Understanding the vast opportunities and challenges of China | Man About Asia

“The western media’s view of China is just one side of the story of what’s really happening in modern China right now," Wayne Arnold, chief executive, Lowe Profero

The third episode of the Man About Asia series provides an overview of the enormous opportunities and challenges that China presents to marketers.

Series host Wayne Arnold introduces the episode by saying, “there’s a phrase in Asia called ‘same but different’: at first glance things look very similar to what we see in the west, when you look deeper they’re very different indeed – China has this in spades”.

The six-minute episode covers key geographical and economic facts such as China's population – 1.35 billion people, and its internet users – 600 million online at any one time.

Arnold then breaks the country down based on its urban tiering system. “To truly understand China you need to think about its cities,” says Arnold, who then describes the unique that examples of tier one, two and three cities represent.

The second half of the episode explores the media landscape. “Mainly because of the restrictions by the Chinese government, it’s the Silicon dragons that dominate the market place, the two biggest players being Tencent and Alibaba,” says Arnold.

“It may be hard to swallow but the west has a lot to learn from China. The pace at which China brands and businesses micro-innovate is something that the west could learn from,” he continues.

The remaining four episodes will be published each following Wednesday. The next episode, ‘Social Asia’, explores the wonderful, staggering and sometimes bizarre world of social media in the region.

Each of the videos, along with their corresponding marketer vox pops, will be available on the Man About Asia hub, in association with Lowe Profero.

To catch the entire series, subscribe to The Drum YouTube channel.

The Episodes

  • Episode one, 'What Is Asia Anyway’, breaks the vast and complex region into chunks, focusing on the scale of the opportunities across Asia.
  • Episode two, 'Avoiding Air Miles Disease’, takes a closer look at the opportunities each sub-region presents and the issue of where to invest.
  • Episode three, ‘Same Same But Different’, tackles arguably the greatest opportunity, that of China.
  • Episode four, 'Social Asia’, explores the wonderful, staggering and sometimes bizarre world of social media in Asia.
  • Episode five, ‘The Talent Game’, explains why finding and keeping talent is a ongoing challenge for marketers in the region.
  • Episode six, 'Creativity & The Power of Celebrity', takes a look at the diversity of creative cultures across Asia.
  • The final episode, ‘Lost In Translation’, offers up some tips and hints for those adjusting to Asian styles of business.

Sam Scott

Sam is The Drum's assistant publisher.

All by Sam