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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. Alibaba Scores A Win With Taobao Debut of China’s ‘Most Famous Teacher’



China’s most famous teacher-turned live streamer has set up shop on Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao e-commerce platform, as internet giants in the country jostle to attract customers in a saturated market by bringing in popular influencers.



Dongfangzhenxuan, the live-streaming brand of New Oriental Education & Technology Group led by former teacher Yu Minhong, made its debut on Taobao Live and sold more than 100 million yuan (US$13 million) worth of goods in the first 12 hours, according to a post on the brand’s Weibo account. New Oriental had been a cram school giant in China until mid-2021, when Beijing’s sudden crackdown against private tutoring for schoolchildren forced the firm to switch its business focus.


2. Xiaohongshu Embarks On The Era of “Personal Shoppers”, Boosting Social Commerce



After the livestream momentum gained by the Chinese actress Dong Jie, and subsequently KOL Zhang Xiaohui, Xiaohongshu now seeks to give influencers an official title of “personal shoppers”, stepping up efforts in social commerce. The duo pulled off online sales of 30 million RMB and 50 million RMB respectively through a single livestream session earlier this year on Xiaohongshu, which garnered over 200 million and 600 million views.



The move closely follows the just concluded Red-commerce Partner Week 2023, which was hosted on 24 August in Shanghai. Touting the tagline “Entering the era of personal shoppers”, the event also marked the public debut of Xiaohongshu’s e-commerce division.


3. TikTok Shop Ends Shopify Integration In Push for Closed Loop Model



From September 12, TikTok Shop will end its Storefront service, meaning merchants hoping to cash in on TikTok’s huge userbase and powerful algorithms will have to sell directly on TikTok Shop. TikTok will no longer attract traffic to sellers’ independent websites or other external e-commerce platforms.



The move comes as TikTok aims to establish itself as an end-to-end commerce platform. A key stage in this is the conversion of its current semi-closed loop model to a fully closed loop in which the platform owns all the traffic it generates. TikTok inked an agreement with the Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify in 2020 that allowed Shopify merchants to run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from their Shopify dashboards.


4. ByteDance Renames “Qingtao” to “Douyin Selection”, Intensifying Bilibili Competition



In its latest 2.0.0 version update, “Qingtao” has officially been renamed as “Douyin Selection”, and the icon has also been changed to the official Douyin logo with a “Selection” subscript.



This app has a clean and ad-free interface, and it can interact with Douyin. The main content includes digital technology, scientific popularization, trendy sports, cultural arts, and other topics. The “Messages” in the bottom bar has been changed to “Followers”. Overall, the functionality is not significantly different from the previous “Qingtao” app. It is expected that the name change is aimed at further increasing user numbers through the popularity of Douyin.


5. Xiaohongshu Suddenly Announces the Closure of “Little Oasis”



Xiaohongshu‘s self-owned e-commerce platform “Little Oasis” has released a farewell letter stating that it will cease operations and shut down in October this year.



The e-commerce platform “Little Oasis” released a farewell letter to its users: due to business adjustments and careful consideration, “Little Oasis” will cease operations on October 1st, with product sales ending. On October 31st, “Little Oasis” will officially close. In the farewell letter, it is stated that any after-sales issues regarding the products can be addressed by contacting customer service through the “Little Oasis” channel on the product page of historical orders. Even after the store officially closes, customers can still apply for after-sales support and provide feedback through the order page, as the company will always protect consumers’ shopping rights.


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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