Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Aug 21, 2015

Greater China, condensed: Airbnb, Carat, Tianjin effects, more

The theme in this week's roundup can be summed up in one word: pressure. See how Airbnb, Carat, China Automobile Dealers and Chinese marketers in general are reacting to various stresses in the market.

Greater China, condensed: Airbnb, Carat, Tianjin effects, more

While Tujia has repudiated views of the company being the Airbnb of China, Airbnb itself is formally entering the China market with a strategy that tries not to step on its competitor's turf—by serving Chinese citizens outside of China. According to Airbnb's blog announcement, it wants to be "prudent in establishing our business there" and wants to "clearly understand the needs and desires of Chinese travelers going overseas and partner with Chinese companies to create a truly localised platform for these travelers".

Because content is now, apparently, King KongCarat China has appointed Rex Huang (黄俊杰) as general manager of en+ (the media agency's content division). Huang dedicated 12 years of his career to content marketing and production of TV and cinema programs on sports, entertainment, music, dramas and documentaries—the most well-known projects including The Voice of ChinaOutstanding Chinese and Greatest ChefsHe joins Carat from LIC, China’s largest documentary production company, where he was president of marketing. 

Brands have been quiet, and rightly so, on Weibo after the recent Tianjin explosions, as social-media agencies recommend being cautious about posting anything that's too entertaining. And global automotive brands Hyundai, Volkswagen, Renault and Toyota certainly aren't in the mood since they have suffered an estimated US$310 million in damages, according to local media. On the flip side, the vice president of China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), Luo Lei, said this was a blessing in disguise. Dealers have been holding a large inventory of imported cars for too long, and the wreckage actually took some pressure off them, he said.

While car dealers may be under less pressure to clear their warehouses now, marketers in China are overwhelmed by too much data. Yes, too much: 70 per cent of 2,700 surveyed marketers in the TNS Marketing Monitor are unable to integrate multiple data sources—such as from social media, blogs, website traffic, feedback portals, geotagging and search—leaving them unsure what action to take to make informed decisions. This line in the report summarises it all: "...the volume and variety of data is obscuring valuable insights and making it harder for businesses to use it to their advantage".



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