Is New Year's Eve an underappreciated opportunity for reaching China's Gen Z?

A report from Tencent QQ Ads sheds light on what Chinese Gen-Z consumers talked about during the Singles Day period.

Is New Year's Eve an underappreciated opportunity for reaching China's Gen Z?

While Alibaba intends to make an early Christmas shopping event out of its massive Singles Day shopping bonanza on November 11, social listening shows that young Chinese consumers seem as interested in New Year's Eve. 

According to a Tencent QQ report on social-media trends among the Chinese 'post-95s' generation during the run-up to Double 11, the New Year's Eve holiday began showing signs of trending on QQ platforms in October, and spiked briefly around the middle of that month. In contrast, social conversations about Double 11 peaked after 25 October, marking that as a period for marketers to start revving up their campaigns for the shopping festival. The report looked at the QQ's instant messaging service, as well as the blogging platform Qzone and the QQ browser.

The precedessor to the app-based WeChat, the messaging service, widely associated with its popular penguin mascot, is desktop-based and has a younger user base. Tencent claims 79% of Gen Z uses QQ, versus 47% using WeChat. Unlike WeChat, QQ does not have a mobile payment feature, but it does have fewer ad restrictions. Tencent's most recent quarterly report shows that QQ still has a sizeable audience with 843.2 million monthly active users, compared to 980 million for WeChat.

Trending topics

A few takeaways from the Singles Day-centred report provide a useful gauge on what the Chinese post-95s like. Consumer electronics was the top trending category on QQ around Singles Day, followed distantly by cars, beauty/skincare and luxury items. Oppo was the top trending consumer-electronics brand, with a QQ social conversation index of 38,948, followed by Samsung and iPhone (Apple). 

  Trending consumer electronics brands
1 Oppo
2 Samsung
3 iPhone (Apple)
4 Vivo
5 Xiaomi
6 Huawei
7 Lenovo
8 Nokia
9 Meizu
10 Sony

The sales gimmicks that appealed most to the Chinese Gen Z are splash sales, pre-sales, limited sales and discount vouchers. Canadian-Chinese actor Kris Wu was the most influential in driving sales among the group.

  Trending beauty brands
1 Givenchy
2 YSL
3 Christian Dior
4 Chanel
5 Estée Lauder
6 Armani
7 One Leaf
8 Kans
9 Lancome
10 L'oreal

The report points out that the college-age Gen Z group showed a higher interest in the Singles Day hype, with a 55.46% TGI (targer group index) score, compared to high school students (44.15% TGI score). However, as they are not as far along in their careers as the millennial group, only 17.7% of the Chinese Gen-Z group reported having online spending power of more than RMB1,000 (US$151).

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