China is a huge country and so is its media landscape. For us to fully understand how PR works in the Mainland, it’s essential to get to know the patterns and practices used by the media there. Here are 3 key things to know:
Changing business models
The government owns most of the traditional printed media outlets. Nevertheless, in recent years there has been a clear trend that’s seen private investors welcomed to the industry, though they still have to obey the strict regulations imposed by the state. It’s easy to distinguish the state-owned from the privately held publications, the latter usually being more creative, energetic and aggressive in their opinions.
Social media is king
Just like the rest of the world, the power of traditional media in China is diminishing while that of social media is growing more and more. Online platforms, search engines, social networking sites, forums and blogs are dominating people’s lives, and the way people receive information. Weibo, WeChat, Sohu and Sina are the big names that you should remember (apart from President Xi). To avoid becoming redundant, traditional printed publications have to follow the trend of being present on social media platforms in order to win over the younger generation.
Be mobile friendly
For many Chinese, mobile phones are like an “organ” – they cannot live without them. The mobile community in China is growing rapidly, as are the number of app store users within it. Mobile users in China consider mobile technology as second nature and are very engaged in different mobile consuming activities and interactive channels. Apps have become an essential tool for media to reach to their readers and advertisers – even more important than traditional channels.