China Digital Digest Weekly: Exploring the Chinese Digital Landscape
Hi folks, ClickInsights has launched its 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. Apple Extends Wait Time in China for Popular iPhone 14 Models up to January
Apple has extended the wait time in mainland China for its most popular iPhone 14 models beyond Christmas, as major supplier Foxconn Technology Group scrambles to resume full production capacity at its factory in Zhengzhou, the capital of central Henan province.
A check on Apple’s China website on Monday showed a 5-6 week waiting time for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, with the latest delivery stretching out to January 3, 2023. The wait was a week longer than it took in early November, and two weeks longer than orders made in late October. The base models – the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus – however, are available for same-day delivery or in-store pickup.
2. McDonald’s French Fries Pop-Up Shop Lands in Hangzhou
McDonald’s has set up its French Fries outlet in Hangzhou. This marks the very first french fry pop-up store to light up Eastern China’s skies and the third to open in the nation after Shenzhen and Chengdu.
Unveiled on Hangzhou’s Wulin Road, the eye-catching design of the pop-up store incorporates the company’s classic red and yellow colors, combining the appearance of french fries with the iconic giant letter “M”. With LED lights that illuminate the shop at night, the geometric shape of the industrial-style steel frame structure and transparent glass create a “cyberpunk”-esque aesthetic, catering to the subculture trend that has turned mainstream in China.
3. TikTok Draws Bipartisan Fire in the US on China Surveillance Concern
Two US senators, Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, called TikTok a Chinese surveillance tool, issuing a bipartisan warning as the Biden administration weighs a deal that could let the video-sharing app keep operating in the US.
President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking a security agreement with TikTok to spare it from a US ban floated under his predecessor Donald Trump. Critics remain concerned that data can leak to China via the popular app, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd.
4. Tencent Posts Drop in 3Q Revenue, Disburses Meituan Stake to Shareholders
Tencent Holdings reported a further decline in revenue in the third quarter and said it would disburse its stake in the on-demand delivery platform Meituan to shareholders, as the Chinese internet giant faces macroeconomic headwinds caused by the country’s strict pandemic control measures.
The Hong Kong-listed company, which runs the world’s largest video gaming business by revenue and operates China’s largest social media platform, posted a profit of 39.9 billion yuan (US$5.63 billion) for the three months that ended September 30, only 1 percent up from 39.5 billion yuan a year ago. The number exceeded consensus estimates of 25.9 billion yuan by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
5. FBI is ‘extremely Concerned’ About TikTok as a Weapon for China
FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated the bureau’s long-standing national security concerns about Chinese-owned video app TikTok to lawmakers Tuesday and said the agency is sharing its views with officials who are weighing a deal that would allow it to keep operating in the US.
Wray told lawmakers China’s government could use the app to control millions of users’ data or software, and its recommendation algorithm – which determines which videos users will see next – “could be used for influence operations if they so choose”.
6. Tencent Slashes About 1,900 Jobs in Third Quarter
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings slashed 1,879 jobs in the third quarter after cutting 5,500 jobs in the previous quarter, continuing to shrink its workforce as it faces scrutiny from Beijing and a slowing economy.
Tencent had 108,836 employees by the end of September, the company revealed in its earnings on Wednesday. It was 1.7 percent lower than the payroll size of 110,715 employees in the previous quarter, but up 1.4 percent from the 107,348 employees, it had in the same period last year. The social media and video gaming giant has cut a total of 7,377 jobs since staff numbers peaked in the first quarter.
7. JD.com’s Adjusted EBITDA Almost Doubles in Q3
JD.com has reported an 11% increase in third-quarter revenues. Adjusted earnings of the China-based e-commerce firm nearly doubled year-over-year during the period.
Earnings, excluding special items, increased 98% year-over-year to $0.88 per ADS during the three-month period. On an unadjusted basis, the net profit was $839 million or $0.50 per ADS, compared to a loss in the prior-year quarter. At $34.2 billion, third-quarter revenues were up 11% from the corresponding period of 2021. At the end of June 2022, JD.com had a total of 588.3 million active customer accounts, which is up 7% year-over-year.
8. Tim Horton Teams up with Alibaba to Charm China’s Coffee Lovers
Canadian coffeehouse and restaurant chain Tim Hortons has officially announced a two-year partnership with tech giant Alibaba’s grocery chain Freshippo. Together, the two companies will roll out co-branded coffee products to reel in Chinese coffee lovers.
Starting in December 2022, Alibaba’s Freshippo will begin selling its co-branded products to its over 300 physical stores located in 27 cities across China, as well as online through its official app. So far, products featured in the lineup include two of its latest beverages: Velvet Cocoa Coffee and Chestnut Latte.
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 October report, click here.