Tag Archives: China

Advertising in China


True or False: Marketing in the U.S. is quite similar to marketing in China. Hmm…. Let’s think about this one. We might be more alike than originally thought.

China recently updated its advertising laws for the first time in more than 20 years (and a lot has happened to marketing since 1994). The new laws go into effect in September and will impact diverse areas including the use of celebrity endorsements, the Chinese flag, pop-up ads and more. The new laws even impact tobacco advertising, critical to companies marketing to China’s 300 million smokers. The new laws are focused on strengthening consumer protection and increase fines for any false or misleading advertising.

One new law holds celebrity endorsers responsible for false claims. Consider a recent fine levied against P&G’s Crest toothpaste, fined $963,000 or using software to whiten a celebrity endorser’s teeth. Another regulation prohibits children under 10 years old from endorsing any products. And, although the tobacco business is state-owned, the one million deaths each year caused by tobacco prompted a ban on all tobacco ads aimed at underage consumers and cannot appear in public places or in any mass media outlets.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss ethics in marketing. What is the difference between laws and ethics?
  2. Discuss the impact of laws and ethics when marketing in different countries.
  3. Divide students into teams and assign each team a country. For each country, have the team research the regulations that impact marketing in these countries.
  4. How are these laws different (or similar) to laws in the U.S.?
  5. Should some of these foreign laws be adopted in the U.S.?

Source: Ad Age Daily

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China’s Singles Day Sales Tops $9.3B


It was a record shattering shopping day in China on 11.11 when sales on Singles Day topped $9.3 billion!  The shopping holiday growth is credited to ecommerce giant Alibaba who had more than 27,000 merchants registered to participate this year. This is a huge increase in only five years; in 2009, there were only 27 merchants participating. In a day that broke records, perhaps the most important statistic is that roughly 43% of all purchases were made on mobile devices.

While there were global brands participating (such as Uniqlo, Adidad, Costco, Walmart, and even Amazon) the biggest winners were undoubtedly the Chinese brands. Chinese smartphone company Xiami alone generated $163 million in sales before noon. (Compare this with Xiami’s sales last year at $89.9 million for the entire day.)

Singles Day began decades ago as Bachelors Day, a Chinese holiday where single men shopped and partied to hold their blues at bay. But in 2009, Alibaba put its might behind the day and turned it into a manufactured shopping holiday in China. Sales have increased more than 5,000% from 2009 to 2014. Can it go higher?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the growing importance of Singles Day in China. Discuss the implications for U.S. companies.
  2. Show videos about Singles Day and Alibaba:





  1. Also, show Alibaba, Taobao, and Tmall Web sites. (There are translators for the sites.)
  2. Discuss the growth of mobile devices for shopping. What are the implications for companies?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ecommerce site and develop and outline for how the site can be effective on mobile devices.

Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, CNBC. Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily, other news sources

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China’s 11.11 Singles Day Goes Global


Quick – what is THE biggest shopping day of the year? If you answered Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you are close, but too late in November. The biggest shopping day of the year is actually China’s “Singles Day” on November 11. The holiday is a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. It serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop.

Last year, the holiday recorded a staggering single-day sales of approximately $5.75 billion in online sales. This year – be prepared for it to get even bigger. Estimates are that 26,000 vendors, including leading Chinese ecommerce companies Alibaba and Tmall, will participate for a projected sales total of $8 billion.

It’s not just online companies competing for sales; brick-and-mortar retailers are also looking to gain sales by offering steep discounts, special events in stores, and even extending the holiday for a few days past Nov. 11. The event is not just limited to China – vendors and shoppers in New York, Paris, Japan, Korea, Australia, and other countries are getting in on the action. The purchases all have to be shipped also – an estimated 500 million packages are expected to be delivered this year as part of the sales.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. Show the videos about Singles Day:




  1. Discuss how this holiday compares to the U.S. shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  2. What products do students expect to be big sellers on Singles Day? Why these products?

Source: Bloomberg News, Brandchannel.com

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