Take a deep dive into China Market Intelligence – from competitor analysis to growth opportunities. This China Gravy article presents the advantages of market watch, who can benefit from it, and how our China experts can help your business to thrive in the Chinese market.
Market Intelligence in China requires regular monitoring of a diverse source of channels and making plausibility checks to get a reliable data basis.
China market research allows you to understand the economic strengths and weaknesses of the various regions and Tier cities in China, particularly successful seasons and industries, upcoming development and investment projects, digital trends, and more. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best Chinese platforms for market research – Newrank, Baidu Aiquicha, and 1688.
The Power of the Chinese Market
With an annual growth rate of more than 6%, China is on its way to becoming the largest economy in the world. China’s online market is already the largest in the world and is estimated to exceed 8.5 trillion RMB (~1.3 trillion USD) in 2022.
What is Market Intelligence?
Generally speaking, market intelligence, also known as market watch, refers to observing and analyzing a number of different aspects in a specific business sector and its stakeholders (customers, competitors) through targeted metrics and hard data.
Understanding a complex market landscape is the basis for any market entry, expansion, and growth strategy.
Market Intelligence Services
Generally, market watch services can be divided into research for
- Market opportunity
- Brand strategy
- Competitor landscape
- Consumer landscape
- Pricing strategy
- Product development
- Business market segmentation
Depending on your business’ requirements and needs each of the above research can contain one or several of the following aspects:
- current sales volume of the target segment and potential for growth
- industry laws and regulations
- pricing and value generation
- current and potential target audience (national and international market)
- online marketing channels (digital engagement, traffic, and conversion)
- cost analysis for operational implementation (feasibility study, investment cost, and scenarios)
So, what does this mean for the Chinese market?
Market Intelligence in China
Knowing your industry, the competition landscape, trends, and thus your own position allows you to determine strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities for your business in a target market. Thus, market intelligence is crucial for success in any market including the Chinese. It allows you to strategically plan your market entry, brand establishment, and scaling up of your business.
Gathering information in the Middle Kingdom can be challenging as most information is only available in Mandarin Chinese and some information is unavailable outside of China.
To analyze the Chinese market, Newrank is a state-of-the-art analysis tool, in particular for WeChat Big Data. Newrank was launched in 2014 and is a real-time and data-driven content industry service platform.
Registration and basic information are free on Newrank. Additional services like online classes (e.g. traffic growth, platform insights), as well as corporate consultations like the management of your public WeChat account or KOL influencer brokerage, are paid services.
Using Newrank – Login
In order to fully use Newrank, you need a WeChat account. You don’t need a WeChat business account to use Newrank, a regular WeChat account is sufficient. But you have to follow the official WeChat account of Newrank in order to use its services on their website.
Click the blue button on the top right corner to login/signup (登录/注册). Scan the QR code to login with your WeChat account.
Alternatively, you can click on 其他登录方式 below the QR code for further login options. There you can enter your WeChat login details or sign up for a new account. Keep in mind that you will need a personal WeChat account to connect to Newrank.
Using Newrank – Menu
The menu on the very top in the grey bar has the following options
- Home (首页)
- Rankings (榜单)
- Content Marketing (内容营销)
- Data Service (数据服务)
- Operational Growth (运营增长)
- Cloud and Copyright Services (版权分发)
- Short Video Data (短视频数据)
The main menu just below that provides these options:
- WeChat Public Accounts (Business) (公众号)
- WeChat Channels (视频号)
- Douyin (抖音号)
- Xiaohongshu (小红书)
- Kuaishou (快手号)
- BiliBili (哔哩哔哩)
- More (更多): Advertise (广告), Report (报告), News (资讯), Trends (趋势), Articles (文章), Content Library (正版转载)
The reporting functions in Newrank (the box in the middle) include
- Rankings: Daily (日榜), weekly (周榜), monthly (月榜), platforms (平台), areas (区域), industries (行业), and custom (自定义)
- Quick navigation (快捷导航): WeChat Public Account Management by Newrank (自媒宝), KOL Management (KOL代理投放), data tools (数据工具), API data (数据API)
- Latest announcements (最新公告)
Example of Analyzing a WeChat Business Account
As an example, we’ll analyze the WeChat account of “Newrank”.
To find out the number of followers a WeChat account has, simply enter the WeChat business account ID in the search bar on top of the page on Newrank.cn. The number of followers is an approximation by Newrank based on a variety of publically collected data.
On the WeChat platform itself, you can only see how many of your friends like an official account, but not the total number of followers of that account.
You can also see when the account was registered.
This Newrank indicator ranks how “hot” an account is compared to similar ones.
The next screenshot shows a list of all official accounts and mini-programs which are published by the same company you are researching. In this case, there are 10 official accounts and 7 mini-programs in total by Newrank.
Next, you can see the estimated number of readers of a WeChat article and how often articles were posted by the account you have selected.
The following screenshot shows the number of articles posted in a certain timeframe. In this example, 1 article was posted in the last 30 days.
The above-mentioned article had 6 comments and a response rate of 66.7% to the comments as you can see in the screenshot below.
Our favorite feature: You can select specific categories, e.g. culture, and then see the rankings of the most successful accounts across the various platforms. You can see the account performance based on daily, weekly, or monthly settings.
Now, let’s take a look at who can actually benefit from China market research, and how you can get started.
Who Can Benefit from China Market Intelligence?
Market watch is ideal for all companies (B2B, B2C) and niches that want to enter the Chinese market or grow their business in the Middle Kingdom.
Chinese Market Research Beyond Newrank
Besides Newrank there are additional insightful tools for businesses to analyze their competition and potential new partners to stay ahead of the game.
- Company Check (Baidu Aiqicha)
- B2B Research (1688)
- Search Engine Results (Baidu)
Now, let’s look at these in a bit more detail.
1. Company Check (Baidu Aiqicha)
Company checks are particularly important when analyzing potential new business partners (e commerce, service), whom you connected with on Alibaba, Aliexpress, or other online platforms. Find out background information to assess their legitimacy and influence.
青岛汤尼工艺品有限公司 (Qingdao Tony Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd.) is a Chinese company specializing in hair extensions.
The best Chinese source to find publicly available business information is Baidu Aiqicha. If you enter 青岛汤尼工艺品有限公司 there, you will find the contact details (phone number, address, etc.), website, company registration number, and more.
Furthermore, you can see public information like when the company was founded, how many employees it has, and the registered capital.
Baidu Aiqicha also reveals the shareholders of a company.
Finally, Baidu Aiqicha also provides links to the company’s annual reports.
2. B2B Research (1688)
In terms of China market intelligence, the most useful platform for B2B research based on our experience is 1688. This marketplace allows you to compare prices, analyze e commerce shops, and therefore assess a niche, competitors, and potential partners.
If you want to analyze Siemens China, take a look at their shop page on 1688. The most important information for market research is the summary graph, which reveals when the shop was set up, contact details, ratings, business success (based on a 1688 index), operation method (wholesaler, reseller), and hosting location.
It also offers trends on product descriptions (Siemens China: up 3%), customer service response rate (Siemens China: up 19%), delivery speed (Siemens China: down 15%), and repurchase rate (Siemens China: stable at 19%).
What’s interesting is that the red arrow pointing up is a positive trend while the green arrow pointing down is a negative trend. This may be counterintuitive to users in Western culture.
3. Search Engine Results (Baidu)
As you probably already know, Baidu is in China what Google is in the rest of the world. To analyze competitors, potential partners, a niche, and where your brand or business currently stands, taking a look at the SERPs of Baidu will give you a great overview.
In terms of market research, keyword rankings, the number of indexed pages, page authority, and branded keyword traffic are most relevant. If you want to dive in deeper, take a look at Baidu keyword research here.
So, what does all of this mean for my business?
Smart business decision-making depends on reliable data and insightful synthesis in order to determine the best strategy and specific next steps.
Are you ready to get started?
China Gravy’s Services: China Market Intelligence
Our hyper-specialization is competitor research in order to determine where your brand currently stands and how to get ahead of your competition. First, we identify your brand’s and niche’s main competitors and analyze their online strategies on the largest digital channels in China, including pricing, target audience, and trends.
In terms of China market intelligence, we also offer
- B2B & B2C market research including trends and target audiences in your niche
- Development of China market entry, expansion, and growth solutions according to your budget and specific goals
We transparently collect reliable qualitative and quantitative data, analyze it graphically and derive recommendations for your business.
To implement your chosen strategy, we also provide
- China marketing: Chinese website, SEO, PPC ads, social media marketing
- Connecting your business with local partners in China
- Sourcing products from China
- General assistance with implementing developed strategies so you can run your business efficiently
What sets China Gravy apart from the many other China market research companies, is that we do all research and analysis in-house, and don’t forward or outsource projects. For specific highly specialized aspects, we may team up with other local experts to ensure the best results for you!
We tailor every aspect to your specific requirements and goals so you can make informed and successful decisions for your business.
How China Gravy stands out
- Hyper-specialization on the Chinese market
- Long-time experience from own projects and reputable client projects
- Bi-lingual English and Mandarin Chinese
- One stop solutions – we tend to all your Chinese market needs
- Extensive local network and partners across industries and segments (fulfillment, sourcing, etc.)
- We’re quick and treat every customer with priority individual attention
Find out more about digital marketing in China at China Gravy.
China Market Intelligence – The Takeaway
Achieve better results in the Chinese market if you are already active in the Middle Kingdom. Enter the skyrocketing market or expand into China if your business is not yet reaching powerful Chinese consumers. How do you do that? China market intelligence (market research, market watch) helps you to stay ahead of the competition.
Newrank, Baidu Aiquicha, 1688, and the Baidu search results pages are useful tools to aid with this process but require knowledge of the Chinese language. A China expert like China Gravy can help you with lifting the potential of the Chinese market.
China Gravy is your expert for market intelligence solutions. We conduct competitor research, B2B & B2C market research, and develop tailormade solutions so your business can thrive in the China market.