Whisper campaigns : market risks through online rumours on the Chinese Internet

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-283
Journal / PublicationChina Journal of Social Work
Volume8
Issue number3
Online published2 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

The rapid growth of the Chinese Internet has brought about the emergence of many new channels of communication between businesses (B2B), between businesses and consumers (B2C and C2B) and between customers (C2C). Amidst this growth, Chinese Internet users have demonstrated a fondness for online rumours that has become dangerous for a variety of organisations and businesses. Within the Chinese market consumers have emerged as actors whose interactions are posing a new form of risk for companies wishing to enter the Chinese market. Since 2009, companies have repeatedly been harmed by fast-spreading online rumours that called the quality of products into question, or attacked their ethics in dealing with the general public. Starting in 2010, online rumour campaigns have also been on sale to harm rivals, or to promote one’s own product. Using a few example cases from food-related incidents, this article will argue that companies operating in this highly suspicious and fraught environment should shift their focus from pure marketing to a much deeper level of engagement with their customers, and also keep track of the online chatter about their brand, their products and their image so as to minimise risks to their enterprise and to successfully sell their products and services.
中國互聯網快速增長帶來了許多新通信管道的出現,涵蓋企業之間(B2B),企業和消費者之間(B2C和C2B),和客戶之間(C2C)。增長過程顯示中國互聯網使用者喜愛網上傳言,並對各種組織和企業構成危險。中國消費者的相互作用對希望進入中國市場的公司構成新形式的風險。自2009年起,快速傳播的網上謠言已令不同的企業多次受到傷害,包括質疑產品品質或攻擊他們應對公眾的道德水準。從2010年起,網上傳言運動也開始商品化,以攻擊競爭者,或促銷己方的產品。透過幾個有關食物事件的例子,本文指出企業在這個高度猜疑和令人憂慮的環境運作,其重點應從單純的市場行銷轉移到與客戶建立更深層次的關係。同時,也追蹤自己的品牌、產品和形象的線上討論,以儘量減少對企業的風險,並成功地推銷產品和服務。

Research Area(s)

  • China, consumers, food business, Internet, online rumours