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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 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. PDD Sees Sales Surge Despite China Gloom

PDD Holdings revenue rose a stronger-than-expected 66 percent after the company behind hit shopping app Temu spent to boost growth at home and abroad to counter a bumpy post-pandemic recovery.

Its shares climbed more than 13 percent in pre-market trading in New York. The e-commerce platform reported revenue of 52.3 billion yuan (US$7.2 billion) in the June quarter, beating the average estimate of 43.3 billion yuan. Net income increased 47 percent to 13.1 billion yuan.

2. Temu Enters The Philippines to Kick Off Expansion Into Southeast Asia

Budget shopping app provider Temu, owned by multinational e-commerce group PDD Holdings, has started operations in the Philippines to kick off its expansion into Southeast Asia. It faces tough head-to-head competition against Alibaba Group Holding unit Lazada, ByteDance’s TikTok Shop, and Singapore-based Shopee in the region.

Temu quietly made its “grand opening” in the Philippines, where the Boston-based sibling of Chinese online retailer Pinduoduo offered up to 90 percent off items such as T-shirts, double-sided tape, and kitchen storage and appliances, according to its website.

3. Alibaba’s Taobao Tmall Commerce Group Sets Up Logistics Department To Improve Efficiency

Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao Tmall Commerce Group is establishing a logistics department to better manage deliveries, according to local media reports and its recruitment website.

From June to August, the logistics department had 45 openings posted, including positions in areas such as logistics ecosystem strategy, warehouse management, and data analysis, according to the official recruitment website of Taobao and Tmall. The department is led by Chen Ming, who has experience in supply chain and logistics in Alibaba, according to a report by local media Latepost. Although Alibaba has its own logistics unit Cainiao, Taobao, and Tmall sometimes have different demands, the report said.

4. Tmall Launches 3D Virtual World Ahead of Asian Games

In honor of the upcoming 19th Asian Games, Chinese e-commerce giant Tmall has rolled out an interactive 3D world as part of the 30-day countdown to the Games. Found on Tmall’s mobile app, this immersive digital space allows users to participate in various 3D sports experiences, from rowing at Yanggongdi to track and field at Beishan Street. Completing tasks within the 3D world can unlock rewards, including Asian Games tickets and red envelopes with money.

5. Japan Bets On WeChat to Hook Chinese Tourists

Japan’s National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) is teaming up with companies across domestic aviation, retail, and hospitality sectors to launch a WeChat mini program to promote Japanese culture to Chinese consumers.

The mini program, called 观美日本(“Appreciate Beautiful Japan”) functions as a mobile catalog of products and experiences available in Japan, displayed in a vertical feed with images as the focus, similar to an Instagram or Xiaohongshu feed. Users can filter the content by five beauty-themed categories – food, sensory experiences, handicrafts, cosmetics, or scenery – and toggle between official promotions from partner companies or user-generated content from “experts”. Users can also share their own recommendations via posts with images and short text captions. Big names among the nine partner companies include Shiseido, Hoshino Resorts, and Japan Airlines.

6. Meta Closes Nearly 9,000 Facebook And Instagram Accounts Linked to Chinese ‘Spamouflage’ Foreign Influence Campaign

Facebook parent company Meta has said that it had uncovered links between people associated with Chinese law enforcement and the long-running but largely ineffectual pro-China “Spamouflage” influence operation.

The social media giant removed around 7,700 Facebook accounts and hundreds of other pages, groups, and Instagram accounts connected to the campaign, elements of which have been active since 2018, it said in a quarterly security report. Meta began investigating in 2019 and its research aligned with several research groups that coined the term Spamouflage, including the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi). In a report released by the social media giant on 29th August, Meta said it had removed 7,704 Facebook accounts, 954 pages, 15 groups, and 15 Instagram accounts identified as violating the company’s inauthentic behavior policy.

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 August report, click here.

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