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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 Tests E-Commerce Feature That Identifies Objects In Videos

TikTok is testing a feature that uses technology to identify objects in a video automatically. Then it encourages viewers to “find similar items on TikTok Shop” by clicking into a page of products.

Previously, only approved influencers and brands could tag products when they posted content to the app. However, the new feature has the potential to expand product links to all videos, representing a large expansion of TikTok’s e-commerce features as the platform targets $17.5 billion in sales in the US in 2024.

2. Tencent Chairman Pony Ma Sets Confident Tone For Internet Giant In 2024

Tencent Holdings co-founder, chairman and chief executive Pony Ma Huateng is banking on super app WeChat to help lift the internet giant’s prospects this year, as China’s most valuable tech company has overcome the worst of times brought by economic turbulence and increased regulatory scrutiny.

The 52-year-old Ma, who kept a low profile during China’s 32-month crackdown on Big Tech firms, delivered that positive message in a speech before Tencent’s annual staff meeting at a stadium in Shenzhen, the company’s home city in southern Guangdong province. Founded in November 1998, Tencent must find new lifelines in its video gaming and social media operations, Ma told employees at the event. He expected 13-year-old WeChat, in particular, to grow further as “an old tree should put forth new buds”.

3. ByteDance Executive Leaves For Cross-Border E-Commerce Venture Amid Temu Success

A founding member of ByteDance’s flagship Douyin app, the Chinese version of TikTok, has left the tech giant to focus on his own start-up for cross-border e-commerce, as Chinese-backed peers like Shein and Temu gain traction worldwide.

The new venture from Ren Lifeng, who left ByteDance in the second half of 2023, is called Beijing Shumei Wanwu Technology Co. It was incorporated on January 3 with a registered capital of 1 million yuan (US$139,119). The entrepreneur was part of Douyin’s founding team before the short video app launched in 2016. Specializing in content and operations, Ren later headed Xigua Video, another ByteDance product with a focus on medium-length and long-form video.

4. Luckin Coffee Teams Up With Kweichow Moutai for CNY

On 22 January, Luckin Coffee officially released a liquor chocolate, its second collaboration with Kweichow Moutai, the maker of the iconic Maotai baijiu liquor. Like the liquor latte from 4 months ago, the new release came after a week of teasing.

Starting as a rumor, the second collab between the leading Chinese coffee chain and the top baijiu liquor label was realized on 16 January when an “inside source” suggested that chocolate was among the materials. The official confirmation came on 19 January, 3 days before release.

5. Tmall Lets Users Create New Year Pictures With Celebrities Using AI

As the Year of the Dragon approaches, e-commerce platform Tmall has launched a multiphase, multipronged campaign featuring a celebrity photo card collection and AI-co-created New Year pictures.

The main attraction of the campaign is the celebrity card collectibles.  The Cards feature top stars like Tmall ambassador Jackson Yee, actress Yang Mi and actor Wang Yibo.

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 January report, click here.


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