The digital economy in China is changing rapidly and so are the opportunities it represents for Australian and New Zealand organisations.
China UnionPay (CUP), more commonly now referred to as just UnionPay, is the third most accepted card globally behind only Visa and MasterCard. The card’s international adoption has been good for Australian and New Zealand businesses too, as has the continued increase in Chinese visitor numbers. A Chinese visitor is 20 times more likely to enter a shop displaying the UnionPay logo and Chinese visitors spend $4.8 billion in Australia alone each year.
Yao Chen is a Chinese actress (China’s equivalent to Angelina Jolie according to The Telegraph) and as far as Forbes Magazine are concerned, the 82nd most powerful woman in the world. Yao was in Davos last month at the World Economic Forum in her capacity as UNHCR Ambassador in China, however, it was her work as an Ambassador for Tourism NZ that helped put Queenstown front and centre for Chinese brides to be.
Much has been made of ChAFTA across the ditch, the much heralded free trade agreement between Australia and China, but New Zealand was the first country in the world to enter into a similar agreement with The Middle Kingdom, way back in 2008, and has been enjoying the benefits ever since.
The opportunities for Australian and New Zealand domiciled businesses to drive growth in China are driven by two distinct channels, direct sales into China and ‘grey sales’ to Mandarin and Cantonese speaking domestically domiciled residents who are buying products locally and reselling them in China through online shopping sites like Alibaba and Taobao.
In digital advertising terms, the value of a key opinion leader (KOL) being supportive of your product or brand in China cannot be overestimated. The online advertising techniques that are more familiar to ANZ based marketers don’t work nearly as well in China and as such a KOL with high levels of trust and reach, can make all the difference.
China is looking to its digital economy to continue the impressive growth seen in 2015 and more specifically, international or cross border ecommerce. There are now more than 200,000 Chinese organisations operating international ecommerce businesses through 5,000 online shopping platforms, a trade which is expected to contribute over US$1 trillion per annum to the economy by the end of next year.
The opportunities for ANZ businesses in China are vast. Driven by two distinct channels, direct sales into China and ‘grey sales’ to Mandarin speaking domestically domiciled residents who are buying products locally and reselling them in China through online shopping sites like Alibaba and Taobao.
Marketing to an ethnically diverse audience has always posed challenges to local organisations, but channels like Weibo bring a new dynamic, that allow ANZ businesses to target local consumers but also to create wider reaching influence.
Whilst Weibo is arguably the best known of the Chinese social networks, the biggest of which is Sina Weibo (Weibo being the generic term for micro blogging) WeChat from Tencent is both the largest and fastest growing of the major social networks.