Marketing Challenges in China (Part 2)
Marketing challenges in China are not limited to language, localization and time issues. In the second part of the article, we highlight two more aspects which often cause overseas companies to for professional solutions in Chinese market.
Let’s assume you have set up a social media account and are running paid advertisements on Chinese search engines, would you believe me if I tell you it still might not work out well? People may be interested in your ads, click them, go to your website and oops – it takes too much time to load! It is not a secret that website loading time is positively correlated with a bounce rate. The more time it takes for your webpage to load, the more likely a user would give up, close the page and look for alternative websites.
The speed of your webpage loading is undermined by the fact that it has to pass through the “Great Chinese Firewall,” plus it is hosted outside. There are multiple solutions to this issue:
- Host your website in Hong Kong/Japan/Korea/Singapore. Hosting in these countries is preferred due to better speed and closer proximity to China. The most popular option of these is Hong Kong due to better pricing. However, note that the loading speed will still most likely be higher than three seconds, making it too long to wait for Chinese customers.
- Getting your website hosted in China. To do that, company first needs to get an Internet Content Provider (ICP) Beian. Only then can a website be hosted on a local server. Hosting your website in Mainland China will not only improve your webpage loading speed, but will also guarantee that your website content is legitimate as it is Chinese Government approved. If you find a reliable agency, your hosting problem can be solved within 10-20 working days.
- Cooperate with Chinese Content Delivery Network (CDN) company. CDN providers save copies of your website to geographical locations close to your users, enabling higher website speeds. Mainland China CDN also requires ICP Beian
These are the most common solutions. However prior to choosing one of the options above check your website’s speed in China to see if it’s currently fast enough. Head to http://tool.chinaz.com/speedtest/ or any other Chinese platform to check the speed of your website. If you want to learn more about website hosting in China and ICP Beian, you can read our article about it here.
Companies willing to enter the Chinese market must understand and comply with the Chinese regulations and laws in terms of their products or service promotion. A case affiliated with experimental medical service advertising on Baidu led to a revision of the Advertisement Law of China, and certain industries became subject to various new restrictions.
According to this August 2015 law, the following industries that have certain restrictions regarding the advertisement content include:
- Medical, medical equipment and pharmaceutical industries;
- Health food industry;
- Baby food and drinks industry;
- Agricultural chemicals, veterinary medicine, fodder and fodder additives industries;
- Seeds and breeding industries;
- Tobacco and alcohol industries;
- Education and training industries;
- Finance and investments industries;
- Real estate industry
Therefore prior to planning any marketing campaign, confirm whether the industry in which your company works is subject to any restrictions. If it is, you may still be able to market in China, but you must follow certain rules and must make sure your documentation is in order.
It may be obvious that promoting content related to obscenity, pornography, gambling, superstition, terror and violence is illegal in China, but did you know that it is also forbidden for advertisements to use expressions like “national level,” “highest level,” and “best”?
This article might make you feel that entering the Chinese market is too much of a hassle, but we just want to prepare you for potential difficulties you might face. Do your homework and prepare well in terms of legal, socio-cultural and technical areas, and you will be rewarded. Don’t feel like dealing with it on your own? You can find an agency which can save you the trouble and let you sleep well at night.
Contact our Popify team for more information.