Mailman X Business Weekly | October 12th

Mailman X Business Weekly | October 12th

Here are China’s top tourism business news that you need to know from this week:

Tencent Arrives at Advertising Week to Help Brands and Marketers “Discover China”

China is the World’s largest and most promising internet market, technology drives culture and Chinese social media is transformative.  According to Tencent’s Corporate Vice President Steven Chang, “China is the next frontier and an unprecedented opportunity for brands and marketers.  It is a huge complex digital society with a passion for advanced technologies, navigating this marketing can be challenging but there has never been a better time to start.”

Read in English here.

Mailman Take: As noted by Tencent’s Steven Chang, China’s growing digital consumer base is massive, although entering the market seems daunting, partnering with the right digital agency who both understands your organization’s goals as well as the ever changing Chinese consumer is more important than ever.  There will never be the perfect time to start in the market but as the space becomes more and more competitive and consumers flock online for nearly all of their booking and trip planning needs it is vital to establish your brand in the eyes of the consumer. The best place to start building a consumer brand strategy is online through mobile apps not only through Tencent’s WeChat but other channels as well.  This is a key part of your partner selection in China, ensure you have a handle on the roles and responsibility of each platform in China will help drive understanding of a solid marketing strategy in China.

China’s National Day sees Chinese travel in Millions, Billions, and Trillions

Over half of China’s population traveled within the country over the holiday, a 9.4 percent increase from last year, state news agency China News Service reported Monday. The holidaymakers spent a total of 599 billion yuan ($86.5 billion) during their travels, a similarly high uptick from last year’s figure.

Read in English here

Mailman Take: This year saw Chinese increase their interest in “rural tourism”, where they sought for more experiential travel.  This insight bodes well for secondary cities without major transportation hubs for outbound Chinese travelers and could be a .  There were also almost 21 million people who did not travel, based on WeChat step statistics, dubbing them the 100-step club and showing the increasing influence of WeChat in daily lives.

China’s Influencer Fatigue is Real. What should Brand’s Do?

There are over 1 Million influencers in China that have more than 10,000 followers on social media.  According to the Chinese job survey, 54 percent of Chinese born after 1995 chose “influencer” as their most desired occupation. The overabundance of influencers in the market is beginning to cause consumer frustration, as their social feeds are taken over by a never-ending stream of promotional content produced by unknown generic influencers.

Read in english here

Mailman Take:  Influencers have been the “solution” to reaching a wide Chinese audience, however the rapid increase in number of influencers as well as the note of “fake” audiences, it is not only important to understand who the influencer is and what the stand for but equally key to ensure your destination creates engaging and original content to breakout of the influencer clutter.  It is not enough these days to copy what others are doing online, in a crowded market place you must always look for ways to enhance current trends as well as understand what drives consumer motivation and interest from generation to generation.

Also this week:

France Launches ‘operation seduction’ to woo more Chinese tourist with cashless payments, KOLs and influencers

Only two percent of visitors to France are from China; to change this, regional tourism boards are pulling out all the stops, signing deals with Chinese mobile payment platforms and inviting influencers to visit. The goal is to provide a 100% cashless journey by the end of 2018.  The ultimate goal is to bring in 5 Million Chinese tourists by 2020 (up from 800,000 visitors last year).

Read in English here.

Chinese OTA Tongcheng — Elong’s IPO could be worth up to $5.5B

The company is set for pre-IPO hearings in early October and set to be available on the Hong Kong stock exchange in Mid-November.  TongCheng was formed Via a merger with TongCheng Network and Elong Holdings Ltc. in December 2017. It is important to note as opposed to launching and owning its own new travel app after the merger the company chose to offer its train ticketing and hotel booking services via WeChat via WeChat’s Mini program platform.  The rise by building on WeChat’s traffic has been nothing short of spectacular.

Read in English here.

Japan’s SoftBank in talks with Chinese education app over potential $500M investment

Zouyebang which means “homework help” in Chinese is an app that lets students seek help on study-related problems, a spin-off of the Chinese search engine Baidu. SoftBank is seeking a stake in China’s huge education market, estimated to be worth US$422B by 2020.

Read in English here.

The Little Red Book is a social ecommerce platform that’s not an ecommerce platform at all

Little Red Book (LRB) can be described as Instagram and Pinterest sprinkled with Taobao (China’s largest online marketplace, Alibaba owned). What makes LRB different? It focuses on a Niche Style obsessed market (100 Million) of young middle-class mostly female consumers.  According to experts it is not a cross-border e-commerce platform but a product search engine.

Read in English here.

Briefing: Facebook still waiting for its China business License

China has not yet granted Facebook a business license to any entity operated by Facebook in China. In July, media reported the Facebook has registered a wholly owned subsidiary in Hangzhou that was to serve as an innovation hub.  Facebook seems to be experiencing a mismatch between words and actions.

Read in English here.

Tencent Launches New Cloud and Smart Industry Group

Chinese tech giant Tencent has signalled a major shift in its strategic direction with its new launch, the biggest change of its kind in six years. This shift is seen as a fundamental shift from a focus on end-consumers to a greater focus business customers.

Read in English here.

Ctrip fast approaching its 20th year anniversary

Some of the latest numbers from Ctrip.

300m – registered members

180m – active users  

92% – percentage of online (including web and mobile) transactions processed in 2016, up from around 50% in 2012. The remaining 8% went through customer service centres

42.4% – compound annual growth rates achieved by Ctrip since 2012 (vs. 25% achieved by Expedia and Booking Holdings, formerly Priceline)

38% – or the $671m investment in rival eLong, which merged with Tongcheng in March 2018

45% – Total revenues from transportation ticketing

35% – Total revenues from accommodation

24% – Ctrip’s estimated stake in the Chinese digital travel market.

11% – Package holidays’ contribution to revenues in 2017, making it the third largest product segment

500,000 – partnerships with domestic accommodation suppliers

65,000 – Hotels using Ctrip’s credit-rating system, which allows consumers access to credit guarantees and deferred payments

1.3m – Relationships with accommodation suppliers as a result of the relationship with Booking Holdings

$1.9m – Revenues from transportation ticketing

$1.1m – Spend on product development and associated costs

£3m – Spend on a strategic marketing deal between Ctrip and UK destination marketing organisation VisitBritain

2.9bn – the number of cumulative app downloads in 2017, up from 1.7bn in 2015

Figures for 2017, unless otherwise stated.

Read in English here


Mailman X is a China digital consulting agency for the travel industry. Reach out here for more information.