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China Business Summit & Marketing Tips

China Business Summit & Marketing Tips


Doing Business in ChinaLightHouse Cinema Dublin


We are glad to announce that e-Celtic is the digital partner for the inaugural China Business Summit taking place in the Lighthouse Cinema on the 20th of June 2012. China is one of Ireland’s fastest growing trade partners according to the CSO. Before the Sunday Business Post event takes place next Wednesday, we’ve put together an overview for online marketing in China. One thing I always try to reinforce with clients and people I speak to about SEO is to think big. The Internet lets you break down trade barriers to foreign territories to market your business at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.



According to The Irish Exporters Association the IEA chief executive John Whelan, stated: “Irish exports of merchandise to China grew to €2.6 billion last year, which caps a remarkable 10 year period of over 800% growth in exports to this vast and rapidly growing market, and is a clear demonstration of how competitive Irish exporters to China have become, as well as how rapidly the market has grown”. With this growing market there comes a growing opportunity for Irish brands to tap into this. While the consumer and culture is significantly different in China, marketing online still allows you to the core basics – capturing the existing search demand and growing your audience base.



China is BIG in terms of just about everything and with the Internet, there aren’t many exceptions:

  • Internet: 513m users Dwarfing China’s closest rival, the US by double.
  • Mobile Internet: 356m users – Android is now three times as popular as iOS & Symbian.
  • eCommerce: 194m shoppers – 87% of this however is C2C.
  • Despite lower average connection speeds, lower average buying power and the challenges in doing business in China, make no mistake it’s a giant opportunity.


Search Engines in China

From a search engine perspective, Google and Baidu, pronounced BY-doo are two completely different behemoths. While Google is more familiar to most marketers Baidu differs in a few main ways:

  • Google ranks websites with a lot of determining factors including back links from relevant and supporting websites with Baidu placing more value on page factors.
  • Google puts SEO results on the left hand side of the page and the Pay per Click results on the right hand side, Baidu puts them together and puts PPC results in front of Content.
  • Baidu struggles with indexing websites hosted outside of China.



Other well known search engines are that are popular in China are:


14 Online Marketing Tips for Marketing to China

1. Translation – Google translate is only so accurate as an automated tool. Punctuation, grammar, correct usage of words, tone and style of writing are not something a machine algorithm can get 100% right yet. Invest in a real person to get your site correct.

2. Browsers – IE, Qihoo 360 secure, Chrome, Firefox and Maxthon are the most prevalent browsers in the country. This is important as it means you have to do more cross browser testing during the design phase to ensure your site is displaying correctly.

3. Search Engines – Don’t forget that there are more users of Baidu than Google.

4. Register your domain on the .cn ccTLD

5. Host your site in China.

6. Do local link building from other .cn domains.

7. Add a HREFLANG tag to ensure your site is specifying it’s language to Google.

8. Set GeoTargeting on Google Webmaster Tools to China.

9. Use simplified Chinese.

10. Use Baidu webmaster tools: http://zhanzhang.baidu.com/

11. Submit your site to Baidu http://www.baidu.com/search/url_submit.html

12. Submit your news to http://news.baidu.com/newsop.html

13. Keyword and competition research with these tools:






14. Learn the various search parameters on Baidu


Social Networking, Microblogging and Instant Messaging Tools

A recent McKinsey survey of 5,700 users in China has found that 95% of those living in cites are registered on social media sites; in addition, the country has by far the world’s most active social-media population with 91% of respondents saying they visited a social media site within the last 6 months, in comparison to the 67% that the United States have, this is impressive by anyone’s standards. The top four sites are:

www.renren.com Originally a copy of the Facebook model with students of which it is now open to all and apparently has the best games.
www.Kaixin001.com   Predominately white collar workers, with some addictive Social games although reached monthly revenues of 7million RMB ($1m) dollars still has yet to become profitable
www.qzone.qq.com Teens being the largest demographic on social networks with close to 380m users. Pulls its members from QQ messenger which some are dormant and skeleton profiles and are low value with poor retention
www.51.com Although starting strong in the lower tier cities with quick user growth but has since slowed because of the low brow appeal of the site it is scorned by sophisticated netizens.


Here is a larger list of top social sites:





















Once you’re set up on these sites, you can identify trends with http://top.sogou.com/?p=40030110, http://top.soso.com/ and finding influence with http://miujia.com/.

More resources on researching your Chinese marketing campaign:


Popular Chinese sites: http://www.gordonchoi.com/list-of-popular-chinese-websites-20110701

Understanding the Chinese consumer: http://www.dbresearch.com/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000262065.pdf

Internet censorship in China: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/news/international/countriesandterritories/china/internet_censorship/index.html

China tax facts & figures: http://www.pwccn.com/webmedia/doc/634737952050870749_cn_tax_facts_figures_2012.pdf

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