The following blog series, “Understanding Chinese Cultural Interests”
analyzes the overall behavior of internet users in China, summarizing findings from the “Fit for china” Digital Showcasing Project.
The topic for this week will be on Localized Adaptable Interests and Niche Interests. The discussion continues in next post where we begin to look into some of the of Professional Interests and Born Digital Interests of the Chinese population.
Localized Adaptable Interests
The Chinese market often copies or firmly rejects foreign cultural products and materials. This can be seen in China’s adaptation of entertainment formats from other countries and the resistance of foreign content in literature. Authors and publishers at times have a strong bias for local material. Foreign companies have become more aware of localized interests, therefore, over the years, have encouraged the Chinese audience to make a more localized cultural adaption. Campaigns have been designed so that nicknames can be created by the audience, whether for celebrities, places or foods. With increasing familiarity, these strategies would greatly help establish personal relevance and significance. Similarly, it has become increasingly more important to provide more malleable products.
Within the music industry, Chinese hip-hop often portrays more positive and unifying themes such as love and intimate emotion, peace and the everyday struggles of life, whereas hip-hop in the West tends to be more aggressive and subversive.
The younger Chinese population have a desire to explore new freedoms via technology, and the overall lack of diversity and culturally relevant leisure activities (especially outside major cities) lead to an emerging soft pop culture market. Niche cultural activities are developing across different segments of the arts market. Companies are thinking of various marketing strategies to identify, target, and attract audiences within these niche groups (known as “superfans”) on social media. Some of the common methods used includes reviews and safeguard systems.
Although value and opportunities from connecting these unique cultural segments can potentially be great, there are also steep entry barriers. There would be many other challenges for businesses to overcome even after entering the market. Maintaining relevance in these communities requires greater focus and commitment from organizations. This would mean frequently engaging these audiences, solving problems, and continuously identifying demand and overcoming obstacles.