86 Connect founder Annie Siara pitches the benefits of the China market

86 Connect founder Annie Siara has become an expert on connecting western companies with the highly lucrative Chinese market. She sat down with our Becky Liggero Fontana to offer some advice on how Western companies can make advances in the Chinese market in a post-COVID-19 world.

Siara believes that the Chinese travel industry offers a roadmap to the state of the economic recovery in China. “We are seeing a great recovery in China with the domestic trips that have been taken recently,” she said. “A study showed that the May Labour Day holiday, between the first and fifth of May, 146 trips were made, so that’s a big recovery,” Siara said.

“We are seeing that the Chinese are willing to take international trips but that also depends on what is going on abroad and if they can make those trips sooner rather than later,” she added.

According to Siara, the stereotypical Chinese traveller has evolved from shopping junkets to something more modern. “I think the modern profile of a Chinese traveller is that they are looking for more experiences. They are looking for unique experiences and to immerse themselves in the local culture.”

“The myth of the Chinese traveller just shopping or being in big tour groups is diversifying now,” she concluded.

While the market of the Chinese consumers has evolved, the rules over online gaming advertisers and land-based casinos remain quite strict. “You’ll get blocked within seconds,” she said. “You cannot have any gambling related or casino-related name content when you market to the Chinese travellers.”

The Chinese digital market remains disconnected from the Western form of internet, Siara advised. “There is something called the China firewall which means that they have no access to Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, it’s completely blocked in China. They use their technology platforms or they own social media platforms such as Weibo, Tick Tock and WeChat.”

“There are a lot of social media platforms out there, so for any industry that’s wanting to engage with Chinese customers you need to be in that ecosystem otherwise you will not be known so it’s completely different and you have to be within the Chinese digital landscape to market to Chinese travellers and Chinese consumers,” Siara added. 

In the full interview, Siara provides some advice on how Western companies can take advantage of new digital technology to navigate a path through the Chinese marketplace, so be sure to watch. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel to see every interview we make as it goes up.