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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. JD.com Begins Largest Ever Promotion to Restore Low-price Reputation


Xin Lijun, CEO of e-commerce giant JD.com‘s retail arm, on March 7 explained some of the details regarding the expected strategic direction of the sector in 2023. In terms of the recent discounts across the platform that started March 6, the move is a 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) campaign to tap new users, which Xin explained is only the beginning of re-creating the platform’s low-price reputation.



Amid rising competition with peers including Alibaba and PDD Holdings, JD.com

began preparing for the 10 billion yuan subsidy campaign as early as February. The company has described it as “its largest sales promotion event in history”, covering a wide selection of items, such as smartphones, and home appliances, as well as groceries, and office items such as paper.


2. Xiaohongshu Allows Direct Links To Taobao On Open-Screen Ads



Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu has begun allowing screen opening ads to link directly to Taobao or by simply clicking on “jump to third-party page or application”.



However, Xiaohongshu’s open-screen advertisements are not automatically part of Xiaohongshu’s commercial products. Brands need to manually place orders through Xiaohongshu’s corresponding personnel in order to launch open-screen advertisements.


3. TikTok Makes Fresh Push to Convince EU It Won’t Give Data to China



TikTok has outlined its plans to build three European data centres to store information on TikTok’s 150 million users in the region locally with the help of an independent third company that will oversee data access controls. Once operational, the data centres will cost the company €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) annually.



Similar to the company’s Project Texas in the US, TikTok’s Project Clover is meant to assure concerned governments that Beijing cannot access Europeans’ data either through the front door, via official legal requests, or back door.


4. Time US Adults Spend on TikTok Closes in on Netflix



TikTok is closing in on streaming giant Netflix when it comes to the amount of time US adults spend on the platforms, according to a report released by Insider Intelligence.



TikTok use eclipsed that of YouTube two years ago and has continued to grow faster than the Google-owned video-sharing platform, particularly among US adults in their prime earning years, the report indicated. US adult users will spend an average of nearly 56 minutes per day on TikTok this year, six minutes less than the time spent watching Netflix, the market tracker forecast.


5. TVB Hits The Jackpot As Taobao Live Debut Generates Strong Sales On Mainland



Television Broadcasts (TVB) generated 23.5 million yuan (US$3.37 million) in sales in the first six hours of its first live-streaming show on Taobao Live, Alibaba Group Holding’s live-streaming platform, fanning hopes that the major Hong Kong broadcaster can open a new source of income.



TVB’s Hong Kong stock price surged 85 percent on 8th March, a day after it was launched. The company said in a WeChat post that its live-streaming debut on the evening of 7th March attracted 3.2 million viewers in total. Its stock price has risen nearly 130 percent this week due to the partnership with Taobao Live.


6. PDD’s Temu Budget Shopping App Expands Into Australia and New Zealand



PDD Holdings subsidiary Temu, the Boston-based budget shopping app operator, will start operations in Australia and New Zealand on 13th March, weeks after it achieved record-high sales in the United States.



As part of its commercial launch in the two Oceanian countries on March 13, Temu will exempt merchants on the platform from commission and guarantee fees, according to a report on Monday by the state-backed Shanghai Securities Journal.


7. TikTok’s New ‘series’ Feature Lets Creators Put Content Behind A Paywall



TikTok has announced that it is rolling out a feature called "Series," which allows some creators to put their premium content behind a paywall.



A TikTok blog post announcing the rollout described Series as "a new way for creators to share their stories, talents, and creativity as premium content while further deepening their connection with the TikTok community." The tool will be available to only a select few creators in its early stages, the blog post said. More creators will be able to apply for access to the feature in the coming months.


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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