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. Philippines’ Marcos Asks TikTok to Help Retailers Promote Products
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr has asked TikTok Inc. to help family-run stores promote their products to the social media platform’s millions of users.
Marcos wants the video app to train local sellers, especially those in rural areas, to market their offerings, his communication office said in a statement after he met with TikTok Chief Executive Officer Chew Zi Shou in San Francisco. The son of a former dictator bearing the same name, Marcos was elected in May 2022 after running a campaign where social media platforms including TikTok further boosted his popularity at a time when the pandemic supercharged reliance on smartphone-delivered opinion.
2. TikTok Bans Videos Promoting bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’
TikTok will prohibit content that promotes Osama bin Laden’s 2002 letter detailing the former al-Qaeda leader’s justifications for attacks against Americans, the short-form video app said.
Discussions of the 20-year-old letter have spread on the platform this week in the context of debate over the Israel-Hamas war, with some users in the West praising its contents. The letter, which was written after al-Qaida’s attack on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people, criticised US support for Israel, accused Americans of financing the “oppression” of Palestinians, and contained antisemitic comments.
3. Tencent Takes Comfort From Its Huge Stockpile of Nvidia Chips For AI Initiatives
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings said it has sufficient inventory of Nvidia Corp’s H800 chip for the development of its artificial intelligence (AI) foundation model Hunyuan, downplaying the impact of the US government’s latest semiconductor restrictions. Still, they indicated that they would seek domestic alternatives.
Tencent, which runs the world’s largest video gaming business by revenue and China’s biggest social media operation, has one of the largest inventories of AI chips in the country, according to Tencent president Martin Lau Chi-ping. He said Tencent was the first to put in orders for the H800 chip, the China-export version of Nvidia’s H100 graphics processing unit (GPU) that was developed to comply with earlier US tech export curbs.
4. Tencent’s Third-Quarter Revenues Up On ‘High Quality’ Growth In Ads, Games
Tencent Holdings, operator of China’s biggest social media app and the world’s largest gaming business by revenue, reported a profit decline for the third quarter of 2023 that was still better than market estimates, as the country’s economic recovery continued to face pressure.
The Hong Kong-listed internet giant posted a profit of 36.2 billion yuan (US$5 billion) for the three months ended September 30, down 9 percent from 39.9 billion yuan a year ago. That exceeded the consensus estimates of 32.4 billion yuan by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Total revenue in the quarter reached 154.6 billion yuan, up 10 percent from 140.1 billion yuan a year ago. That was slightly worse than the consensus estimates of 154.8 billion yuan.
5. TikTok Seeks Indonesian E-Commerce Partnerships After Social Media Platform Ban
TikTok has been holding talks with Indonesian e-commerce companies about possible partnerships, an Indonesian minister has said, a month after Southeast Asia’s largest economy banned online shopping on social media platforms.
TikTok has spoken with five companies including GoTo’s e-commerce unit Tokopedia, Bukalapak.com and Blibli, according to Teten Masduki, minister for small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Indonesia’s trade ministry implemented the ban last month, aiming to protect smaller brick-and-mortar merchants and secure users’ data.
6. Douyin Vets Advertisers As China Tightens Control On Short Dramas
Douyin, the Chinese sibling of TikTok with over 600 million daily active users, has tightened its screening of advertisers in response to Beijing’s increased control of short video content.
Under Douyin’s new requirement, advertisers looking to promote short-form dramas – budget productions with each episode lasting only a few minutes – will need to show proper licensing documents, according to a notice published by the company’s advertising. The rules, which Douyin said are intended to ensure that the industry is “developing on the right track”, effectively ban individuals and unlicensed studios from promoting content on the platform.
7. JD.Com Beats Revenue Estimates After Discounts Lure Frugal Shoppers
JD.com posted a stronger-than-expected 1.7 percent rise in quarterly revenue after heavy promotional spending propelled online transactions in the face of intense competition. Revenue came to 247.7 billion yuan (US$34.2 billion) in the September quarter, versus the 246.6 billion yuan average analyst estimate. Net income rose 33 percent to 7.9 billion yuan. Its shares rose 4.5 percent in pre-market trading in New York.
8. JD.Com Removes Veteran From Retail CEO Role Days After Singles’ Day
Chinese e-commerce powerhouse JD.com has appointed its CEO as the new chief of the company’s main revenue driver JD Retail in a major executive reshuffle at its core business, as the firm comes under mounting competitive pressure amid a sluggish domestic economy.
Sandy Xu Ran, who was promoted seven months ago to helm JD.com, has also assumed the top role at the company’s retail unit, the parent firm said in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Xin Lijun, former CEO of JD Retail, will move to an unspecified position at the company, according to the announcement.
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 November report, click here.