Which Social Media Channels Influence Chinese Travellers?

The Top Travel, E-Commerce, Video, Knowledge-Sharing and News Platforms in China

As a powerful messaging app, WeChat undoubtedly plays a key role in digital marketing for China. An increasing number of foreign companies have launched their own WeChat official accounts to promote their brand in China. However, it is difficult to attract a significant follower base at the outset.

To help build your following, you can not only launch WeChat campaigns and KOL marketing but also target your audience on other Chinese platforms and channels so that your brand builds awareness and reputation and reaches more potential customers across different platforms.

Here, we’ll discuss which other social media channels influence Chinese travellers and how to expand your brand on various Chinese marketing mediums.

And don’t forget—if your target audience is outbound Chinese travellers, Chat Chat has a host of marketing resources to help you take advantage of Chinese social media platforms.

1. Top Travel Platforms In China

Where do Chinese travellers get their travel information and purchase relevant products and services? Below are the top 4 travel apps and sites in China. Each platform targets different audiences. We’ll explain the differences between each platform so that you can determine where to focus your efforts and target your specific audience.  

Ctrip (NASDAQ: CTRP)

A leading provider of Chinese travel services, including accommodation reservations, transportation ticketing, package tours, and corporate travel management

  • Reaches over 300 million global users
  • Focuses primarily on self-funded business and leisure travellers in China who travel in groups of all ages

Mangfengwo

A social trip-planning site and app that specialises in travel guide e-books and independent and semi-group travel experiences to be shared in a community of Chinese millennials

  • Reaches 120 million users with 4 million active monthly users, according to online data company Analysys Qianfan
  • All content is created and posted by users—this includes information on attractions, hotels, flights, travel routes, maps, dining recommendations, visas, insurance, and more.

Qyer

An online outbound travel service provider that offers travel guides, FAQs, tips, travel packages, and online forums for Chinese millennial backpackers

  • Reaches over 80 million registered users in China
  • Emphasises user-to-user communication, offering appealing interactive promotions both online and offline
  • Launched Q-home shop in Chiangmai (Thailand) and Tokyo (Japan), providing comprehensive Chinese-speaking services in those locations 

Qunar (NASDAQ: QUNR)

Provides domestic and international flight, hotel, travel group-buying, and mainland search capabilities for web-based and mobile users

  • Reaches 75 million monthly visitors and 34 million active mobile app users, according to mainland consulting firm iResearch

Provides thorough and instant search results for flights, hotels, packages, group-buying deals, visa, and other travel-related information through its accessible, humanistic, and avant-garde technology.

2. Top E-Commerce Platforms In China

If you want to sell your products to inbound and outbound Chinese travellers, then there are some promotion platforms you must know. Particularly for retail and cosmetic industries, these platforms give you a benchmark for how popular your products are in the Chinese market.

Xiaohongshu

A cross-border e-commerce platform that retails luxury, beauty, and fashion products by encouraging shoppers to share content, ideas, bargains, and shopping tips in a social community

  • Over 17 million registered users
  • A key shopping reference when Chinese travellers go abroad
  • Targets women between 18-35 years of age
  • Popular among China’s Generation Z (that’s ‘post-95s’ in Chinese): A young and sophisticated consumer base has become the most active group on the platform
  • social and business model that attracts different industries, such as education, news, and e-commerce, anchored by a social pillar that drives user engagement and growth.
  • Users post photographs of themselves wearing make-up or showing off new skincare products, and interested buyers browse the site to see what others are saying about a specific product.
  • Attracts a number of China’s biggest celebrities who share images of their outfits and skincare products

Taobao Global (NASDAQ: BABA)

A shopping platform for overseas small businesses selling to China

  • Supports more than 365 brands
  • Chinese travellers compare the price between retail and Taobao’s online shop to make purchasing decisions.
  • A destination for increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers looking for high-quality international goods
  • A stepping stone into the China market for brands, such as US handbag maker Welden and Spanish derma-cosmetic brand MartiDerm
  • Small or niche businesses make up 80% of the brands on the site.
  • Generates a combined 40% in gross merchandise value

JD Worldwide (NASDAQ: JD)

One of the largest B2C online retailers in China by transaction volume and revenue

  • Provides 8 million active customerswith direct access to a range of authentic, high-quality products, and helps leading local and international brands tap into China’s fast-growing e-commerce market
  • Cross-border platform enables brands from around the world to sell directly to Chinese consumers, even those that do not have a physical presence in China
  • Customers can enjoy same- and next-day delivery, which is a level of service that no other company in the world can match.
  • Chinese travellers buy international brands on the platform after travelling.

3. Top Video Platforms In China

Over the past 2 years, social video communities have grown incredibly quickly. They are powerful mobile social media platforms that have been catching up to WeChat. According to the Abacus 2018 China Internet Report, 600 million people actively use short video apps—which is almost 80% of all mobile internet users in China.

Most users are Chinese millennials, while younger generations also use short video apps for more than 1 hour a day. One reason is that a smart recommendation mechanism helps make content more relatable to the user’s interests. However, marketing on the apps is still in the early stages.

Tik Tok

Allows users to quickly and easily create unique 15-second videos to share with friends and the world

  • Also known as Douyin in mainland China
  • Whether it’s through dance, freestyle, or performance, creators are encouraged to let their imagination run wild and set their expressions free.
  • According to numbers released by Douyin in June 2018, the app has 150 million daily active users, and 500 million global monthly active users.What’s more impressive is that the number of daily active users has increased by 80 million in just three months.
  • Users are mostly from post-95s and post-90s generations.
  • Currently, 40% of Douyin’s users are aged between 24-30, and this indicates that the app’s audience is getting older than it used to be.
  • Young Chinese travellers like to take short videos at their travel destination. With an increase in video sharing, video-savvy destinations, food establishments, and hotels may capture the attention of Chinese travellers and become popular.

Yi Zhibo

The live-streaming app of choice for Chinese millennials—launched by Sina (NASDAQ: SINA)

  • Users can broadcast live videos through the Yi Zhibo app and Weibo and directly through Miaopai, another short video social network launched by the same parent company.
  • major force in the current Chinese information-sharing ecosystem
  • Users tend to be predominantly female, many of whom reside in first and second-tier cities.
  • Spending power is mid-level or higher, making the live-streaming app an ideal environment for influencer or content marketing.
  • The app is becoming increasingly important to destination marketing organizations and non-Chinese travel companies.

4. Top Knowledge-Sharing Platforms In China

Knowledge-sharing platforms can be considered marketing medias because they have a built-in audience of high-quality, well-educated users. You can target Chinese travellers and establish your brand as an authority in your field.

However, while content marketing on these platforms may cost less than information streaming advertising, positive results do not appear as quickly. Generally, these are platforms on which you can build your brand awareness, but it is more difficult to convert users here.

Zhihu

A Chinese question-and-answer website and app, like Quora, where questions are created, answered, edited, and organized by the community

  • Reaches 160 million registered users who are mostly Chinese millennials and who contribute more than 100 million answers
  • Advertising is the major revenue source.
  • 2% of its users are 25 years old or older,well-educated (80% have a bachelor’s degree or above, according to an iResearch report), and well-paid (30% earn more than RMB 10,000 a month).
  • Provides useful and trustworthy answers and high-quality content
  • Making an effort to establish expert authority on Zhihu will reap rewards, though it is more for longer-term brand building.
  • Zhihu has high domain authority on mainstream search engines, meaning Zhihu posts often rank higher than most other platforms.

Guokr

A popular mobile and web-based community for science and technology education through which a growing number of young Chinese people debate science with experts

  • Provides scientific knowledge interaction, brand promotion, and online education services
  • Users mainly consist of high school and college students and the middle-class crowds.
  • If you are looking for specific Chinese travellers in the niche market of science, your brand may influence target audiences here through content marketing.

5. Top Newsfeed Apps in China

With new technology developments, news apps are using custom-content social platforms. According to your behavior on the app, they collect information about your interests and recommend relevant news to you through the algorithm. While newsfeed platforms have always offered key marketing opportunities, they have recently been improved to help make campaigns more effective for brands. In terms of marketing purpose, newsfeed apps are best for increasing brand awareness.

Jinri Toutiao

A news app and information content platform in China.

  • By analyzing content features and user interaction with content, the company’s algorithm models generate a tailored feed of content for each user.
  • One of China’s largest mobile platforms for content creation, aggregation, and distribution underpinned by machine learning techniques with 700 million registered users and 120 million daily active users
  • Chinese users stay on Toutiao for an average of about 76 minutes a day. This is impressive because it’s greater than the average time people spend on WeChat, which is only 66 minutes.
  • Most Toutiao users are male, with a gender ratio of 3:2. Over 85% are young people ranging from 18-30 years old who are mostly concentrated in first or second-tier cities.
  • 3% hold a bachelor’s degree or above. Another interesting stat is that 37.8% of users are freelancers, self-employed, or private company owners.
  • According to users’ locations, click-throughs, browser histories, interests, and so on, Toutiao provides relevant content and videos, which may help brands target audiences.

NetEase News (NASDAQ: NTES)

The top news app in China

  • Using an algorithm based on large data sets matching 400 million users’ reading preferences, NetEase populates users’ newsfeeds with news and stories from users’ trusted groups.
  • Chinese users stay on the app for an average of 749 minutes a month, 1% of the daily active users.
  • 138 MCN (multi-channel network) organizations have cooperated with NetEase News to produce high-quality content.
  • Using their big database may help your brand target audiences over 25 years old.

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