The New Emperor is Video (with Good Chinese Translations Please)

With estimated over 700 million viewers of online videos in China ( and growing, it’s time to make video part of your China strategy.

Video advertising consumption in China overtook television advertising a long time ago.  A straw poll amongst colleagues revealed that very few watch television (they use TVs to play games).  Online video has become mainstream to Chinese consumers and therefore to sell to Chinese it’s essential. Further, mobile and tablet are the main ways Chinese access content.

Video Platforms

HS Markit estimates that the entire Chinese online video market could grow from about 22 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) in 2015 to 96.2 billion ($20 billion) yuan by 2020. Where do viewers go: The three biggest platforms are Tencent (WeChat), Baidu (iQiyi) and Alibaba (Youku Tudou). No, YouTube is not there – it has been blocked since 2009. While television advertising is out of the reach of most of us, anyone can make an online video!

Whatever your China direction or strategy, video needs to be part of it.

So where to start? Your target audience is a good place and you need to decide on the right channels to find them. Also content needs to be entertaining and engaging and short! You need to educate, inspire, or humor while you are entertaining them. You need a good strategy and a story. The style and messaging are very different to what we are familiar with here in Australia. But no matter how great your product or service is, if the video doesn’t connect, viewers will disconnect and, most importantly, it needs to be in Chinese –whether voiced or subtitled

You can make your own videos and there are some new apps around to help, eg Kuaishou, Miaopai, Meipai and Weipai. You don’t need specialist skills, but remember to translate!


Let’s look at some examples – good and bad.  We think this De Rucci one makes you too frightened to get a good night’s sleep!

Too many scary men and deep voices – what might invoke a mysterious look becomes creepy not sleepy! Would you buy a bed from this man?  Not appropriate for Chinese culture

Contrast with these 3 from Japan Airlines – gorgeous!

The next two tug at the heartstrings and family values shine through – hello happiness, indeed!

Check List: How to create the right video content

  • Start with a strategy so you can develop more than one video
  • Know your target audience where to find them and what they want
  • Get the language right.
  • Use the right platforms. YouTube is banned in China, so video marketing will need to include Youku Tudou, Baidu, and WeChat.
  • Short and engaging – they need to grab you in the first few seconds.
  • Appeal to human emotions, like our good examples above, but ensure it will be appropriate to a Chinese audience. Get advice and test it out.
  • Make your videos look professional, not home-made.
  • Know what it is you’re promoting and make sure you get the message right. Nothing worse than a beautiful video but no one remembers your product.
  • Use Chinese social media, website, etc to share your videos; even KOLs (key opinion leaders) to help spruik your story
  • Measure your results – including shares and mentions, so that you can keep improving your video-making skills.

Let us help you influence your audience through our Chinese video marketing service.


Got a question? We’d love to hear from you


Level 4, 221 Queen Street, Melbourne 3000
GPO Box 2231, Melbourne 3001

P. 1300 792 446
F. 03 9670 0766

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