social media watch
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 3, 2014 06:11 PM
Rumors of Weibo's death have, apparently, not been exaggerated.
Weibo—an Alibaba property—was once the golden goose of China's booming social media scene. It eclipsed Facebook and Twitter, and looked like it would eventually rule the world. Brands and celebrities—both foreign and domestic—rushed to open Weibo accounts. The platform looked unstoppable. Then, a year ago, China's leaders began a censorship campaign that would lead to the behemoth's swift decline.
Following a 2013 crackdown on "rumormongering" that heavily focused on Weibo bloggers and especially "Big V" verified accounts, the social site lost close to 28 million users. That coincided with a 9 percent decline in growth for Weibo in 2013. Both the number of users and their engagement levels have continued to drop rapidly, particularly in light of the heavy censorship on Weibo over the recent protests in Hong Kong, which has done little to improve the platform's image.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2014 01:06 PM
Three Chinese billionaires are partnering to take on Alibaba as it prepares for what may be the largest IPO ever.
Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial land developer, Tencent Holdings and Baidu, will create a 5 billion yuan ($813 million) joint venture e-commerce company, "Wanda E-Commerce Company" that Wanda will control 70 percent of. The venture marries Tencent’s WeChat social messaging network, Baidu’s search engine prowess and Wanda’s 40 hotels, 49 commercial holdings and 40 department stores in a Chinese market that is already home to the world's biggest e-commerce operations, which are projected to hit $395 billion by 2015
“It’s a very interesting battle to watch—three top rich people join hands to challenge another bigger billionaire,” Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center, told Bloomberg. “The new venture will not be an immediate challenge to Alibaba. Rome can’t be built in a day.”
Indeed, Alibaba is a lot to reckon with. In the last quarter, the company's income rose to $1.1 billion, 42 percent higher than Amazon and eBay combined for the same period. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, is China’s richest person with $21.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2014 09:34 AM
Abercrombie & Fitch sheds logo-bearing clothes as Hollister brand struggles in UK.
China's Tencent, Baidu, and Wanda set up e-commerce company to take on Alibaba.
Google develops delivery drones in Project Wing as its tech chief is considered leading candidate for US CTO.
Rovio Entertainment, parent company of Angry Birds franchise, says CEO will step down amid company's struggles.
Walmart looks online for Chinese growth.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Apple tries its midas touch on wearables.
Bud Light faces backlash over town-takeover stunt.
Centerplate faces calls for ouster of CEO after he abuses dog on video.
Dairy Queen investigates possible data breach.
Denny's arrives in New York City with $300 champagne brunch.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 7, 2014 02:43 PM
As Tencent’s WeChat nears 400 million active users, it's drawing attention from brand marketers not only in China, where it has achieved status as “the new king of Chinese social media,” according to Econsultancy. Weixin, as it is known in China, is also drawing attention from government officials in its homeland, who are clamping down on users with fake names and other practices that erode trust in the site.
Often mistakenly compared to a Chinese version of WhatsApp, the global mobile powerhouse that is WeChat is far more robust and enables emotional bonding via text, video, voice messaging, mobile payments, e-commerce, games, or even booking a taxi.
That range of capabilities has attracted Western brands including McDonald's, Nike, adidas, Intel, Durex, Coach, British Airways, Italy's Yoox and the NBA, all eagerly testing WeChat’s ability to target consumers one-to-one.
How some other brands are looking to stand out on WeChat:Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 18, 2014 05:22 PM
The fact that Transformers: Age of Extinction, or 变形金刚4, premiered on June 19 in China—a full week ahead of its US premier—says a lot about the role China plays both in the film and in the film's box office.
Yahoo UK is even hosting a premier red carpet live stream from Hong Kong. (On June 18, tickets to the premier were up for auction online for as much as HK$11,888, or about $1,500.) Paramount's Taiwan-facing Facebook page posted a picture of a giant Optimus Prime statue that had been erected in Hong Kong harbor. Subway cars there are also wrapped in Transformers promotions. Not to be left behind, Beijing got its own giant Transformer statue.
Transformers 4 is easily the most anticipated Hollywood release in China this year—a year that has already seen Godzilla pull in $38 million on its opening weekend in China. But Transformers will easily surpass that and probably set a new China record to beat current record holder Iron Man 3. (For what it's worth, Transfomers 3 still hold's Hollywood's second biggest China opening.)
Transformers is loaded with Chinese product placement—and interestingly, US product placement aimed at Chinese audiences.Continue reading...
World Cup Daily
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2014 03:31 PM
Come hell or violent protests, nothing is stopping the World Cup train from running wild through Brazil. Thousands of protestors and police donning riot gear clashed in the streets of Sao Paulo in the ongoing battle over exorbitant spending on the major tournament by the Brazilian government and the millions being spent by brands sponsoring the event.
Despite the shadow strewn across the World Cup, brands are rolling on with their elaborate and expensive campaigns, sponsors or not. Pepsi, whose rival Coke is the major beverage sponsor of the tournament, just released a new short film directed by Spike Lee featuring a World Cup-themed song from Kelly Rowland. The film is part of Pepsi’s Beats of the Beautiful Game project, which consists of a short films and a music album featuring stars like Janelle Monáe, Timbaland and the all-girl Brazilian funk band Pearls Negras.
In addition, Pepsi has teamed up with Dutch consumer electronics brand Band & Olufsen to release a limited-edition headphones as part of its soccer-themed Live for Now capsule collection. The headphones have street-art patterns on the underside with black, white or Pepsi blue on top, according to Stylus.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 09:14 AM
Apple, Facebook lead Big Tech brands fighting data requests as White House panel calls for big data reforms to protect privacy.
AstraZeneca rejects raised bid by Pfizer as "inadequate."
Avon reaches settlement of bribery probe.
Bayer eyes Merck’s OTC consumer business.
Burberry officially has a new CEO in Christopher Bailey as Angela Ahrendts takes retail reins at Apple.
Coca-Cola pressured by Warren Buffett on executive pay.
Exxon sticks with Russia drilling despite geopolitical tensions.
Fiat faces tough turnaround in Europe.
GM recalls 50,000 Cadillac SUVs, returns to bankruptcy court to fend off suits.
News Corp. acquires Harlequin Books for HarperCollins.
Below, news on brand innovation, culture, and more:Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 21, 2014 12:26 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: House of Cards in China… Ai Weiwei's vase… Heineken… Hengda soccer's sponsorship windfall… Xiaomi… medical tourism and South Korea... WeChat mobile payments… 3M… Disneylands... gold fever... China loves olive oil... Sam's Club… Uniqlo and H&M… Airbus... GM... Furia... KFC's soy milk problem... and more.Continue reading...