China's growing quickly on mobile, and marketers need to take note. Source: Shutterstock

China’s growing quickly on mobile, and marketers need to take note. Source: Shutterstock

Weibo’s growth proves marketers targeting China must go mobile

SMARTPHONE penetration in China is growing at a rapid rate.

Although not much clear data is available on the country’s digital growth, Weibo’s recent earnings report provided some insights into the country’s preference for technologies — and some hints for marketers looking to get the attention of residents.

The company just reported a net addition of approximately 70 million monthly active users, helping the platform reach a total of 462 million users as of December 2018. Its average daily active users are 200 million in December 2019, roughly 28 million more than in 2017.

This is interesting because the company also revealed that 93 percent of its users were using the platform on mobile devices — according to China Internet Watch.

The company also said that advertising and marketing revenues increased by 50 percent, reaching US$1.5 billion last year, and this year, Weibo will continue to invest in platform development in multi-dimension, reinforce social content ecosystem to empower content creators, and capture higher wallet share in digital advertising budget.

Clearly, the company is aware of the value that it brings to marketers globally — those in China as well as the vast majority of those outside the country trying to sell to the average Chinese consumer.

Marketers are getting innovative on Mobile in China

While many marketers looking at mobile marketing think about simply promoting content on digital platforms popular in the country, several are getting more creative and innovative in order to beat the competition to grab the attention of the audience.

McDonald’s, for example, has recently been reported as using WeChat moments and mini-games in order to engage with users in the country.

According to local media, McDonald’s managed to get about 190 million brand impressions through its Spring Festival story of the First Pot of Gold.

Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank too is also working with partners to attract merchants and vendors to join WeChat and WeChat Pay, creating solutions on the platform to support Chinese residents in Malaysia and tourists visiting the country.

At the end of the day, the reality is that businesses are aware of the power of mobile in China and are gearing up to market to users on the platform — irrespective of the products or services they offer.