19/01/16 09:44 BST
by Hot Pot Digital

Bitesize China Insights: Alipay Data, 2016 Seoul Music Awards, Kris Wu Walks for Burberry

With 691 million unique subscribers, China boasts more smartphone users than the USA, Brazil and Indonesia combined, with an unprecedented rate of adoption and change in the digital sphere.

Each week Hot Pot Digital’s Know China Now blog presents Bitesize China – brand marketers’ route to remaining informed on digital, social, mobile and ecommerce trends with up-to-the-minute insights from the most exciting consumer market in the world.

Alipay Data Reveals Spending Habits Across China


What Is It?

  • Alipay has published data on online payments across China, revealing interesting trends across China
  • Overall, the report shows that 65% of all transactions on Alipay were sent via mobile
  • Total spend was highest across developed Eastern cities, with users in Shanghai hitting a total of 104,155 RMB per capita for last year
  • Interestingly, mobile use for payments was highest in less-developed western and central provinces such as Gansu, Qinghai, Guizhou and Shaanxi
  • Tibet scored the highest average use of mobile payments with 83.3%
  • The data also revealed habits on purchasing food via Alipay, with Shanghai topping the bill again on spend on ordering food followed by Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen
  • The “most generous” cities – those where users sent the most amounts via digital red envelopes over last year’s CNY – were second and third tier cities such as Wenzhou, Weifang, Zhangzhou and Putian

Why Do I Need To Know?

  • The data shows Alipay’s increasing popularity as a payment platform for a variety of everyday activities
  • As high-speed mobile broadband becomes a fixture across more and more of China, the trend also aligns with the ever-growing use of mobile in the country
  • Despite total spend being predictably high in the more developed, higher income eastern cities, it is interesting to note the disparity in mobile habits in less developed regions where desktops are of high cost

EXO wins ‘Artist of the Year’ at 2016 Seoul Music Awards

What Is It?

  • Korean Boy-Band EXO won the grand prize award at this year’s Seoul Music Awards for a record-breaking third year in a row
  • EXO are a leading example of the Korean music industry’s success in China
  • The band is currently made up of 9 members who form 2 sub-groups, EXO-K (who perform in Korean) and EXO-M (who perform in Mandarin)
  • EXO are incredibly popular in China with numerous online fan groups where hundreds of thousands of their supporters share news, pictures and videos


Weibo Hashtag

Why Do I Need To Know?

  • Korean pop culture has a huge influence on China, especially in TV and music
  • Many brands and products find popularity in China through endorsements from Korean celebrities
  • Posts from the Weibo accounts of EXO fan clubs generate huge numbers of interactions demonstrating the importance of pop / celebrity news among the Weibo user base

Kris Wu walks for Burberry’s SS16 show

What Is It?

  • Canadian-Chinese actor, singer and all-round megastar Kris Wu (Wu Yifan 吴亦凡) caused a sensation by walking at the Burberry London Collections Men SS16  show in London
  • The former member of the insanely popular Chinese-South Korean boyband, EXO, received praise backstage from Burberry’s Chief Creative, Christopher Bailey, who called him a “modern day artist” after Wu had closed the show
  • Whilst it was the star’s runway debut, it was not his first venture into the fashion industry. Kris Wu appeared alongside Kendall Jenner on the cover of Vogue China July 2015 issue shot by Mario Testino


Why Do I Need To Know?

  • The rise of Asian models in the fashion industry in recent years (having previously been seriously underrepresented) indicates fashion brands’ aims to appeal to Asian luxury spenders, much of which is directed at Chinese consumers
  • China’s menswear market has become increasingly important as spending power amongst China’s male luxury consumer base grows
  • The appearance of home-grown menswear designers in China, such as Sean Suen, Xander Zhou and Wan Hung, is testament to this trend