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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. TikTok to Stop Sales in Indonesia After Social Media Transaction Ban

Short video app TikTok will reportedly halt transactions on its platform in Indonesia following the country’s new ban on e-commerce trade on social media. TikTok’s decision is in line with the government’s grace period to comply with the new rule at one week, to avoid the threat of closure. It was unclear from the statement whether TikTok will create a new e-commerce app, separate from its social media app.

Indonesia is one of the largest markets for TikTok Shop and was the first to pilot the app’s e-commerce arm. The new regulation is yet another setback for TikTok, which has faced intense scrutiny in the United States and other nations in recent months over users’ data security and the company’s alleged ties to Beijing.

2. Alibaba’s Taobao And Tmall Chief Moves Away From Roles At Subsidiaries: Reports

The head of Alibaba Group Holding’s e-commerce unit Taobao and Tmall Group, which provides 70 percent of parent company revenue, has stepped away from multiple roles at Alibaba subsidiaries amid an ongoing business shake-up, according to local media reports and business registration information.

Trudy Dai Shan, an early aide to Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and who returned to the front line of Alibaba in 2022, no longer holds legal representative positions at Hangzhou Alimama Software Services Co and Taobao (China) Software Co among others, signalling that Dai will focus all her energy on Alibaba’s core e-commerce engine. Responding to an enquiry, Taobao and Tmall said the move was a common change of business registration at subsidiaries and has no impact at the group level.

3. Maotai Halts Its Collaborative Marketing Efforts

While the buzz surrounding the crossovers between Maotai-Luckin and the subsequent Maotai-Dove are still up in the air, the Chinese liquor giant has taken the decision to halt its collaborative marketing efforts. The announcement came in tandem after Maotai unveiled a new co-branded, wine-filled chocolate with American sweet treat maker Dove last month.

The decision has been interpreted by some as “quit while you are ahead”, referring to the immediate hit created by those new drops earlier this month. While the co-branded “liquor latte” with Chinese coffee chain Luckin clocked record daily sales of over 5 million cups, generating 100 million RMB (13.69 million USD) in revenue, another buying frenzy soon followed as Maotai struck while the iron was hot, which saw the Maotai-Dove, wine-filled chocolate snapped up upon its release.

4. Tmall Rebrands Its Offline Store Into 24-Hour Convenience Store Lingli

Building on its new retail vision, Alibaba Group’s e-commerce arm, Taobao Maicai, has announced the transformation of its offline retail outlet, the Tmall Store, into the Lingli Store.

The newly rebranded store will now offer 24/7 operations, catering to the increasing consumer demand for round-the-clock convenience. As part of this transformation, Lingli store owners will also lead Taobao’s next-day grocery pickup groups. These changes are set to first roll out in pilot provinces including Guangdong, Hubei, Hebei, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Sichuan.

5. TikTok Adds Centralized Wallet To Manage In-App Transactions

TikTok has launched a new in-app wallet, as a centralized payments tracking platform, which also includes TikTok’s own in-app currency.

The new TikTok “Balance” element is a centralized account tracking platform, where you’ll able to get info on all of your in-app transactions, Coins, rewards, etc. TikTok Coins are the platform’s own in-app currency, which you can exchange for virtual items that you can then award to your favorite creators in the app.

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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