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WeChat for Luxury Series: How to Use WeChat in the Automotive, Aviation and Yachting Sector

Insights from the Walpole Wechat Report 2020

With over 1.1 billion daily users WeChat is China’s most important social media platform - read our previous blog to find out why luxury brands should be using it.

We’ve broken down the data from our Walpole WeChat Report 2020 into sector-specific insights. The report, created in partnership with The Walpole Group (the official sector body for the UK’s finest brands), provides key insights into the digital presence of 197 British luxury brands on China’s most important social media channel. This article’s focus is the automotive, aviation and yachting industry.

Walpole Wechat Report 2020
Walpole Wechat Report 2020

While China’s car industry has experienced a bumpy few years, overall demand for premium vehicles continues to grow steadily with a projected annual growth rate of 11.3% through to 2023. There is still some way to go before the market reaches the same maturity as other territories, with the penetration rate for luxury cars sitting at around 11%, compared with a global average of 15%. British carmakers continue to perform well in the market; last summer, Jaguar Land Rover reported a 40% YoY sales increase thanks to the launch of its Chery model.

China’s private jet market saw a slight contraction in 2019 owing to increasingly difficult business conditions for the country’s super-wealthy. This has conversely created somewhat of a boost for charter companies. VistaJet, a global private jet-chartering company, reported a 14% increase in flight hours in and out of China in the third quarter of 2019.

Chinese demand for yachts has yet to take off in earnest; despite approximately 16% of HNWIs expressing an interest in purchasing a yacht in the immediate future, according to recent surveys, just 0.3% actually own one.

Among Walpole members, Bentley and Rolls Royce have begun to make significant inroads into the Chinese market. Having entered the Chinese market in 2002, Bentley remains one of the most recognisable luxury brands in the country, with Chinese sales accounting for 21% of its global revenue. Rolls Royce last year reported a 43% uptick in its China business. Both companies are performing well on WeChat - in our ranking of Walpole members by WeChat article reads in 2019, Bentley came in 8th, and Rolls Royce 16th.

Our Ranking Of Walpole Members By Wechat Article Reads In 2019
Our Ranking Of Walpole Members By Wechat Article Reads In 2019

Beyond the Walpole group, two automotive companies have demonstrated best practice on Wechat. Tesla’s WeChat Maps Mini Program allows users to not only browse car models but also book test drives (a key data capture tool), and find nearby charging stations right across the country.

Tesla’S Wechat Maps Mini Program
Tesla’S Wechat Maps Mini Program

Perhaps most illustrative of the decadent excesses of Chinese influencer marketing, MINI’s 2017 collaboration with KOL Becky Li saw 100 cars sold in 4 minutes, all through WeChat.

Mini’S 2017 Collaboration With Kol Becky Li
Mini’S 2017 Collaboration With Kol Becky Li

If you’d like to learn more about scaling up your brand’s WeChat presence, please reach out and book a consultation with one of our China market entry specialists. To access the full Walpole WeChat Report 2020 datasets, download the report here.

This article is part of a series highlighting the key findings of the TONG Walpole WeChat Report 2020. Watch this space for our next posts and upcoming events, which will cover further sector-specific insights.

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