Overseas Chinese: The Low Hanging Fruit for Your Chinese Marketing

When brands think of Chinese marketing, they immediately think of going direct to China. While the Chinese market is lucrative, it also poses a number of challenges such as legal regulations, distribution channels, and substantial upfront investment.

However, the segment brands have overlooked is overseas Chinese, as wealthy Chinese increasingly choose to live abroad.

There is a substantial Chinese population living in North America of 5.5 million people. The affluent Chinese, and their desire for Western education for their children, is evident in the rapid growth of ‘ethnoburbs’ of big American and Canadian cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, and Vancouver — where prosperous migrants from China form a large share of the population.

The overseas Chinese are brand conscious and possess high spending power. They travel internationally more frequently, and these experiences, along with technology development and social media channels, have helped Chinese consumers become more informed and sophisticated. They are allocating more of their income to lifestyle services and experiences, and are increasingly trading up from mass products to premium products.

Overseas Chinese are mainly active on Chinese social platforms and resonate exceptionally well with Chinese-related marketing. They present a “low hanging fruit” for marketing to Chinese audiences and can also serve as a natural first step to expanding operations into China.


WeChat Moment Ads: The most effective channel to market to Chinese people living abroad.

Chinese people living abroad are active on a variety of social platforms, but none more so than WeChat. There are over 3 million monthly active users on WeChat in North America and users on average spend more than 66 minutes on the app daily, which is more than Facebook.

Traditionally, marketing on WeChat has been difficult and inflexible due to limited ad formats and high minimum spends. The recent system upgrades and elimination of minimum spends for WeChat Moments Ads have made WeChat marketing more accessible and marketing to Chinese people abroad much easier.

WeChat Moment Ads, WeChat’s premium ad product, are sponsored messages that appear naturally in a user’s timeline, similar to the Facebook Newsfeed. Ad formats include photo or video posts, and they can drive to your brand’s WeChat official account or a separate landing page.

WeChat Moment Ads are highly effective for raising brand awareness, driving traffic to landing pages, and generating leads. It can also be used to grow the organic followings of WeChat business accounts. There is significant value in growing an account’s followers as it allows for remarketing opportunities to build brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

Check out our WeChat guide for more information on WeChat marketing, or read about how luxury fashion retailer Holt Renfrew used WeChat Moments Ads to double their year-over-year revenue.

In order to really thrive and sell to overseas, brands have to truly understand the needs and changing characteristics of local Chinese consumers. Contact us directly to learn how you can better target and engage Chinese audiences living abroad.

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