Search Engine Marketing for the Chinese Market

Practical implications for the launch of an International Company Website in China


Bachelor Thesis, 2013
85 Pages, Grade: 1

Excerpt

Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

List of Abbreviations

Kurzfassung

Executive Summary

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem definition
1.2 Research Questions
1.3 Objective
1.4 Structure and methodology

2 China and Online Media
2.1 Online user
2.1.1 Mobile Internet user
2.1.2 Online shopper
2.2 Online media landscape
2.2.1 Websites with .cn-Domains
2.2.2 Social Media landscape
2.3 Conclusion

3 Search engines in China
3.1 Baidu: baidu.com
3.2 Qihoo 360: so.com
3.3 Sogou: sogou.com
3.4 Google: google.cn
3.5 Others
3.5.1 Tencent: soso.com
3.5.2 Bing: bing.com.cn
3.5.3 Yahoo: cn.yahoo.com
3.5.4 NetEase: youdao.com
3.6 Challenge of mobile search
3.7 Conclusion

4 Internet Censorship in China
4.1 How China censors the Internet
4.1.1 China’s “Great Wall”
4.1.2 Filtering online content
4.1.3 Internet control through ISPs
4.2 What is censored in China
4.3 Google and online censorship
4.4 How to get around censorship
4.5 Conclusion

5 Search Engine Marketing
5.1 Online questionnaire & interviews with experts
5.1.1 Tait Lawton / Nanjing Marketing Group
5.1.2 Anita Zheng / Baidu SEO service provider
5.1.3 Mark Burns/ Wordbank
5.1.4 Marchi Ma / Charm Click
5.2 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
5.2.1 Content
5.2.2 Backlinks
5.2.3 Site structure & internal links
5.2.4 Avoiding Flash & JavaScript
5.2.5 Meta description tags
5.2.6 Chinese Language
5.2.7 Image filenames and alt-attributes
5.2.8 XML site map & Baidu Webmaster tool
5.2.9 Importance of the ISP
5.2.10 Domain
5.2.11 Further recommendations for SEO in China
5.2.12 Further recommendations for SEO in general
5.3 Search Engine Advertising (SEA) / Pay Per Click (PPC)
5.3.1 How does PPC work in general
5.3.2 Baidu PPC platform
5.3.3 Baidu Paid Search – PPC
5.3.4 Baidu Contextual Ad – C Pro
5.3.5 Baidu Brand Link
5.3.6 How to open a Baidu PPC account
5.3.7 Effect of PPC on organic rankings
5.4 Future development
5.5 Analytics
5.6 Conclusion and practical implications

6 Conclusion and outlook

7 References

Appendix A – Online questionnaire

Appendix B – Interviews

CURRICULUM VITAE

DECLARATION ON OATH

List of figures

Figure 1: Internet User in China from 2009-2012

Figure 2: CNNIC Statistical Survey on mobile Internet development in China

Figure 3: Online spending in Chinese cities, 2011

Figure 4: Social Media Users by age and by demographics

Figure 5: Infographic of the Chinese Social Media Landscape

Figure 6: Overview about Baidu Baike (Baidu Wiki)

Figure 7: Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - Micro-blogs highlighted

Figure 8: Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - SNS highlighted

Figure 9: User numbers of China's SNS for professionals in 2012

Figure 10: China Instant Message User from Q3 2010 to Q3 2012

Figure 11: Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - WeChat highlighted

Figure 12: Screenshot tudou.com (10/05/2013)

Figure 13: Screenshot youku.com (10/05/2013)

Figure 14: China's Online Search Traffic Market Share, Feb. 2013 and Oct. 2012

Figure 15: Screenshot baidu.com (10/05/2013)

Figure 16: Screenshot so.com (10/05/2013)

Figure 17: Screenshot sogou.com (10/05/2013)

Figure 18: Screenshot google.cn (10/05/2013)

Figure 19: Error message on Blogcn admin page

Figure 20: Screenshot of Baidu's PPC platform Phoenix Nest

Figure 21: Screenshot Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Figure 22: Baidu Budgeting Tool, page for setting a weekly budget

Figure 23: Screenshot of Baidu Index

Figure 24: China's Internet browsers market share, August 2012

Figure 25: China's mobile browser market share, Q1 2012

Figure 26: Baidu screenshot of paid search ads, taken on 18/05/2013

Figure 27: 39.net- Baidu Ad Union, screenshot of a contextual ad, taken on 18/05/2013

Figure 28: Baidu screenshot of the brand link “Adidas”, taken on 18/05/2013

Figure 29: Baidu screenshot of a PPC ad, taken on 03/06/2013

List of tables

Table 1: Reasons for Chinese to go online

Table 2: Top 10 ISPs in China, end of 2008

Table 3: Top 10 Websites and their ISPs, end of 2008

List of abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Kurzfassung

Globalisierung brachte vielen Entwicklungsländern neue Chancen und vor allem die Volksrepublik China hat sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten von einem Entwicklungsland hinter dem Bambus-Vorhang zu einer der einflussreichsten Nationen auf dem Weltmarkt entwickelt. Chinas Online-Bevölkerung wächst rasant, so gab es im Jahr 2012 bereits mehr als 560 Millionen Internet User, wobei der Anteil an mobilen Nutzern mit mehr als 70% bereits sehr ausgeprägt ist. Auch in China ist das Internet zu einem unverzichtbaren Werkzeug bei der Suche nach Informationen herangewachsen. Die Unternehmens- oder E-Commerce-Website wurde zu einem wichtigen Instrument, um das öffentliche Image zu verbessern und Umsatz zu generieren. Die ständige Weiterentwicklung und Verbesserung dieser Website durch Suchmaschinen-Marketing (SEM) wurde zu einem essentiellen Bestandteil des Marketings. Aufgrund großer kultureller Unterschiede und der staatlichen Zensur des chinesischen Internets, ist das Online-Business in diesem Land nicht dasselbe wie in der westlichen Welt.

Um herauszufinden, was für eine erfolgreiche Einführung einer internationalen Unternehmens-Website in China notwendig ist, schafft diese Arbeit das Basiswissen über Online-Nutzer in China und die chinesische Online-Medien Welt, sowie über Chinas verfügbare Suchmaschinen und Herausforderungen mit Chinas „Great Firewall“. Hauptziel der Arbeit ist es, die Faktoren für effektives Suchmaschinen-Marketing herauszuarbeiten, wofür theoretischer Input aus verschiedenen Literaturquellen mit den Ergebnissen einer Online-Befragung und Interviews mit vier Online-Marketing Experten kombiniert wird. Alle Spezialisten haben jahrelange Erfahrung mit Chinas Online-Marketing-Welt und teilen ihr Know-How über SEM für Baidu, der führenden Suchmaschine Chinas.

Erfolg in der Suchmaschinenoptimierung einer Website erfordert eine Reihe an verschiedenen Maßnahmen, wie zum Beispiel dem Schaffen von originärem Inhalt, der richtigen Verwendung von Keywords, eingehenden Links von vielen autoritativen Websites und diversen anderen Baidu-Seiten. Gute interne Struktur und Linking-Texte, Meta-Beschreibungen sowie Optimierung für mobile Suche sind weitere wichtige Faktoren. Außerdem sollte die chinesische Website auch in China gehostet werden, da dies die Geschwindigkeit des Zugangs zur Seite für chinesische Nutzer stark erhöht. Perfektes "Simplified Chinese", bevorzugt von einem chinesischen Autor, ist ein weiterer wichtiger Schritt für gutes Ranking. Suchmaschinenwerbung (SEA) für Baidu ist besonders für ausländische Firmen eine große Herausforderung, da dafür Erfahrung mit SEA, kulturelles Verständnis und perfekte Kenntnisse der chinesischen Sprache erforderlich sind, um die richtigen Keywords zu finden und das Baidu SEA und Analytics-Tool nutzen zu können. Vor allem das Verständnis der chinesischen Kultur und Sprache ist ein wichtiger Schlüssel für den Erfolg der Online-Präsenz in China.

Executive Summary

Globalization has brought new opportunities to developing countries, and within the last few decades, especially the People’s Republic of China transformed itself from a developing nation behind the bamboo curtain to one of the most influential nations on the world market. China’s online population is growing very fast and counted already more than 560 million users in 2012, with a share of more than 70% of mobile Internet users. The Internet has become an indispensable tool for finding information quickly using a search engine. Therefore, for companies trading in China, their website will undoubtedly be vital in enhancing their public image and increasing sales volumes, and improving this website through search engine marketing (SEM) will be crucial to success. Due to huge cultural differences and governmental censorship of the Internet in mainland China, doing online business in this country is definitely different as in the Western world.

To find out what is necessary for launching an international company website in China successfully, this paper describes and critically analyses the basic knowledge about China’s online users and its online media world as well as search engines available in China and the challenges Chinese internet users face because of The Great Firewall. Aiming to provide key input for effective search engine marketing, this thesis combines theoretical background from various literary sources with the results of the author’s online survey and interviews with four online marketing experts, who were prepared to give an insight into their in-depth know-how of China's online marketing world and to provide advice on effective SEM for China’s leading search engine Baidu.

Clearly, as this papers shows, practising successful SEO depends on the combination of many different factors and actions. Writing original content, proper usage of keywords, incoming links from authoritative sites and other Baidu-sites, good internal structure and anchor texts, meta descriptions or optimization guidelines for mobile search are just some issues to be considered. Furthermore the ISP of the Chinese website should be in mainland China because it allows the Chinese to access it faster. Content written by a native Chinese in well-articulated “Simplified Chinese” is another key to success. Doing SEA for Baidu is quite challenging, especially for foreigners, because it requires experience with SEA, cultural understanding and perfect knowledge of Chinese to find the right keywords and handle Baidu’s SEA and Analytics tool. Nevertheless, understanding China’s culture and language is an important factor achieving good online visibility in China.

1 Introduction

Globalization seems to be the buzzword that has come to dominate the world since the nineties of the last century with the end of the cold war and the break-up of the former Soviet Union. International organizations have started in many of the developing countries due to increased reliance on the market economy and renewed faith in the private capital and resources. Moreover globalization has brought in new opportunities to developing countries; the technology transfer leads to improved productivity and higher a living standard.[1] Probably no nation on earth can illustrate the massive impact of globalization over the past three decades better than China. China transformed from a developing nation, largely blocked off from the Western world, into one of the most prominent and influential nations on the world market.[2] The transformation of the world into a global village caused revolutionary changes in physical and social infrastructures. The increase in global networks is developing at an unprecedented speed in China.[3]

Especially the year 2000 marked a new beginning for China, because by then, economic development had quadrupled since 1978 and living standards had improved dramatically; China became one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Already by 2011, China was the largest online population worldwide with over 485 million, which is 36.6% of all the people living there.[4]

China currently is the largest Internet market in the world and as the Internet market grows, of course also the search market keeps growing. Baidu, a Chinese search engine, fought very hard to achieve its market share of 78.2% by end of 2011 and continues to be the leader in this sector. But the marketing for search engines in China is different from that of other countries, due to country’s cultural background, censorship regulations, government policies and marketing regulations.[5]

1.1 Problem definition

Since the Nineties, China has attracted attention mainly through industrialization and modernization. The economic growth of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is one of the highest in the world. Communication in and with China improved through the dissemination of the Internet, enabling better trade relations with other countries worldwide and making it easier for foreign companies to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. But in hardly any other country the Internet is as severely limited as in the PRC. The political leadership in Beijing controls the access of users to the Internet; the network looks systematically for any critical keywords and filters out related content, and turns online service operators into agents of censorship. Even the world's most popular search engine Google is strongly affected and was replaced in recent years by BAIDU as China's largest search engine.

1.2 Research Questions

illustration not visible in this excerpt

RQ1: How did China’s online world develop and which online platforms are most important in China today?

RQ2: Which search engines are powerful in China and which problems do search engines as well as Chinese users face according to Internet censorship?

RQ 3: How can Search Engine Marketing be well implemented on the Chinese market?

1.3 Objective

The main objective of this thesis is to show how Search Engine Marketing can be successfully implemented for Baidu, China’s search engines number one. Many possibilities for Search Engine Optimization as well as for Search Engine Advertising shall be discussed and demonstrated. To do this, the paper first describes China's online users and its online media and critically looks at the most popular sites and services for Chinese netizens, as well as the different search engines existing in China. When it comes to China and the Internet, the Great Firewall is a topic that cannot be ignored.

In addition, many possibilities for SEO and SEA in China will be presented and critically evaluated.

1.4 Structure and methodology

This paper first offers a brief introduction to China's "online world", in particular to the search engines available in this country and its censorship regulations, with the aim to provide a theoretical framework to recommended SEO-methods for China. For these recommendations, empirical data from literary sources as well as from expert interviews conducted for this thesis are also taken into account.

Chapter 2 provides an overview about China’s online users and its online media landscape with its wealth of platforms and services.

In Chapter 3, all search engines Chinese users (can) use are explained and a conclusion about their importance is drawn.

China’s censorship of the Internet is covered in detail in chapter 4.

Chapter 5 is about Search Engine Marketing, with references to SEO, SEA and Analytics, and its specific characteristics regarding the Chinese market. For this analysis, not only relevant literature from variety of sources is taken into account, four experts in this field have also been interviewed. These experts all have many years of experience in SEM for Baidu; work for online-marketing agencies or as self-employed Baidu SEO service providers.

Chapter 6 provides a conclusion of all aspects discussed and also recommendations for a successful entry into China’s online market.

2 China and Online Media

China achieved full-function connectivity to the Internet in 1994 and by the middle of 2008, the number of Internet users had reached 253 million. So, within a decade, about a quarter of the urban population had gained Internet access and in both work and leisure, people now increasingly depend on it.[6] The Internet serves a foundation for domestic and international, economic growth, although the Chinese Internet is still very much China focused, information is more accessible. Despite censorship, the average Internet user has access to much more information than was available before.[7]

2.1 Online user

About one in five people worldwide who went online in 2011 did so from China.[8]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Internet User in China from 2009-2012[9]

Figure 1 shows the growth of China’s internet users from 2009 to 2012. By the end of December 2012, there were 564 million Internet users in China, with a total of 50.9 million new ones. The Internet penetration rate of 42.1% shows a growth of 3.8% compared to the end of 2011.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Table 1: Reasons for Chinese to go online[10]

As shown in table 1, most of the Chinese Internet users are online to stay in touch with friends (64.86%), to stay up-to-date on news or events (61.52%), to do research for work (52.89%) or to search for products to buy (52.29%).

2.1.1 Mobile Internet user

Almost 420 million of these online users went online with a mobile device, that's 64.4 million more than that at the end of 2011. This shows a growth from 69.3% to 74.5% mobile Internet users.[11]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: CNNIC Statistical Survey on mobile Internet development in China[12]

The number of mobile phone Internet users increased sharply in 2012, surpassing the number of users who use desktops for going online (70.6%). The reasons for the fast penetration of mobile Internet are on the one hand, a great upsurge of mobile Internet innovation and a large amount of popular mobile applications that appeared in 2012. On the other hand, the development of mobile Internet makes it possible also for people and areas where Internet access and terminal availability are limited, to use Internet, including residents living in distant rural areas, migrant workers, and groups with low income and poor education.[13]

2.1.2 Online shopper

By the end of December 2012, China had a total of 242 million online shoppers. Compared to 2011, there was an increase in the number of online shoppers by 42.9% to 48.07 million.[14]

The research company McKinsey analysed consumption patterns in 266 Chinese cities accounting for over 70% of online retail sales and estimates revenues in 2012 of $210 billion and a compound annual growth rate of 120% since 2003. They estimate a future development of 15 to 20% annual growth (before inflation) continued by 2020. So e-tailing (electronic retailing) could generate $420 billion to $650 billion in sales, and China’s market will equal that of the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France combined today.[15]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 3: Online spending in Chinese cities, 2011[16]

Figure 3 shows the online spending of Chinese citizens (based on 266 cities evaluated in the aforementioned study by Mc Kinsey). Primarily they buy clothes (apparel), recreation and education products as well as household products online.

2.1.2.1 Online Shopping Structure

About 90% of Chinese electronic retail occurs on virtual marketplaces, e-commerce platforms where manufacturers, large and small retailers, and individuals offer products and services to consumers through online storefronts on mega-sites (for example on Taobao, a platform equivalent to eBay).[17]

2.2 Online media landscape

The Chinese media landscape is one of the richest in the world and is characterized by a fast transformation from a stiff government-owned structure into new business models, from traditional press into new media and innovative forms of broadcasting news.[18]

2.2.1 Websites with .cn-Domains

Websites with a China Country code top level domain .cn signal Chinese locality, and require certain documents like a .cn domain application form, a copy of a Chinese business license and a copy of the signatory's national ID (who must be Chinese citizen).[19]

China had a total of 7.51 million .cn domain names by the end of December 2012, a big increase by 112.8% compared with the same period in2011, and accounting for 56.0% of the total number of domain names in the country.[20]

2.2.2 Social Media landscape

Due to demographic and cultural reasons and governmental control, social media in China is unique in many aspects. China's social media landscape does consist of global Internet applications like Facebook or Twitter, but has local adaptions due to government censorship. Chinese netizens are very active users of social media platforms and use the Internet as a means of self-expression, which offers a lot of opportunities for social business.[21]

China’s social networking landscape is diverse and thriving, there is no single player nearly as dominant as Facebook in the U.S. and there is a long tail of networks for different users (urban and rural) and different purposes (social, dating, and games).[22]

The estimated number of active social networking users in China is 597 million in 2012, which is an increase by 60% from the year before.[23]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4: Social Media Users by age and by demographics[24]

As shown in figure 4 the majority of Chinese social media users is between 26 and 35 years old. 57% of all users are male and 43% are female. Moreover Steven Millard quotes a survey conducted by ‘Go Globe’ (a well approved web agency) saying that 91% of Chinese netizens have social accounts, which is way above the 67% in the US.[25]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 5: Infographic of the Chinese Social Media Landscape[26]

Figure 5 divides China’s social media platforms into 4 categories, based on stage of maturity and functional dependency (the closer to the border of the circle, the more mature and functional the platforms are).

2.2.2.1 Functional Networks

Functional networks provide basic support for different platforms, or have been integrated into other platforms. They include Q&A, Wiki, Blog, Doc-Sharing and LBS.[27]

2.2.2.1.1 Questions & Answers

The most popular online Q&A communities are:

- Baidu Zhidao (zhidao.baidu.com) – Baidu, China's search engine giant also developed the most popular user-generated Q&A community Zhidao.[28]
- Yahoo Knowledge Temple (ks.cn.yahoo.com) – a simplified Chinese version of Yahoo answers in mainlandChina
- Sina Ask (iask.sina.com.cn) – online Q&A services offered by Sina.com
- Tianya Q&A (wenda.tianya.cn) – Tianya’s Q&A platform
- SOSO Ask (wenwen.soso.com) – a relatively new Q&A site by Tencent[29]

2.2.2.1.2 Wiki

As a product of web 2.0, the collaborative way of editing and the huge quantity of editors makes Baidu Baike (baike.baidu.com) the most famous Chinese online encyclopaedia.[30]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 6: Overview about Baidu Baike (Baidu Wiki)[31]

As figure 6 shows, in the year 2012, the number of Baidu Baike entries exceeded 5.5 million and there were 200 million people using this wiki every day. More than 2 million users took part in editing wiki entries and 70% of the experts contributing content were professors or lecturers in colleges.

William Chang, chief scientist for the leading Chinese search engine Baidu, states it's natural for Chinese to use Baidu Baike rather than the foreign Wikipedia, because it is very natural for China to make its own products. Wikipedia in English is available from China, but the Chinese-language version is blocked.[32]

2.2.2.1.3 Blogs

Blogs are gaining more and more attention because blogs play an increasingly important role in identity formation and expression for their writers and are increasingly intertwined with the mainstream media. Around 2003/2004, blogs became widely popular in China and as technological advances made blogging in Chinese easier, many Chinese netizens preferred blogging to writing for a newsletter, because it allows them to adopt a more individualistic approach.[33]

2.2.2.1.4 Doc-Sharing

The “Top Dogs” for online document sharing applications in China are Issuu (issuu.com) and Docstoc (docstoc.com). Issuu reaches 0.9% of the users with 1.2% of all page views and Docstoc reaches 0.6% of the users with 0.5% of all page views. This ranking is calculated based on a combination of visitors and page views.[34]

2.2.2.1.5 Location Based Services

The analysts of TechNavio (a leading technology research and advisory company with global coverage) forecast the LBS market in China to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 57.9% over the period 2011-2015. They say that one of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing use of LBS with mobile devices. The key vendors dominating this market space include Digu (digu.com), Jiepang (dev.jiepang.com), and Qieke (dest.qieke.com).[35]

2.2.2.2 Core Networks

Core networks can be considered the most important and influential networks, including Micro-Blog, SNS, IM, Mobile Social, Video & Music, BBS, Rating & Review, and e-Commerce.[36]

2.2.2.2.1 Micro-Blogs

Another very popular way for online networking is micro-blogging. By the end of December 2012, China had a total of 309 million micro-blog users, an increase of 58.73 million compared to 2011. Of the internet users, micro-blog users accounted for 54.7%, up by 6% from late 2011. A considerable number of users accessed micro-blogs and published micro-posts via mobile phones. By the end of 2012, the number of mobile phone micro-blog users hit 202 million: 65.6% of micro-blog users used their mobile phones to access micro-blogs.[37] In only approximately two years, micro-blog sites like Tencent Weibo (t.qq.com)and Sina Weibo (weibo.com), which is very similar to Twitter, have become a very important source of news and a place for free speech.[38]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 7: Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - Micro-blogs highlighted[39]

As shown in figure 7, there are reportedly over 1 billion micro-bloggers on platforms provided by Tencent and Sina, the major Chinese Internet web platforms.

2.2.2.2.2 Social Networking Service (SNS)

China has its own versions of Facebook and their social networking landscape is very diverse in terms of users and purposes. Many Chinese are motivated to be involved in social network sites for different reasons, such as connecting with friends and family, socializing with new friends, and accessing information, among many others.

iResearch reported that the number of SNS users had reached 410 million in the second quarter of 2012, with a year-by-year growth rate of 9% and they believe that social networking services have become one of the most frequently used services among Chinese Internet users.[40] These web 2.0 applications which require a high level of information, have quickly become a substitute for real-life social networks.[41]

There are numerous examples of SNS in China, both local and global. Local SNS include QQ (qzone.qq.com), Pengyou (pengyou.com), Kaixin (kaixin001.com), Renren (renren.com) and Douban (douban.com), while MySpace and MSN feature as global examples. By the general population of China, mostly QQ is used, which includes and convergences various platforms from chatting and SNS, to online localized news.[42]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 8: Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - SNS highlighted[43]

2.2.2.2.2.1 SNS for professionals

According to Sootoo statistics (a Chinese researching company) there were more than 70 million users on China’s professional social networking sites by the end of Nov 2012. The number of users has increased by 250% compared with 20 million in the year before. Professional SNS like Dajie (dajie.com.sg), Tianji (tianji.com), Ruoling (ruoling.com), which started early, had more than 10 million users registered by the end of 2012 while late-comer – Ushi (ushi.com), Hengzhi (hengzhi.cc), Binzhi (binzhi.com), Renhe (renhe.com) – gained about one to five million users (also see figure 6 below).[44]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 9: User numbers of China's SNS for professionals in 2012[45]

2.2.2.2.3 Instant Messaging (IM)

China's IM user penetration is roughly 86% and Tencent with its QQ instant messaging community (imqq.com)is the leading system.[46] Tencent QQ keeps improving its products, user experience as well as the observation for the end user integration. Hence, the use of QQ has been an inevitable online habit for most Chinese netizens.

As the major communication tool between sellers and buyers, Ali Wangwang (wangwang.taobao.com) is well established and meanwhile, also Fetion (feixin.10086.cn)is a noteworthy IM vendor, which sticks to its regional model and maintains its position in this market. With convenient services, low charges and good user experience, Fetion still has good potential in second and third-tier cities with smaller Western communities and few expatriates.[47]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 10: China Instant Message User from Q3 2010 to Q3 2012[48]

Figure 10 shows the development of IM users from 2010 to 2012 as well as the quarterly growth. By the end of the third quarter China’s Instant Messaging users reached 1.21 billion.

The Chinese version of Skype contains spyware that searches for blacklisted words and phrases, blocks instant messages that contain them, copies them to servers and captures the rest of IM chats that have been flagged in this way.[49]

2.2.2.2.4 Mobile Social

It’s worth mentioning that “Mobile Social” is a new core network in the Chinese Social Media landscape, while WeChat (wechat.com), a mobile phone text and voice messaging communications service by Tencent, with its 300 million users, has become a social phenomenon in China.[50]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 11:Top 10 Social Media Networking Sites 2012 in China - WeChat highlighted[51]

2.2.2.2.5 Video & Music

2.2.2.2.5.1 Video-sharing

The PRC has blocked access to the video-sharing website YouTube. Nevertheless, two Chinese alternatives for YouTube do exist, named Tudou (tudou.com) and Youku (youku.com).

Tudou, a Shanghai-based video hosting service, was founded in 2005 and is one of the world's largest bandwidth users, sending more than 1 petabyte (1,000 terabytes) of video files per day. Tudou has over 50% of the Chinese online video market and according to iResearch it reached 170 million monthly unique visitors by June 2010.[52]

Youku.com was launched in 2006 and offers a mix of professionally produced and user-generated video for Chinese people to watch and share. More than half of the videos on Youku have professionally produced content, unlike its competitor Tudou and its Western counterpart YouTube, which are focused on short-form, user generated videos.[53] Youku had a 40% share of online videos viewing users during the second quarter of 2010, according to iResearch.[54]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 12: Screenshot tudou.com (10/05/2013)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 13: Screenshot youku.com (10/05/2013)

2.2.2.2.5.2 Music-sharing

Baidu Music (music.baidu.com) – formerly named Baidu Ting – is the most popular online music platform. After spending years under fire for promoting illegal file sharing, the search engine is now partnering with major record labels to launch a legitimate music platform. Baidu Ting users can use the site like an online radio, but they can also look at music news, browse new releases and download music. The end users don’t have to pay for the music, Baidu pays the labels and all revenues come from advertising.[55]

2.2.2.2.6 Bulletin Board System (BBS)

Like Email, BBS is one of the first Internet services recognized by Chinese netizens. According to a report of iResearch, the primary reasons for using BBS sites is finding solutions to problems, general discussion, finding information, and sharing life experiences. 98% of users have contributed to a BBS by publishing articles, replying to posts or participating in polls. They tend to trust BBS sites because they think that information found on them is first-hand, updated frequently, and presented in a comfortable community environment. Chinese BBS sites are most likely built on the Discuz! open source system. BBS in general has evolved as a media platform, it is not the mainstream media and compared to SNS, it is a topic-centred and not a people-centred networking platform.[56]

Baidu Tieba (means "post bar"), China’s biggest BBS, is a massive collection of mini-forums dedicated to everything from niche TV shows to entire cities and provinces.[57]

2.2.2.2.7 Rating & Review

Dianping (dianping.com) has been widely perceived as the Chinese reproduction of Yelp, but insiders know that Dianping was founded two years before Yelp in 2003, as a restaurant review site. Nowadays it is a popular user-generated review website where consumers share their experiences of city life, for example their views on restaurants, nightclubs, golf courses, and other attractions. It has proven to work effectively in local markets where people have similar educational and cultural backgrounds. Koubei (koubei.com) is another strong platform for rating & review and is owned by Yahoo.[58]

2.2.2.3 Value-Added Networks

Value-added networks are based on core networks and other platforms but aim to provide additional service. These include things like Social Commerce, Social Aggregators, Social Gaming and Social Search.[59]

2.2.2.4 Emerging/Niche Networks:

Emerging, also called Niche Networks are platforms that fulfil a relatively independent function, or specifically target niche groups. They include Online Travel, Light Blogs, Dating Networks, Enterprise & Business Social, Photo Sharing and Social TV. According to Sam Flemming, these are the emerging platforms to which brands need pay special attention.[60]

2.3 Conclusion

Although the World Wide Web was introduced rather late in China, it has become one of the major information sources in China within an incredibly short time. By the end of 2012 China had 564 million Internet users with a strong preference for mobile media.

Currently, the most important online platforms are Sina, NetEase, Sohu and Tencent. Social networking sites, news rooms and micro blogs have a very high value in China’s information culture. Every online-marketer should be aware of the importance of these social platforms in China’s online world.

[...]


[1] http://economics.about.com/od/globalizationtrade/l/aaglobalization.htm [As to: 31.05.2013]

[2] Sun/Lancaster, 2013, S. xvi.

[3] Sun/Lancaster, 2013, S. 106.

[4] Kennedy/Hauksson, 2012, S. 35.

[5] Wang, 2012, S. 95–97.

[6] Yang, 2011, S. 21.

[7] Sun/Lancaster, 2013, S. 108–109.

[8] Kennedy/Hauksson, 2012, S. 35.

[9] Author’s representation derived from CNNIC: Statistical Report on Internet Development in China/2013,: http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201302/P020130312536825920279.pdf [As to: 24.04.2013]

[10] Rachel, 2012, S. 23.

[11] http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201302/P020130312536825920279.pdf [As to: 24.04.2013]

[12] Ibid.

[13] http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201302/P020130312536825920279.pdf [As to: 24.04.2013]

[14] Ibid.

[15] http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/asia-pacific/china_e-tailing [As to: 24.04.2013]

[16] Ibid.

[17] http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/asia-pacific/china_e-tailing [As to: 24.04.2013]

[18] http://china.ahk.de/market-info/media-marketing/chinas-media-landscape/ [As to: 24.04.2013]

[19] http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/1086/website-visibility-in-china/ [As to: 31.05.2013]

[20] http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201302/P020130312536825920279.pdf [As to: 24.04.2013]

[21] Baumann, 2012, S. 8.

[22] http://techrice.com/2011/03/08/chinas-top-15-social-networks/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[23] http://www.techinasia.com/2013-china-top-10-social-sites-infographic/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[24] http://www.techinasia.com/2013-china-top-10-social-sites-infographic/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[25] Ibid.

[26] http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2013/04/02/p3682 [As to: 24.04.2013]

[27] http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2013/04/02/p3682 [As to: 24.04.2013]

[28] Harden/Heyman, 2009, S. 62.

[29] http://chineseseoshifu.com/blog/top-5-chinese-question-and-answer-sites.html [As to: 09.05.2013]

[30] Chen u.a., 2011, S. 202.

[31] http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/1571/china-internet-browser-market-share-for-aug-2012/ [As to: 18.05.2013]

[32] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13908_3-9926474-59.html [As to: 09.05.2013]

[33] Russell/Echchaibi, 2009, S. 47–51.

[34] http://www.appappeal.com/the-most-popular-app-per-country/document-sharing [As to: 09.05.2013]

[35] http://www.marketresearch.com/Infiniti-Research-Limited-v2680/Location-based-Services-China-7126454/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[36] http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2013/04/02/p3682 [As to: 24.04.2013]

[37] http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201302/P020130312536825920279.pdf [As to: 24.04.2013]

[38] Lum/Figliola/Weed, 2012, S. 161.

[39] http://www.techinasia.com/2013-china-top-10-social-sites-infographic/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[40] Choo-Hui/Yong June, 2013, S. 22.

[41] Zhang/Stening, 2010, S. 73.

[42] Luo, 2012, S. 174.

[43] http://www.techinasia.com/2013-china-top-10-social-sites-infographic/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[44] http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/1571/china-internet-browser-market-share-for-aug-2012/ [As to: 18.05.2013]

[45] Incitez China: www.chinainternetwatch.com/2012, Online im WWW unter URL: http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/1571/china-internet-browser-market-share-for-aug-2012/ [As to: 18.05.2013]

[46] Harden/Heyman, 2009, S. 63.

[47] http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/1571/china-internet-browser-market-share-for-aug-2012/ [As to: 18.05.2013]

[48] Ibid.

[49] http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/031813-skype-censored-267834.html [As to: 09.05.2013]

[50] http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2013/04/02/p3682 [As to: 24.04.2013]

[51] http://www.techinasia.com/2013-china-top-10-social-sites-infographic/ [As to: 09.05.2013]

[52] Jarboe, 2012, S. 306.

[53] Zhang/Wang/Alon, 2011, S. 46–47.

[54] Jarboe, 2012, S. 307.

[55] http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2012-07/30/content_26060362.htm [As to: 10.05.2013]

[56] http://readwrite.com/2008/01/16/bbs_china_social_networking [As to: 11.05.2013]

[57] http://www.techinasia.com/provinces-vanish-baidus-tieba/ [As to: 15.05.2013]

[58] Tan, 2011, S. 20.

[59] http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2013/04/02/p3682 [As to: 24.04.2013]

[60] Ibid.

Excerpt out of 85 pages

Details

Title
Search Engine Marketing for the Chinese Market
Subtitle
Practical implications for the launch of an International Company Website in China
College
FH OÖ Standort Steyr
Course
Marketing & E-Business
Grade
1
Author
Year
2013
Pages
85
Catalog Number
V274263
ISBN (eBook)
9783656662976
ISBN (Book)
9783656662983
File size
8371 KB
Language
English
Tags
Online-Marketing China, Baidu, SEO Baidu, SEO China, SEM China, SEA China, SEA Baidu, SEM Baidu, Suchmaschinen China, Search Engines China, Search Engine Optimization China, Search Engine Advertising China, Search Engine Optimization Baidu, Search Engine Advertising Baidu, Search Engine Marketing China, Online Users China, Great Firewall China, Online Media China, Internet Censorship China
Quote paper
Anita Gerstmayr (Author), 2013, Search Engine Marketing for the Chinese Market, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/274263

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Search Engine Marketing for the Chinese Market


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free