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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. Foxconn Offers Us$1,400 to New Hires to Leave The Zhengzhou iPhone Factory

The world’s largest iPhone factory, operated by Foxconn Technology Group in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, has promised to pay each newly-hired worker 10,000 yuan (US$1,400) to leave the campus immediately in a desperate move to end protests that have turned violent.

The offer to workers was made on 23rd November and published by Chinese online media outlet Cailianshe, after violent clashes between workers and company security staff that began on the evening of 22nd November over allowances and strict Covid-19 measures.

2. Chinese Bots Flood Twitter in an Attempt to Obscure Covid Protests

Twitter has been flooded with nuisance posts designed to obscure news of the coronavirus lockdown protests in China, in an apparent state-directed attempt to suppress footage of the demonstrations.

Chinese bot accounts – not operated by humans – are being used to flood the social networking service with adverts for sex workers, pornography and gambling when users search for a major city in the country, such as Shanghai or Beijing, using Chinese script.

3. Delivery Giant Meituan’s Revenue Surges 28% as Lockdowns Boost Orders

Chinese on-demand services giant Meituan is expected to maintain sales growth in the September quarter as the company’s business fundamentals remain resilient despite a slowing economy.

A steady rise in revenue could help shore up investor confidence in Meituan after snap lockdowns across China dealt a heavy blow to restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. The company’s major shareholder Tencent Holdings said last week it would give away around US$20 billion worth of Meituan shares as dividends to its shareholders.

4. China to Make up 40% of Luxury Consumers by 2030: Bain Report

A recent study released by Bain & Co. and Altagamma projects that the luxury consumer industry will reach $1.4 trillion in sales revenue this year, growing 21 percent from 2021. Despite high inflation and rising costs of living, as well as ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, some 95 percent of luxury brands reported positive growth in 2022.

That said, China is still performing below 2021 figures and not expected to recover until the middle of next year. Notably, after previously reporting that Chinese consumers would make up half of the global luxury market by 2025, the global consultancy has amended its forecast: They will represent 40 percent of all luxury consumers by 2030.

5. Founder Richard Liu urges JD.Com to Cut Prices Amid Tough Retail Sector

Richard Liu Qiangdong has urged to get back to basics, such as low prices and quality service, to win the hearts of online Chinese consumers, according to a leaked internal speech by the billionaire founder of the company published by media outlet LatePost.

Liu said he intends to fire 10 percent of poorly-performing senior-level executives by the end of this year, according to the LatePost article. The South China Morning Post reported earlier that the company will slash the salaries of around 2,000 senior managers by up to 20 percent, as part of efforts to boost housing and education benefits for its rank-and-file employees.

6. China’s JD.Com to Slash Salaries of 2,000 Senior Managers by up to 20 Percent

Chinese e-commerce giant will slash the salaries of around 2,000 senior managers by up to 20 percent, as part of efforts to boost housing and education benefits for its rank-and-file employees, company founder Richard Liu Qiangdong announced in an internal email. will establish a 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) housing fund for all employees of the group and its subsidiaries, according to the email, which was seen by the South China Morning Post and its content confirmed by a company spokeswoman.

7. Maison Margiela Unveils First-Ever Fashion Cinema in Shanghai

Maison Margiela’s first-ever fashion cinema has officially landed in Shanghai. Located on the second floor of its flagship store in Shanghai’s JC Plaza, the mini-movie theatre will host 12 screenings per day of ‘Cinema Inferno’ free of charge until January 2023.

Inspired by American road movies, the 30-minute theatrical production produced by Maison Margiela’s creative director John Galliano tells the poetic story of a pair of desperate young lovers on the run while presenting its 2022 Artisanal Collection.

8. Speed Styling Beauty Kiosk Emerges in Shanghai

Homegrown Chinese makeup brand Leecheek recently unveiled a speed beauty kiosk on the second floor of Shanghai’s Pudong Kerry Centre. With the help of a couple of makeup artists, this beauty kiosk claims to make people look more refined in under 45 minutes.

Covering a space of no more than 15 square meters, each booth is equipped with two full-time makeup artists and provides two options: “Quick Makeup” and “Custom Order”. Priced at 268 RMB ($37.39) and 498 RMB ($69.48) respectively, both services include a full-scale beauty and hair makeover.

9. Douyin Wins FIFA World Cup Broadcasting Rights

Douyin has become the first short video platform in China to obtain live broadcasting rights for the FIFA World Cup.

The copyright fee paid by Douyin Group to CCTV exceeded 1 billion yuan ($139 million), according to several reports. Many industry insiders believe that video platforms that have cooperated with top-level sporting events in the past suffered from “users’ low willingness to pay and small scale of paid users.” Moreover, the free access offered by Douyin, which doesn’t display ads or charge membership fees, could cause it to lose even more money.

10. TikTok Pressed by US House Republicans About Sharing Data with China

Republican members of Congress, who will set the agenda for the House next year, pressed the short video app TikTok on Tuesday over concerns the company may have misled Congress about how much user data it shares with China, where owner ByteDance is headquartered.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative James Comer, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, wrote to TikTok to say the information provided in a staff briefing appeared to be inaccurate.

11. Huobi Launches Refreshed Brand, Unveils Post-Acquisition Global Expansion Roadmap

Huobi, one of the world’s leading virtual assets exchanges, launched its refreshed branding strategy where it will be known simply as “Huobi” instead of “Huobi Global”. It also unveiled its global expansion roadmap for the first time after its acquisition by About Capital last month, which will follow a more globalized approach to operations.

The new name consists of two Chinese characters“火” and “必”. The first one represents perpetual vitality and passing this same vitality through future generations in Chinese culture. The second one means determination to win, which represents its ambition to return to the top 3 exchanges of the industry.

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 October report, click here.


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