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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. Indiana’s TikTok Lawsuit Is ‘Political Posturing’, Judge Says

The fate of the Indiana attorney general’s lawsuit against the social media company TikTok is uncertain after a federal judge lambasted much of the case as “political posturing”.

While US District Judge Holly Brady ruled against TikTok’s request to move the case to federal court, that decision leaves the lawsuit brought by Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita in the hands of a county judge who last month ruled against Rokita on two key points. The state attorney general claims the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform misleads users about its level of inappropriate content and about the security of consumer information.

A county judge has already said the attorney general is wrong to classify downloading TikTok as a consumer transaction because no money is exchanged, and that Indiana lacks standing in the case because both TikTok and Apple – the company where people download the app – are based in California.

2. Alibaba and JD.Com Kick Off June 18 Shopping Festivals Amid Rebound

China’s major e-commerce platforms have all kicked off campaigns for the June 18 online shopping festival, the second-biggest such event in the country after Singles’ Day in November, with some firms in the middle of corporate reshuffles amid fierce competition in the sector as China’s economy recovers.

Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao & Tmall Group started its first checkout window at 8pm on 31st May, with hefty discounts in line with previous years. Some merchants participating in Tmall’s sales campaign are offering consumers 50 yuan (US$7) discounts on each 300 yuan spent in deals that qualify.

3. Assassin’s Creed Publisher Ubisoft to Halt Online Merchandise Sales in China

French video gaming giant Ubisoft Entertainment, the publisher behind hit action-adventure franchise Assassin’s Creed, is set to close its official online store in mainland China, as the company ceases direct merchandise sales in the industry’s largest market.

Ubisoft’s flagship store on Tmall, the e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group Holding, will halt sales from 7th June, following a “strategic adjustment” to “no longer operate its merchandise sales business in China”, the company announced via its official account on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.

4. Meituan and Tim’s Tap Into Summer Sports with “Flying Bagels”

In its latest summer campaign, the Chinese food delivery giant Meituan has teamed up with multinational coffee house Tim Hortons to roll out co-branded products that target sports lovers across the nation.

As part of this partnership, the two brands have not only launched a refreshing coconut cold-brew coffee but also created a limited-edition “Flying Bagel” frisbee. This unique frisbee is available in two vibrant colors and replicates the iconic shape of Tim Hortons’ classic bagel. Players can now witness the bagel soar through the air and strive to catch it during gameplay, adding an extra element of excitement and entertainment to their outdoor activities.

5. Report Finds 90% Of Chinese Consumers Watch Livestreams

According to a new report released by Beijing Consumers Association on May 31, live streaming in online shopping is even more dominant in China than marketers might expect. Of the 4,112 consumers surveyed, 90% said they have browsed and/ or purchased goods through watching live streams. This is an impressively high result given that discussions on Chinese social commerce typically focus on millennials and new social media platforms.

6. ByteDance’s Douyin Releases Rules that Prohibit Public Welfare Accounts from Participating in Live Streaming Tipping

On June 2nd, the official Douyin account released the latest regulations on the governance of public welfare content on Douyin.

It stated that “a very small number of creators use internet platforms to try to deceive traffic, money and love by fabricating false scenes such as ‘poor life’ and ‘old housing’ under the guise of ‘assisting farmers’, ‘assisting those in need’, and ‘assisting the disabled’ through false “donation assistance” and other “public welfare” behaviors with negative impact.” The new regulations clearly require that “public welfare accounts shall not engage in profit-making activities such as live broadcast rewards or e-commerce sales.”

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 May report, click here.


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