28/02/17 11:11 BST
by Hot Pot Digital

Know China Now: Victoria’s Secret, Bill Gates and Electric Cars

With more than 846 million daily active users, 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 keeps brand marketers informed on digital, social, mobile and ecommerce trends in the most exciting consumer market in the world.

Victoria’s Secret Looks to China

What is it?

  • Global lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has opened its first flagship store in Shanghai
  • The second full store is planned to open in Chengdu (Sichuan province) in late 2017
  • Previously Victoria’s Secret has had concept stores with a selection of products limited to accessories, but this is the first stand-alone store with the full range of products

 

Why do I need to know?

  • The lingerie market has more than doubled in five years to over $18 billion, as China becomes more confident regarding body shape
  • As well as Victoria’s Secret, international lingerie brands are investing in China: La Perla, Triumph and Agent Provocateur are opening multiple stand-alone stores in China’s Tier 1 cities
  • After four of China’s most successful models walked in the Victoria’s Secret annual catwalk, this expansion into mainland China demonstrates the brand’s commitment to the Chinese market and consumers
  • Victoria’s Secret has also announced that it will be hosting the 2017 catwalk in Shanghai, a sure sign of the potential it sees in its future with China

Electric Car Rental For 1RMB per Hour

What is it?

  • Beijing’s car sharing company Gofun will begin to offer 5000 electric cars, available to rent in the capital within two years
  • The company will offer the cars to be rented at the extremely cost-effective rate of 1 RMB per hour – approximately US$ 0.15
  • The car sharing company has established over 40 retrieval and parking locations within the capital’s central district

 

Why do I need to know?

  • Gofun uses online to offline (O2O) services, similar to the bike sharing app Mobike
  • After downloading the app, users can register and enter their bank details, after which they are given the GPS location of the available car
  • Beijing authorities have encouraged the use of electric cars by lifting stringent licensing quotas for drivers of electric cars
  • Gofun’s launch demonstrates not only a confidence in O2O services but also in Beijing’s growing appetite for affordable green transport

Bill Gates on WeChat

What is it?

  • Bill Gates has joined WeChat, with an official account named “gatesnotes”
  • His first post, with a 30 second video welcoming readers in Mandarin, has gained over 100000 views and nearly 29000 likes as of February 22
  • Gates also has a Weibo account with over 3 million followers
  • This comes after Mark Zuckerberg’s own much-publicised efforts to wow a Chinese audience with his Mandarin skills, with Mr Gates coming a clear second…

 

Why do I need to know?

  • The Microsoft WeChat account has been popular for some time – posting popular videos and campaigns
  • Gates’ choice to have an official account of WeChat reflects the importance he places on the Chinese market