CBI News Wrap: Shopping “As Seen on TV,” Douyin’s Fashion Gala

Shoppers line up to check out the “Fourtry” pop-up in Shanghai

News From China

Since its debut on December 6, the iQiyi celebrity reality show “Fourtry” (潮流合伙人) has been realizing its potential to integrate content and commerce in innovative ways. The series, which sees popular stars Kris Wu, Angelababy and others running a trendy pop-up boutique in Tokyo that emphasizes Chinese style, includes interactive elements that encourage multiple viewings. In addition, iQiyi has launched related supplementary content, comics, mobile games, and chatrooms to expand on the show’s momentum, and partnered with Chinese fashion brands on product collaborations that are available both online and at “Fourtry” pop-up shops in China. 

Leading short-video platform Douyin is riding the “national trend” (国潮) wave that emphasizes a new Chinese aesthetic based on traditional cultural elements. On December 26, Douyin will host a fashion gala in Chengdu with three fashion shows focused on “national trend” designs as the centerpiece of the event. The Chengdu gala is part of Douyin’s “National Trend Engine Project” (国朝引擎计划,), which aims to reinvigorate established domestic brands. A number of new product collaborations with Douyin will be unveiled, including fashionable items with a Year of the Rat theme for the upcoming Lunar New Year. 

As of early December, Douyin had more than 74,000 content creators with at least 10,000 followers, according to its recently released “2019 Knowledge Creator Handbook.” They produced a total of nearly 20 million high-quality short videos which accumulated 1.9 trillion views. 

Meanwhile, rival Kuaishou is reportedly preparing to give out RMB 1 billion ($142.6 million) in cash in “red packets” on the eve of the Lunar New Year next month. That figure would exceed amounts handed out by Baidu and Tencent, and doesn’t include the value of e-commerce vouchers that Kuaishou also plans to distribute as part of its broader effort to boost user numbers and its e-commerce business. Kuaishou landed an exclusive deal with CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala, the most-watched television broadcast, and will be its 2020 red packet partner, reportedly beating out other major tech firms including Alibaba, Pinduoduo and Douyin parent Bytedance for the honor. 

3Wyu, a Chinese media outlet that covers the animation industry, hosted its fourth annual conference in Beijing on December 20, with a focus on two core topics: how to improve commercialization and how to improve the quality of domestic animated productions. Following an increase in investment to develop homegrown IP, the most profitable areas have been animated feature films, derivative products, and content geared towards preschool audiences. 

Preparations for the third season of iQiyi’s hugely popular talent competition “Idol Producer” (偶像练习生) are underway, with plans for release in early 2020. The next season feature female contestants instead of male, and will offer enhanced opportunities for brand participation including involvement in the process of voting for contestants, offline events, interactive ads, and collaborations on derivative products such as dolls and pop-up shops. 

News in English

  • Increasing attention is being paid to the spending power of young Chinese in lower-tier cities. There are three times as many young people in smaller cities than in first- and second-tier cities, and with an average of nearly 3.75 hour a day of leisure time per person. Short videos and livestreaming e-commerce and gaming are among the most popular types of content consumed by this demographic. GroupM
  • McKinsey reports that these “young free spenders” are deeply interested in health-related products, and among the categories that are seeing the largest increases in spending are fresh milk, skincare, yogurt, and sportswear. CNBC
  • Looking ahead to marketing into 2020: More than two-thirds of brands plan to invest “heavily” in Chinese short video next year, 63 percent will spend on KOL marketing, and more than half will increase self-produced content and short brand films, while overall interest is shifting from official WeChat accounts to short video and livestreaming. Campaign Asia-Pacific
  • Maoyan Entertainment has launched a new marketing service to connect brands with movie audiences through pre-show ads, onsite media, and other targeted solutions based on the company’s trove of user data from its ticketing services. Maoyan says it has established partnerships with more than 1,000 theaters and dozens of advertisers so far. PR Newswire

We’ve Got China Covered