The Latest News From China

The Development Trends of the WeChat Mini-Program in 2022

Current situation:

  • 450 million DAU
  • 4 million mini-programs created (x2 more than the number of native apps on iOS)
  • 95% of e-commerce brands have mini-programs


The rise of China’s mobile internet market has slowed, and the growth in individual device online time has practically halted. Customer acquisition became increasingly difficult for emerging applications. Users want apps that would not require installation or uninstallation, were constantly available for use at their fingertips and could be exited after usage. 

These facilitated the emergence of mini-programs

Development trends:

Mini-programs have grown in popularity not just in first- and second-tier cities, but also in third- and fourth-tier cities, and even counties. The most popular industries will continue to be e-commerce, live streaming, retail, community group purchasing, and tools.

Since WeChat is expected to introduce public domain traffic for e-commerce mini-program streaming, live streaming commerce, which is currently popular, will become even more appealing to businesses.

 Operation and service trend —— Refined operation, brand cultivation:

Start transition from “traffic” thinking to “retention” thinking by creating their own private domain traffic pool

Brands need to build a “private domain matrix” comprising WeChat features with mini-program, WeChat enterprise, video channels, mini-program live streaming and Official Accounts to guide the transformation


TikTok Shop’s Troubled UK Expansion: Staff Exodus and Culture Clash

TikTok is attempting to imitate Douyin’s phenomenally successful live-streaming approach (the Chinese version of TikTok). Since October 2021, the UK has become the first market outside of China to debut TikTok Shop.

More than 50% of the e-commerce team apparently quit in the past months and more is ready to exit the company.  Extremely long work hours (the 996 culture comes to mind) and high KPI targets are the key reasons for this. Employees also said that management is pushing solutions that work in China but aren’t tailored to the needs of the UK.


Asia-Pacific Consumers Willing to Pay Premium For Sustainable Products: Report

According to a recent survey released ahead of World Environment Day, nearly 90% of customers in Asia-Pacific are willing to pay extra for sustainable products, but a lack of information and availability is holding them back.

Alibaba Group, based in China, has vowed to be carbon neutral by 2030 as it reduces emissions across its operations and collaborates with millions of merchants to provide more sustainable items to the platform’s over 1 billion users. 

Alibaba also promises to expand its sustainable product line and advertise it properly. There are more than 460 certified ecolabels globally which increases consumer confusion. 


TikTok’s Toxic ‘996’ Culture Is Forcing UK Employees out the Door

At least 20 staff have left TikTok since the company launched TikTok Shop in the UK in October, a live-streaming e-commerce platform. Employees complain that they are required to adhere to China’s working hours, which frequently result in them working more than 12 hours per day. Employees who took time off were penalised by the corporation, which rewarded overworking. Other former TikTok employees have also spoken out against the company’s hostile work atmosphere.

“The culture is really toxic. Relationships there are built on fear, not cooperation,” a former London-based team leader said. “They don’t care about burnout because it is such a big company, they can just replace you. 

Joshua Ma, the head of eCommerce at TikTok Europe and a senior executive at China’s ByteDance — the owner of the viral video app — upset London-based employees at a dinner this year when he declared that as a “capitalist,” he “didn’t believe” companies should offer maternity leave. TikTok informed employees on Wednesday that Ma had “stepped back” from his role while the company conducted a formal investigation into the comment.

TikTok Shop’s Troubled UK Expansion

Last year, Bytedance opened a Tiktok shop in the United Kingdom, but the results were unsatisfactory. According to the report, the main reason for Tiktok’s failure is that users are not accustomed to shopping on the platform; many live streams even make no purchases.

TikTok Shop’s goal is to buy low-cost things directly from low-cost producers in both the UK and China.

Bytedance introduced an e-commerce platform named Fanno in Europe in 2021, which is similar to Pinduoduo, as well as a separate e-commerce platform called Dmonstudio, which is a B2C website that sells women’s clothing. However, the plan failed as well, and Dmonstudio was shut down in February 2022.

The experts explained that the vertical e-commence market has never been developing in China because of the existence of Taobao. However, in Europe, the market is quite mature, which could be the main reason that Bytedance failed in this area. 

As a result, Tiktok will need to adjust its strategy both internally and technically in order to thrive. They must adapt to local culture and market characteristics while leveraging their algorithms and content distribution to create a fresh approach to stand out.


Slow Live Streaming Is a New Trend

In May, Bilibili conducted a late-night accompanying live broadcast. The live broadcast called “Midnight Song platform” began at 10:30 p.m. only some songs were played. There were no anchors or products. In the evening, the number of viewers on WeChat video accounts reached 100000.

The slow live broadcast without editing and special effects, slow pace and simple pictures has gradually become a place for people to cure their emotions.

The cctv24-hour continuous live broadcast of hospital construction lasted 117 days at the start of 2020, with approximately 200 million views and more than 6000 hours of the online live broadcast.

There’s also the ipanda panda channel, which broadcasts a 24-hour live feed of enormous pandas, a national treasure, to people all over the world.

The slow video has become popular not only at home but also abroad

The Discovery Channel also produces a variety of slow-motion televisions with superb picture quality and stunning photography. On the longest day of the year, Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós took a 24-hour trip around the island. Their music was blended with the fog of northern Europe to provide sensory satisfaction to the audience; the public has a particular taste for sluggish live broadcasting, which is the time preference. People “trapped in home life” are highly eager to travel and get close to nature, and thus view the outside world, thanks to the epidemic’s travel limitations.



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