What You Need to Know Before Your Fashion Brand Enters the Chinese Social Media Landscape | Instant News

After a decade of improving quality and fast mode, we are entering an era where the premium fashion category loses position as consumers continue their migration to the new beauty, luxury and travel / experience segment.

Looking back to 2019, the fashion industry especially in the fast and premium categories has been hit hard in recent years. This is because markets are more mature, changing needs and expectations of demanding social consumers. As a result, agencies that focus on premium mode experience a much smaller budget than just two years ago, compressing and bundling services together. Because of the current pandemic, this is now more relevant than ever.


We need to understand how to adapt to market needs from a social media perspective and how to create content for different platforms and angles to be more flexible. In China, social media and e-commerce are highly monopolized, and no changes are expected in the near future.

For fashion and lifestyle brands who are interested in entering the Chinese market, the main advice I give is to trust your local partners for content. This is very important, because what might function in Western countries as a unique selling point will not work in China. In addition, if your brand decides to enter on a Chinese platform like Tmall, they usually also require you to have specific content that matches their shopping festival, such as 5.20, 6.18, 11.11, etc. The same logic applies to social media here, so it is difficult to just copy and paste or replicate content from other global markets. This is why we create local content for most of our clients.

Social Platform

When major social platforms – such as Little Red Book and Douyin – become stronger with stronger bargaining power, they also enforce their own monopolistic policies, from what types of brands can enter their platforms through advertising to brand content and influencers. can show off, all the way to the type of brand influencers are allowed to collaborate with to buy “soft” advertising. If this is not respected, a penalty or fine will be carried out.

This key platform also implements their own talent agency as a strategy to have more control over the content released, where you can only go with the platform’s official talent partner agents if you want to officially work with bloggers. Many brands have placed their bids in the Little Red Book recently, estimating it to even be a new SEO for Gen Z before the Baidu search engine, so it’s not a platform to ignore.

Therefore, it is important to understand the actual reality, opportunities, and limitations of using this platform. Social censorship and control have also become more important than ever since recent political events.

Electronic commerce

The e-commerce space, however, is perhaps one of the most monopolistic platforms of all in essence. Alibaba, among other local platform conglomerates, is so strong that new competitors, in general, are unable to compete. Alibaba has more 55% market share (B2B and B2C) and JD.com own nearly 20%. It is fair to note that this market power will significantly affect the e-commerce ecosystem and social environment.

The last highlights of the year include Yoox closing his Chinese website and switched the Net-a-Porter brand to now a Alibaba joint venture. Fast fashion giant Forever 21 and New look both closed their land presence. And in 2018, Topshop can not to enter and adapt to the local market, positioning itself at the price point.

To conclude, a patient approach is needed in times of turmoil. Finding the right partner and utilizing the right angle of communication, embracing a monopoly and understanding how to work with it are the keys to furthering your business in China. Avoiding it will be a mistake.

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