China Marketing Weekly

China’s Facial-Recognition Tech: Naughty or Nice?

December 24, 2020 Tait Lawton
China Marketing Weekly
China’s Facial-Recognition Tech: Naughty or Nice?
Show Notes


This week, Kejie from joined us to talk about fake bird nests and facial-recognition trends in China.

Feel free to contact us if you have any other insights that could help companies sell more stuff in China. We could work with you on a podcast or a blog post.

Dig in!

“Show your face to enter” - Convenient or scary?

Facial-recognition technology has become quite common in China, but concerns about privacy and data ownership have grown.

After paying the initial admission fee, a man last year learned that he would need to have his face scanned to enter a park. After being refused a refund, he took the park owner to court and was awarded $160 in compensation. This incident, and others like it, have generated discussion about how the technology should be used.

It’s most likely that we’ll see facial recognition reduced or, at least, more carefully controlled. The Chinese government has signaled that they will be coming up with stricter rules about how companies gather biometric data.

Still, many people find the benefits of facial recognition to outweigh any drawbacks. It’s even possible to buy some groceries nearby without a phone. Plus, it is considered more secure. - Read more (English)

Livestreamer caught selling fake bird’s nests.

The livestreamer Xinba is a big deal. He sold over 8 billion RMB worth of goods during this year’s Double 11 festival.

When first challenged, Xinba denied the sale of counterfeit bird’s nests; however, users and KOLs pressed the issue and discovered other defective products sold on his website. 

His poor handling of the situation made matters even worse. Still, it looks like he’ll only get a slap on the wrist for this incident (a 900,000 RMB fine), avoiding major jail time.

Will he be able to gain the trust of his fans back? More than likely. At the end of the day, his hardcore fans still love him. - Read more (English)

The Guide to WeChat Account Setup.

Read it here (English)

What’s holding back Chinese SaaS companies?

One major problem is that they might simply just not know how to do marketing. In an interview on Technode, a venture capitalist says that Chinese SaaS companies don’t have concrete sales channels because their potential clients don’t think to look for the correct software.

In our opinion, that problem is not a bad one to have. Although people aren’t searching for software-based solutions, they still care about their problems. So the marketing angle should be to create valuable content about their issues and potential remedies. For instance, if you are selling software that helps companies with their recruiting process, you could create a blog/book/podcast about improving recruiting results. Only after building a following can they start to educate readers about how to use your software to make recruiting easier.

Anyway, this is good news for B2B software companies from the RoW. Now, you have a window to enter China and become a truly global company. - Read more (English)