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China Digital Digest Weekly: Exploring the Chinese Digital Landscape

Hi folks, we are back with our weekly edition of China’s Digital Digest, wherein we would bring you weekly updates on China’s digital space. The report takes a quick glance at China’s complex and rapidly evolving social media landscape by providing updates on the latest happenings across the social media industry. Here are the major highlights of the report.

1. Chinese Version of TikTok Weighs Expanded Food Delivery Service At Home

ByteDance’s short video app Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, plans to offer its food delivery service in more Chinese cities, expanding an existing trial in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu.

If the plan goes ahead, Douyin could stand to become a powerful new challenger in a market dominated by Meituan and its rival, a service owned by Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post.

2. Social Media Campaign Linked to Chinese Government Spreading Disinformation About Australian Politics, Thinktank Says

A coordinated foreign influence campaign linked to the Chinese government is using social media to undermine confidence in Australia’s democratic system, according to researchers at a Canberra-based defense think tank.

The researchers believe the network is operating from within China and is either spreading disinformation about Australian politics or amplifying concerns about political scandals. They reference rape allegations made by the former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins and against the former attorney general Christian Porter, which he strongly denies.

3. PDD-Backed Temu Takes On Shein With Splashy Super Bowl Debut

Chinese-owned e-commerce upstart Temu made its Super Bowl debut, an unofficial coming-out party for an online shopping app that has climbed American download charts since its debut late last year.

PDD Holdings’ service, which like Shein has gained a reputation for cut-rate pricing and fast delivery, ran a 30-second spot featuring a trendy shopper twirling and dancing to phrases like “Cha-ching! I feel so rich, oh yeah.” PDD, formerly known as Pinduoduo, said it was also giving away a total of US$10 million to users via online sweepstakes.

4. Alibaba Exits India’s Paytm, Selling Shares For US$167 Million

China’s Alibaba Group Holding has sold its remaining stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for about 13.78 billion rupees (US$167.14 million) through a block deal.

The exit comes days after Paytm posted its first-ever quarterly operating profit as a listed firm, nine months ahead of its own target. It was not immediately clear why Alibaba sold the stake. Paytm and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

5. Tech Lay-Offs Spread to South Asia As Alibaba Unit Daraz Cuts 360 Jobs

Alibaba Group Holding-owned Daraz Group, which is touted as the leading e-commerce platform in South Asia, said it will cut 11 percent of the company’s workforce, as sweeping lay-offs in the technology sector spread to more markets.

The job cuts at Pakistan-based Daraz, which was acquired by Alibaba from German firm Rocket Internet in 2018, follow a workforce reduction of more than 15,000 at its Chinese parent in the first nine months of 2022.

6. Beijing Pushes New Measures to Revive E-Commerce Activities In Nation’s Capital

The municipal government of Beijing has unveiled a draft of new regulatory measures to help revive e-commerce activities in the Chinese capital, as online retailers continue to struggle with weak consumer spending amid a sluggish domestic economy.

Authorities in the sprawling metropolis, which comprises 16 districts, plan to focus on “optimizing services” for online merchants, which is in line with efforts to boost “flexible employment” as well as support the “healthy and regulated development of the platform economy”, according to a document released this month by local industry watchdog the Beijing Market Supervision Administration.

7. Tiffany & Co. Debuts Its First Online Flagship Store In China On JD.Com

Luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. unveiled its first online flagship store in China on 10 February, joining hands with domestic e-commerce retailer to deepen its push into the local market.

From now on, consumers are able to access Tiffany & Co.’s world by simply searching the brand’s name on the app. In celebration of the virtual storefront landing, Tiffany & Co. presented a complete line-up of its popular products ranging from jewelry, accessories, and homeware items to fragrance collections, with new arrivals such as the Tiffany Lock bracelets, included.

8. Tmall Gears Up Online Fragrance Advisors For Valentine’s Day

With the onset of Valentine’s Day, China’s e-commerce retailer Tmall debuted fragrance consultation services on 13 February in a bid to assist consumers with finding out their signature scents during the season of love.

Currently, the service is only available at the official flagship stores of Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Valentino on Tmall, with a plan to cover more domestic and foreign perfume brands after Valentine’s Day. Around 200 consumers came along with questions about choosing fragrances by the end of the first day, half of which were male shoppers who wished to gift perfume to their loved ones during the festival but felt uncomfortable shopping in the mall.

Wrapping Up

The vast and diverse nature of the Chinese Social Media space makes it incredibly challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments taking place. However, China’s Digital Digest brings you all the latest updates from there to keep you abreast of all the evolving trends.

To delve deeper into the findings of the February report, click here.


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