigenous people of China have vastly different cultures to Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes who are, in fact, are more closely related to Pacific Islanders
What device do they use to consume content?
The Chinese skipped an entire desktop revolution and turned to mobiles when they were introduced. A mobile phone is their portal to the digital world and they access all the information through their pocket-friendly device. They use it for hailing a cab, shopping, banking and a host of other services.
Where do they consume their content from?
WeChat – The 900+ million users on WeChat scroll through their feeds, Moments (stories) and spend a lot of time using Mini programs. Users from various age groups are the most active on WeChat because it’s a one-stop-app. This the best platform for you to roll out both your visual and written content and did we mention that videos and live streams are hot here?
Weibo – Weibo is where the Chinese from the Mainland get their world news from all the other digital platforms. The platform is like twitter (but with more features). This platform is like the daily newspaper for the Chinese and If you want to capture trending attention, this is the one you must resort to.
Why Are Chinese Websites Cluttered?
A lot of Westerners get repelled with the thought of placing too much content on one webpage, but the Chinese think otherwise. According to them, the website is not cluttered but rather very informative. They enjoy the ‘Chaotic Bazaar’ experience when they visit a website, so they appreciate rich media, links, content, a ton of visuals etc.
What Language Does the Chinese Internet Recognise?
The Chinese internet recognizes Pinyin, that is the romanization of Chinese characters based on their pronunciation. In Mandarin Chinese the phrase ‘Pin Yin’ translates into ‘’spell sound.’’ Its basically spelling out Chinese phrases with letters from the English alphabet For example:
Characters – 学习中文
Pinyin – xué xí zhōng wén
Pinyin is the universal internet language that is recognised by Baidu as well so if you want your content to be recognised by the Chinese search engine, Pinyin is your dialect.
In addition to keeping these key points in mind while you create content for your Chinese target audience, you have to keep up with Chinese news, social media trends, new policies and many other factors that a localized expert can support you with. Once you have figured out what your audience in China wants, you have to maintain consistency with your content and make sure it hits the right channels
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