China, Balance, Risk and Reward- The Common Pitfalls to Avoid

By TransPerfect Digital Marketing Group

With years of rapid growth and a huge consumer market, China is the largest player in the global online retail market. China’s e-tail market is expected to take up more than 50 percent of global retail by 2019, making it an attractive proposition for many Western brands. Once you get past the challenges of fulfillment and are considering local language content, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of, mostly related to China’s advertising regulations. In 2015, China revised their advertising laws of 1994, making them twice as long and increasingly enforced. Since these laws have been implemented, there have been over 24,000 cases of advertising breaches with 400 million CNY (about 63 million USD) worth of fines issued. Here are some examples of what to avoid: Superlatives Superlatives like “the best,” “superior,” and “the most” have been restricted in China for a while. The 2015 revisions define these more clearly than did the laws from 1994; however, there still is no official guidance on what specific words cannot be used, putting the burden on the brand to self-regulate. Overstep, and you could receive a fine up to 157,000 USD! This isn’t just a threat to Western brands. Almost instantly after launching these updated laws, a large Chinese electrical company was investigated by the Beijing Ministry of Industry and Commerce for using superlative phrases such as “the best” and “the most advanced” on its website.

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