With a population of 1.3 billion people, accounting for almost 20% of world inhabitants, China is a huge market. Also the fastest growing major economy, world’s second largest economy, almost ready to become world’s leading economy, the world’s main manufacturer, world’s second importer. That’s why big companies place their big bets on China. Attracted by China’s huge potential as a consumer market, many companies forget the particularities of the Chinese market.
Let’s go back a bit: China is the world’s main manufacturer, world’s second importer. China is also a communist country with state controlled television and policies. China is highly important also for social media consumption. Part of that population is also consuming social media and also accounts for brands’ audience on these services. Only that, like in many domains, China is able to deliver its own competitor for the brands. Remember that Apple had several troubles in China, although they based their growth expectations on the Chinese market?
Social media is a bit even more tricky than dealing with state controlled/manipulated competition in China. In 2009, China censored Facebook. Facebook is social media, where users are content creators, which does not comply with the PRC Government regulations. Therefore, other social networks that respect the regulations regarding content filtering became popular. However, there have been some rumours about Facebook being unblocked in some regions in China. If Facebook becomes completely unblocked, and we all know that there is a trend for market liberalization in China, China adds up to the Facebook’s total number of users and audience, which makes China an opportunity for Facebook. Also, a threat.
Now it is time for a new Western company to deal with the particularities of the Chinese market: WeChat is a new popular developped by Tencent, a Chinese internet giant. The app has more than 355 million users and it is now making fun of Facebook. For now, WeChat is making fun of Facebook and it’s pretty funny:
However, Facebook, feel warned, learn from Apple’s case in China.