She-Economy: How to Engage Chinese Consumers for Women’s Day

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Last week, when I walked out of the subway stations in Shanghai as usual on my way to the office, I was bombarded by a series of subway advertising of online retailer campaigns targeting women in China.

She-economy Chinese women's day

Sources: Digitaling

Then I realized that they are motivating women to buy for the upcoming “International Women’s Day”.

As the women-targeted market continues to expand to more sectors in China, the International Women's Day becomes a joyous festival for China's retailers as they look to angle their campaigns towards female consumers.

What is “She Economy”?

The women targeted market, or the so-called “she economy”, a term coined by China’s education ministry in 2007, is expected to account for $700 billion by 2019, according to the Chinese securities firm Guotai Junan. It is also the same situation for other Asian women outside of China. Mckinsey thinks Asia women can make a bigger economic contribution.

The “2017 China Women's Consumption Survey Report” jointly published by Ruiwen and Global Times showed that more than 50% of married women earned the same income as their spouses, even higher than their spouses.

About 80% of Chinese household consumption is decided by women, including expenditure on eating and drinking, education and cultural activities, and travel.

So the term “She economy” really refers to the increasing female consumers market.

It’s, therefore, no surprise that brands are cashing in on International Women’s Day, launching campaigns with discounts and coupons to get women to spend more.

In this blog post, we’ll look at how international and Chinese businesses are tapping into the She economy for Women’s Day on different platforms in China, and the lessons we can learn from them.

International Women’s Day vs. Queen’s Day or Goddess Day

Before we dive into the marketing campaigns, it’s important to understand the context of International Women’s Day in China.

The International Women's Day has been recognized in China since 1949. But the day's significance has moved away from female empowerment for the country's e-commerce retailers over recent years - who brand the day as 'Queen's Day' or 'Goddess Day'.

“The mainstream of Chinese society has not talked about real women’s rights issues on International Women’s Day for a long time,” said Xiao Meili, a well-known feminist activist.

“They don’t even dare use the three words ‘funujie’,” she said, referring to the original name of “Women’s Day” in China, which has connotations of working women.

“They always say ‘Queen’s Day’ or ‘Goddess Day’, as if this is the day when everyday women finally have the chance to be doted on. It’s just consumerist feminism,” added Xiao.

But consumerist feminism could just be Chinese women’s way of celebrating female power.

A recent poll suggests that young Chinese women in their twenties are no longer satisfied to relegate themselves to just being a "dutiful wife and a loving mother." According to the survey conducted by LinkedIn China and L'Oreal China, 59 percent of young female respondents say they aspire to be "financially independent."

Now that we understand the context of Women’s Day in China, let’s take a look at an example from Tmall.

Case study: How Tmall promote Queen's Day the world’s second biggest e-commerce website in China are cashing in on the coming International Women’s Day, offering coupons and discounts on sportswear, cosmetics and healthcare to get women to spend more.

She-economy Chinese women's day Tmall

Sources: Digitaling

For 2019, TMALL launched a video and a series of posters to show female diversity. They encourage women to pursue an exciting and diverse life in this way. The video and slogan are easy to warm out women’s heart and bring out resonance. It is really a precise interpretation of “she economy”.

As one of the biggest shopping festival in the first half of 2019, Queens’ Day is the best time to connect with customers and spread some holiday campaigns. Brands need to reach out and engage with their customers to get them to spend more. How can brand engage with Chinese customers on social media?

How to engage Chinese consumers on different social platforms

We said before on our blog post All you need to know about Chinese social media landscape in 2019, that tracking and observing exchanges on Chinese social media platforms is a great way for brands to build a deeper understanding of local perceptions and values. It's also the same when brands plan to do a holiday marketing campaign in China.

One of the best ways to communicate with Chinese customers is to create content around festivals or special themes, like Women’s Day.

Let’s take a look at how brands leverage a range of Chinese platforms to promote Women’s Day in China.

Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo is the best platform for engagement. Weibo Event or Weibo Hashtag Topics is a great way to grab consumer attention quickly and create brand awareness. By December 2018, Sina Weibo has 446 million monthly active users.

With Weibo Event, you are not just limited to see what other people are tweeting, but also joining events that other users are joining, sparking more tweets and fun! Creating holiday related hashtags encourage customers to share images of your products.

Social influencers can also be invited to join the social campaigns to reach millennials who expect more creative ads.

To increase the spread on social media, TMALL launched a challenge on Sina Weibo with a specific hashtag “Challenge for Colorful Female Life”. It has raised 320 million views on this Chinese social platform.

She-economy Chinese women's day hashtag challenge

Sources: Sina Weibo

Little Red Book (Xiao Hongshu)

Little RED Book (Xiao Hongshu), is where we go for inspiration or tips: for fashion, cosmetics, lifestyle, luxury or travel. It boasts over 100 million active users in China.

Although is initially created as an e-commerce platform, Little Red Book is more a platform for photo or tips sharing. Take advantage of Little Red Book as an especially great platform for creating holiday gift guides, shopping list during holiday or lifestyle sharing.

Here's a sample of posts from Chinese consumers sharing the top promotions from brands around "Queen's Day" on Little Red Book:

She-economy Chinese women's day little red book

 Little Red Book: posts of “how to find the best deal in IWD”/”How to get a coupon on Tmall”


Wechat is great for audience targeting and location-based marketing, as Wechat official service accounts can detect user location. It also opportunities to target by age, gender, and even interests, effectively ensuring you can set up ad campaigns to reach only the people who fit the criteria for your brands or products.

For Women's Day, UnderAmour uses Wechat ads to ask followers (especially female followers) the meaning of running and encourage them to conquer themselves.

The campaign encouraged user engagement with UnderAmour brand to record your running mileage and ranking on their platform.

Wechatters could just click the ad and enter their Wechat store to buy a favorite pair.

She-economy Chinese women's day under armour

UnderArmour Ads campaign on Wechat

Invest in the right tools and expertise to understand the Chinese market

In this social era, brands really need to know how to spark a trend and navigate social media.

However, a good campaign strategy requires great analysis. It can make the next project even better by tracking marketing and product campaign performance, measuring their effectiveness.

At Linkfluence, we’re dedicated to helping brands and businesses with a deep interest in understanding Chinese consumers and engaging with them. On top of our increasing Chinese data coverage, we have a local team with a long-term presence in Asia -Pacific region. That way, you’ll have more insights available through our tools such as Linkfluence Search and Radarly.

If you're interested in a social listening project in the Chinese market, get in touch.

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