In recent weeks, China has relaxed the zero Covid policy measures implemented in the last three years, thus reopening the borders to the whole world. Is this the opportunity you’ve been waiting for?
An important and long-awaited event for all those that have affairs with China. 2023 upon us, it is necessary to ask ourselves what the possible growth prospects will be in China and how the country wants to continue realizing the Chinese dream of economic development.
In fact, top Chinese leaders have said that they will focus on revitalizing and strengthening the economy in the coming year. This will certainly imply a growing relationship with foreign countries.
The growing sectors in China in 2023
The end of the restrictive measures in China starts the end of the pandemic, affecting many sectors during the last three years. Although the Chinese consumer has continued to buy and stay updated through digital media platforms, exponential growth in purchasing and using goods from Western branded is expected.
In recent years, a sector that has certainly developed in the Middle Country is luxury. In fact, according to CNBC in 2021 the luxury market recorded a growth rate of approximately 36% reaching a value of 73 billion dollars. This year is expected to reach a value of 90 billion dollars.
The Beauty & Healthcare sector will double between 2023 and 2025
Research conducted by Euromonitor shows that the constantly growing sector in China is beauty and healthcare, also known as Beauty Value or (颜值经济 yán zhi jing ji).
In fact, it recorded a value of over 80 billion dollars in 2021, which is expected to double before 2025. Factors influencing these results are the increase in the population of the middle class (over 500 million) and the continuous attention to well-being and beauty. The reopening will allow millions of people to go out and meet again, considered one of the relevant factors when it comes to “attention to aesthetics.”
F&B will maintain steady growth in 2023
According to Foodnavigator, China’s demand for European flavors and food products is still very strong. The recent Single’s Day recorded sales that exceeded 35 billion dollars and a significant percentage was covered by the European F&B segment. In fact, according to Alibaba’s marketing manager: “The Chinese are international-minded consumers, looking for quality products focusing on personal care products, food and beverages categories from Europe,”
A successful trend in recent years is linked to the consumption of Coffee; in fact, it has been recorded an increase of 50% compared to the year 2020.
Other products such as wine, chocolate, ice cream, biscuits, and handcrafted products are constantly growing due to viral communication in social media such as WeChat, Douyin and Xiaohongshu.
The furniture sector in China will be dynamic in 2023 and will see the reopening of important trade fairs
The impact of the pandemic on the furniture sector has been very relevant, causing a 10% loss compared to pre-pandemic years. Even trade fair events have suffered a drastic drop in visibility; however, with the current reopening, a greater turnout is expected at events related to furniture in China and abroad.
For the first time since 2019, many Chinese will return to populate the main international events such as the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. However, it is important to remember that the pandemic has been essential in increasing the role of ecommerce in terms of sales, in fact, even the furniture sector has recorded an increase in online sales of over 55% compared to pre-pandemic years.
Digital platforms in China in 2023
2023 is a year that sees the consolidation of social media platforms in the Chinese market highlighting a significant increase in eCommerce functionalities and social commerce.
The WeChat universe
WeChat, considered the most influential app in China, has over 1.25 billion online users. Compared with other Western messaging apps, WeChat offers much more features, like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google News, Tinder and Pinterest combined.
WeChat has also developed a feature called WeChat mini-programs which enables the user to use over one million applications without ever leaving the app. Normally, WeChat mini-programs are widely used by brands to promote and sell products and services, akin to a custom store within WeChat.
It is considered a crucial tool to reach the WeChat audience and implement direct sales inside the app and the WeChat official profile.
What is Xiaohonghsu also called Little RED Book?
Also known as the Chinese Instagram, Xiaohongshu is a social media platform that offers many features to the Chinese user, including the possibility of purchasing products within the app.
Thanks to the business model based on reviews and discussions, Little Red Book is a strategic platform to establish a solid community around your brand and products. Generally, the platform’s most frequent content tends to be photos of products and shopping experiences, such as shopping tips, offers, experiences and travels.
Xiaohongshu was developed to provide a platform that would make the online purchasing process easier, safer, and based on the community’s opinion.
What is Weibo
The Sina Weibo microblogging platform, or Weibo, was released in 2009 in China. It is often compared to Facebook and Twitter and is considered one of the most popular social networking platforms in China. With a user base of close to 500 million, Weibo is China’s third most popular social network.
In China, brands often use Weibo for social media marketing, just like WeChat, by uploading content such as videos, images and gifs. Like Twitter, Weibo has become the most popular platform in China for posting news and discussing cultural events.
What is Douyin
Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok or rather Tik Tok is the western version of Douyin as the last one was born first in China in 2017 by the Chinese giant ByteDance.
Douyin is very similar in structure and use of content to its sister company TikTok; however, it offers eCommerce functionality which makes it highly prominent among the leading Chinese social commerce platforms. Within Douyin you can share, promote and buy products without having to leave the app itself.
What is Baidu, the main Chinese search engine
Baidu is the main Chinese search engine, considered by many to be the Chinese Google due to its structure, functionality and relevance, which is very similar to the Google search engine.
Due to the firewall, Google in China is not working properly indeed it requires the use of VPN which is not common among Chinese users. Precisely for this reason, the Chinese population uses the Baidu.com search engine for 90% of online searches.
According to Alexa, Baidu is the leading search engine in China, making it essential for a strategic marketing strategy for the Chinese market. Baidu Ads also work similarly to Western Google Ads and are relevant to index a product or service effectively and competitively toward the competition.
How to approach 2023 in China
For brands that have the ambition to enter the Chinese market or consolidate their positioning, 2023 will be crucial, thanks to the reopening of the Chinese market. Working on the brand identity will give a competitive advantage over the competition which already has an excellent placement in the Chinese market.
Social media and websites are the main means to achieve this goal. A first approach to the Chinese digital world takes into consideration the WeChat platform and its multiple features. While more structured brands have to consider a complete strategy including platforms such as Xiaohongshu and Weibo.
The possibility of having a verified profile will also give more value and institutionality to the brand, differentiating itself from digital copycats.
In conclusion, do always keep in mind the importance of cultural and language traits in any marketing campaign that wants to involve the Chinese market. Showing knowledge and interest in this culture will be a competitive advantage for ensuring that the products and brand awareness are appreciated by Chinese consumers.
2023 will be the year of the rabbit, China has set itself the goal of expanding its market and consolidating solid relationships with foreign companies. It is a second leap forward that the world and China have been waiting for three long years. Go Beyond the Wall!
Long Advisory digital marketing agency in China
Long Advisory supports American and European companies in China through digital marketing. In fact, our experience has led us to believe that today, the best and most convenient approach to making your brand well-known in China is through a digital approach. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how we know how to make your brand known to potential Chinese consumers. With the effective coordination of Long Advisory, your company will see a new rise in the largest market in the world: China.
Long Advisory is a digital marketing agency specializing in developing digital marketing solutions tailored for the Chinese market.
Interested in expanding your brand in China? Contact us for more info and details at firstname.lastname@example.org
GO BEYOND THE WALL
Fabiola & Matteo