CBI News Wrap: Douyin’s TV Gala, IP Tourism Potential

A performance based on the film “The Wandering Earth” at Douyin’s gala show

News From China

The second annual “Douyin Beautiful Wonderful Night” (抖音美好奇妙夜) entertainment extravaganza was broadcast live on October 19 via Zhejiang Satellite TV, setting a record for ratings for a non-holiday gala program, and it was also livestreamed on Douyin, where 70 million viewers tuned in. Top celebrities, influencers and short-video creators participated in the event, highlighting the rise of Douyin’s influence in the broader entertainment industry. 

A study of 82 brand challenges on Douyin evaluated their success using four criteria:  traffic value, interaction value, motivation for creating, and enrichment of fans (TIME). The study found that the most effective challenges utilized attention-grabbing content and rich interactive elements to stimulate user engagement. Challenges that offered a low threshold for participation and high perceived value to users were among those that had the broadest reach. 

Executives from Sanrio, Wanda, and China Brands Group discussed trends in IP-related cultural tourism at an industry conference held in conjunction with the China International Licensing Expo. They noted some of the major potential for the expansion of IP in tourism projects:

  • Chinese tourists visit theme parks about half as frequently as American travelers, highlighting the potential for growth.
  • Currently only around 40% of Chinese theme parks have a connection to IP, a gap that offers another major opportunity. 
  • At Wanda hotels, IP-themed hotel rooms command a 30% premium over non-themed rooms while also driving sales of related derivative products.
  • Sanrio’s Hello Kitty-themed projects in China have included collaborations with local brands to develop limited-edition and exclusive products. 

The vitamin brand 21 Super Vita adopted a multi-pronged strategy to become more appealing to millennial and Gen Z consumers, including revamped packaging, holiday gift boxes drawing on cultural heritage, and cooperation with popular dramas such as “The Story of Minglan” and “Over the Sea I Come to You.” Most recently, on “Waiting for You in the Future,” 21 Super Vita recreated older packaging for product placement in scenes set in 1998. 

Also targeting a younger demographic, China Merchants Bank has launched a new content vertical on WeChat featuring stories about the challenges facing young adults that are told through comics, videos and other formats. China Merchants Bank has also collaborated with World of Warcraft and Japanese anime series “One Piece” to issue co-branded bank cards.  

News in English

  • Growth is slowing for China’s big three video-streaming services and they face the challenges of rising content costs and competition from short video apps, though they’re also looking to international expansion for their offerings. Screen Daily
  • China will have plenty of content to export, as it is now producing more than half of the world’s new drama series, according to a report on global content production from Ampere Analysis. Almost 300 new dramas were commissioned in China over the past six months, with more than two-thirds of all upcoming shows falling into the drama category. Variety
  • More U.S. senators called for a national security review of TikTok and its Chinese ownership, while TikTok responded that it has no ties to the Chinese government. Variety
  • More causes for concern for TikTok: new user growth is starting to plateau, and the company is having trouble keeping up with demand from brands due to understaffing on its ad team. SCMP/ Digiday
  • A study by We Red Bridge finds that Chinese consumers have high expectations for brands to have a locally defined purpose that emphasizes China’s development. PRWeek
  • Meanwhile, rising patriotism and the effects of the U.S.-China trade war are changing consumer sentiment towards Western brands and favoring domestic firms. Bloomberg

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