Successfully marketing to China requires you to get noticed by as many people as possible. A good way to generate awareness is to be featured on prominent websites and blogs. These websites, with high volumes of regular traffic, allow you to get noticed by your target market. By appearing on such popular and respected websites, you will instantly appear more genuine and trustworthy. Whatever your marketing strategy, it pays to understand what the most popular websites in China are, and how they became so popular. As well as marketing, it can give you some ideas for your Chinese website.
If you know anything about marketing to China you’ll know that the number one search engine by a mile is Baidu. It has over 530 million active monthly users, and accounts for 79% of China’s total search engine revenue (source: Expanded Ramblings). By comparison the world’s largest search giant, Google, has had many problems in China. It is starting to become more popular again thanks to the company’s move to Hong Kong, where they could escape China’s strict censorship rules (source: Daily Mail). Even so, Google Hong Kong ranks as the 20th most popular website overall in China, while Baidu sits comfortably in the number one spot (source: Alexa).
While the news in China may be strictly controlled, there are still plenty of websites that Chinese people can visit for the latest information. Two of the top news sites in China are Sina and Sohu. Sina is a formal news site, often used for broadcasting political stories and government updates. Sohu is perhaps the most contemporary of the popular Chinese new sources. It uses Sogou as its input method, which has a massive database of words that constantly adapts. New scientific and technological terms are quickly included, as well as popular slang.
Amazon is the number three online retail website in China. The company’s order fulfilment centre in Kunshan is the largest and most advanced of Amazon’s warehouses outside of the US anywhere in the world. Amazon is beaten to the top spots by two domestic companies. JD is an online retailer similar to Amazon, offering a huge range of products including home electronic appliances, clothing, baby care products, books and food. In the top spot is TMall, Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplace. Thousands of brands use it to sell their products and the site receives over 40 million visitors every day (source: China Daily).
Two of the most popular sites are Tianya Club and BlogCN (source: New York Times). The internet forum Tianya Club was founded in 1999 and is currently China’s 12th most visited site (source: Wikipedia). It is used to discuss many topics, and even politicians have joined in, using the platform to campaign, engage their constituents, and build support for grassroots movements. BlogCN is a WordPress like hosting provider, offering internet users free and paid-for blog hosting space (source: Crunchbase).
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