The Chinese market is not the same as the Western: you should adapt your strategy

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Chinese consumers are completely different than the Western population. The Chinese market is very specific in what they do, and focus very much on their own language. For example, penetrating the Chinese market is no longer that easy, even on the digital platforms, translating word-by-word may not necessarily give you the right meanings.

Chinese consumers are particularly sensitive to online content, and they will always know if your content is not written by a Chinese native. As an outsider, you must pay attention to Chinese expectations and trends, and tailor your strategy to the Chinese market, otherwise there be no attraction to your platform.

More information: Why China’s consumers will continue to surprise the world

Chinese netizens have a specific online behaviour

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The Chinese and Western netizens display different behaviours when browsing online. Chinese users prefer reading a page with a lot of content from the centre-top to the centre-bottom, compared to Westerns who eye-track a pages layout from left to right. It has also become known that Chinese users hate seeing blank spaces online.

There is also difference in the platforms the Chinese and Westerns utilize, in particular the Social Networking Systems. The Chinese use WeChat, Weibo, and Youku, whereas the Western use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

There is also difference in the way Chinese users and Western users react to content such as ads. For example, Western netizens find online ads on Social Networks extremely distasteful, whereas Chinese find online advertising more interesting.

More about: The influence of social media on consumer behavior

Chinese and their own community: a strong bond

Chinese netizens are also very reliant on advice and suggestions given by family and friends. When they require information regarding Social Network platforms, or other online applications, they inquire with people in their own circle before making decisions.

If you come from a Western country, such as Australia, and you want to sell your products in China, you will first need to understand the purchasing habits of Chinese consumers.

But note this! In tier 1 cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, the consumer behaviours are much more similar to the Western, as they are influenced by Western styles and trends. The consumers in these cities are more aware of luxury and premium products, therefore don’t be surprised if they understand more than you on what you’re trying to advocate.

Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are the places you will need more knowledge of Chinese consumer culture, as they unlike Tier 1 cities. They do not always fancy the Western, and they are more focused on their localized products, and remain loyalty to them. Other than looking professional, you will need to be knowledgeable on their consumer behaviours and identify with their trends.

More about social medias’ influence in China: Understanding social media in China

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