Considerations for marketing and advertising in China

Considerations for marketing and advertising in China

There are many hurdles to be mindful of when marketing and advertising in China. Regulation is much heavier than in other parts of the world.
These regulations come both from censorship via the state and restrictions implemented by particular advertising channels.
With more regulation being added continuously, it’s a minefield to navigate, and laws are constantly added to or adjusted.
Here’s a quick rundown of government restrictions, cultural factors, and extra tips you should know.
Here’s a quick overview of major advertising rules to keep in mind when advertising in china:

  • Misleading content is strictly prohibited
  • No superlatives in marketing content
  • The Chinese flag cannot be used
  • Pop-ups must be able to be closed with one click
  • Going against good social norms is strictly prohibited (social stability must be maintained)
  • Ads must be clearly labeled to differentiate from organic content
  • Normal use of the internet must not be interfered with when displaying ads
  • Never advertise tobacco products or prescription drugs anywhere (online or offline)
  • Certain industries require approval from the government on all ads before publishing
  • Many industries face strict limitations on what they can advertise. (gambling, gaming, real estate, and finance industries).

These aren’t ‘rules’ as such, but they’ll help keep you out of trouble:

  • Use native speakers to proof your copy
  • Work with experienced, local marketers with intimate knowledge of the market and culture
  • Heavy interaction and replies to comments are expected
  • Blending in and social approval are regarded above individuality or personal distinction
  • Heavy-duty of respect and responsibility on youth toward the elderly
  • Tradition should be observed and not challenged (same goes for authority)
  • Geography and location are important — Pick the right words and angle for your demographic

There’s a lot to be aware of when it comes to marketing and advertising in China. Summing up the intricacies of a culture with over 1 billion people isn’t possible in a single post. Even if it was, it would take far too long to fully understand.

But it is possible to access a team with acute local knowledge and understanding on the ground in China.

Get in touch with us here to learn how you can start advertising to a Chinese audience. Our specialists have experience across a broad range of industries and markets. 

Tips for effective ads

These rules apply equally in the west, but it’s always good to keep them top-of-mind:

  • Leverage case-studies and reviews heavily, social proof is important
  • Be aware of trending content, especially fresh content starting to get traction
  • SEO posts on channels featuring search functions with relevant keywords
  • Use or intermix video content
  • Focus on display ads as (especially video) these build brand awareness and achieve best results
  • Focus on mobile ads too, more online activity takes place via mobile compared to the West

I hope you found that useful. Let us know any topics you’d like to go deeper into. Anything related to marketing and advertising in China, no matter how specific.

As always, if you’d like these hurdles, pitfalls, and challenges handled for you — we can help. Let us know a little about your business and you’ll hear from us soon.

Next time find out a few key elements to succeeding in China.

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