A couple of weeks ago, Dan Prud’homme, a lecturer at EMLV, co-published an article on prominent academic website California Management Review. The piece examines China’s model of online competition as a starting point for Western firms’ strategy to engage Chinese digital customers.
Wanghongs are China-born Internet celebrities who have a significant impact on China’s digital market. With wanghongs having gained more popularity than micro and mid-tier influencers, China’s relational digital ecosystem comprises a holistic consumer-facing structure that relies on specific infrastructures, cultural heritage and relational businesses.
Dan Prud’Homme suggests that Western firms can apply some of the principles of China’s HISS (“highly-integrated-supply-chain”) consumer-facing digital ecosystem. West companies are encouraged to base their strategies on Chinese waghongs: monitor, sponsor, cultivate wanghongs, leverage local Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) and prevent employees from turning into competitor wanghongs.
Western firms can gain momentum in the Chinese market by actively engaging with local consumers and making their way through Multi-Channel Network industry. These talent agencies can cover multiple needs, from creative content and social messaging to digital distribution.
Wanghong incubators, used by top-companies such as Diesel, L’Oréal, Max Factor, Puma, are an essential source of “cultivated wanghongs”, which develop the reliable speech power on the platforms on behalf of the companies.
In a universe of relationships, knowledge of the Chinese Relational Digital Ecosystem is necessary to thrive in the fast-changing world of the Chinese Economy. Looking at the way numerous domestic companies have moved through China’s digital transformation, Western businesses can overcome their late arrival in the local digital market.
Dan Prud’homme is a professor of innovation, strategy, and international business at EMLV and an expert in subjects related to intellectual property, innovation, law & economics, policy & management, marketing in China, international business.
Click here for the full article on strategically engaging with China’s relational digital ecosystem.